21. Life


Performance by Claire Lemaigre


I am grateful for being alive, I guess. I’m thankful to just get out of bed and see the world around me. To see the sun to feel the wind to lay in the grass to sit on a bench to smoke a cigarette and have a drink with friends and talk shit and laugh. 


I’m just grateful for life because death is so final. And nothing we are doing while we’re alive is final, I guess. 


My uncle died in February and we just had the memorial service last weekend. But also, everything I do feels like it has a purpose, now. I suppose I now see also that life is finite and when it’s done, it’s done. And it feels like a waste now to not appreciate life and to try and make the best of it and fight for it to be the best it can be. 


I guess.

And sometimes clothes are memories.
Sometimes they embody a quality, a trait to which you wish
you could relate. So you pretend and you fake it til you make
it (sorry to speak in platitudes, I’m finding it hard to find the
words) um.... {pause} and you act confident because you’re
wearing a good ‘fit’ and you hang ten and ride that wave for a
few days until you realise you’re being arrogant and tune deaf
to the torrent of grief you’re drowning in so you decide to
tone it down so you wear a tshirt jeans and sneakers.
I realise I’ve snuck away from the topic at hand - I’ve been
training until now for this moment and didn’t realise. Every
moment noticed, every sigh of contentment when staying up
another night into the morning working, even if it’s watching
a movie, it’s ‘practising my eye’ my self my art my words my
style. But in a moment of pessimism you sometimes think
you’re just caught in a current of content, but these moments
don’t come frequently and when they come you practice
strength and remind yourself of everything you just said.
But of what importance is all of this? In the face of that
grand self important abyss. The great gap in our human
knowledge, that which is beyond life. That which is death.
Dying. To put it simply. It cuts my spirit and makes me work
very hard at this thing called gratitude, which is almost
better than contentedly floating through life. Instead now I
work every day to keep myself afloat, constantly writing and
defining all the joy in my life and reminding myself to not set
my self alight, a red cardinal with clipped wings struggling in

A footnote is that an American friend in Rome taught me
that Italians think red cardinals represent the dead and come
back and visit us. So make sure you look up at the sky every
once in a while. And smile