the smoke: dedicated friendship

I am not limited in my abilities when
(through love) I also have your abilities.

Let’s build (through love) a home in one another.

 A representation of the values of knowledge sharing, communication and committed platonic friendship as part of a healthy adult “love” scape (something that goes largely unrecognized in culture especially in femme presenting bonding).

We build this home (and this friendship in one another) in response to the ostracizing of neurodivergence that has tinged Ernie, and a lifetime of poverty and homelessness with which I struggle. Together we make a full person, where we dole out the love once denied one another and construct safety and understanding together: Building thatandthis into Thus.

In this way committed friendship serves as the proverbial band aid for a struggle of wanting.
Wanting to fit in, wanting to find rest, wanting to feel seen and cared for.

The deliberation in recognizing and physically manifesting the healing nature of committed friendship, seeks to look at the hurt we carry head on and soothe it together. To find the strength in one another (and relegate friendship to Godliness)

I am not limited in ability when (through love) I also have your abilities.

Working with a collaborator is one of the easiest ways to confront blind spots. The more input, the more eyes on a project increases scope and reach, simply because the people we carry with us differ. Thus, the considerations of accessibility will differ accordingly.

True inclusivity doesn’t rank our abilities and lets one another speak whatever language we see fit to communicate for ourselves. Ernie feels more fully heard through poetry, and we make space for that.  

Collaborating in this way, does not view making space at the table as simply that, and to even say “making space” implies a still skewed power dichotomy to others. Rather, the empowerment of marginalized people by collaborating is to keep building those chairs together.

How does one check in on their honesty and integrity. How can we trust ourselves to have the hard internal conversations, when I am a stranger to my own face for having only seen it in mirrors.

         Increasing the visibility on the nuances between what we say and what we do can only be helpful. There is a point in making when the frenzy of creation, and the material considerations of that making start to blur the line in the pursuit of the creation. It is at that crossroads where the collaborative relationship checks in, realigns, and moves forward with clear intent.

You keep me honest, and I’ll do the same.

         It would be an oversight to imply that all parts of the collaborative devising process are a delight. Life isn’t like that, and neither is friendship. However, the way we choose to move through that friction can determine not only a successful outcome to the project but also the longevity of the friendship at the center of that collaborating.

         In times of tumult, it is helpful to become better, not bitter. Things aren’t looking right? That’s not your collaborators doing, it’s our doing.

We are not limited in our abilities when (through love) we share abilities.

         What is a project without a community to hold it? What is all this dancing and screaming for if we dance and scream into a void. Collaboration through its focus on togetherness can invite a community around its making as much as it existing.

         By considering ourselves a unit we can more easily welcome others into an ongoing family developing around the centers of art works. The way fans become connected for loving the same song. This appreciated the something different between us and welcomes variety in what is brought to viewership.

Hopefully it is a shifting from the viewer as an empty vessel, a body in which we deposit our work, but rather welcome consciousness in relation to the world.

This is not a competition. We are in cahoots. It’s not us versus one another, but rather us versus the systems capitalistic of oppression which we navigate. A brutal system making foes of comrades and creating a rift of us vs. them.

Collaboration rises above the greed that dwells within us all and sees others as a point of safety and care. It is inherently anti capitalist for me to offer myself and my skills to you in exchange for nothing but your willingness to do the same.

In that way we relegate togetherness to godliness to see myself as you/I.

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