Less alone (Deborah Goffe)

This past Saturday, I arrived here in Lewiston alone.  Relative isolation is an ongoing challenge as I choose to pursue my art-making in a small city. While I have found myself far less isolated in recent months, the responsibility of being chief cook and bottle washer in a city with few peers still requires that I go it alone quite a lot.  Since arriving at Bates, however, it has been refreshing to share space and time with a community of people who are both giving and receiving. I’m pleasantly surprised by how well my body is responding, and grateful for the thoughtful engagement provided through composition classes, discussions, lectures and performances.

Despite my gratitude for this amazing community I’ve been invited to infiltrate, I have chosen to face the emptiness of the studio alone here as well – a necessary evil. It’s been much needed medicine to return to the same room morning after morning, wait for the work to reveal itself in some small way … and then to listen for it in conversation or class or the fleeting thought caught in transit to and from the dining hall.

A promising Monday led to a seemingly unproductive Tuesday. Wednesday redeemed itself with improvisations caught on camera and divided into small clips. Thursday got me singing and dancing. There’s something’s due any day. I will know right away, soon as it shows.

The material I’m interested in making is still a little too close. I knew this would be the case. Only two weeks have passed since my Hartford-based dance company, Scapegoat Garden, performed the first incarnation of (re)Birth. Throughout the process of building that work, I have believed it could/should also have a life as a solo. Two weeks isn’t nearly enough time for me to gain adequate perspective … distance. But I’m choosing to process within a compressed timeframe, which has been an important theme all year. I don’t have attachments to this fast pace in the long term, but for now I am willing to put time to the test, meeting potential alone in the studio again this morning.

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