for The Future Impossible

by Fana Fraser

 

“How would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?”

            Would I?

            I would, I would repeat the question.

I repeated the question. 

 

            How would I respond to the idea of radical imagination?

I would ask myself the question.

On December 2, 2020, I copied and pasted questions from an email Raja sent me on Saturday, November 21, 2020, 1:23pm EST, into a new Google doc that I titled, “for The Future Impossible”. Over the course of two weeks, I typed an 18 page response to the question “How would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?” and also made Another Roof Dance or Roof Dance no. 63. At some point between December 2, 2020 and December 21, 2020, I also wrote the question several times, along with several responses, with my right and left hands into a red Moleskine® journal.

So

           how would I respond to the idea of radical imagination?

I would drift into Fana daydreamland.

            While drifting in Fana daydreamland, I usually encounter others dreaming

             playing with memories, hopes, anxieties. 

I would play with memories, hopes, anxieties.

I would repeat the question, how would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?

I would listen to the worlds within and around me. 

I would obsess over the question, look up every single word and analyze every part of speech.

            I slept with the question. I sat on the question. I danced with the question.

            (I would dance with the question)

            I ate, showered, brushed my teeth with the question.

            I masturbated with the question.

            I cooked channa (chickpeas) with the question in mind.

            I worried that my response to the question 

            “how would you respond to the idea of radical imagination” 

            wasn’t radical enough.

 

I would take a nap.

 

I would repeat the question.

 

            How would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?

 

I would dance.

I would daydream.

 

             I thought about dancing.

             I thought about daydreaming.

             I thought again, about the words in the question

             how would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?

             I danced in my room, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the shower.

             I danced on the beach in Montauk, at The End of The World.

             I danced on beds, I danced on chairs.

             I danced with a spoon.

             I tried to remember feelings from the dances

                           feelings like 

                           feeling sexy, feeling stiff, feeling free, feeling guilt

                           feeling shame, feeling grief, feeling sadness, feeling relief

                           feeling hurt, feeling joy, feeling hope, feeling nope…

             I repeated the question.

             I scrolled instagram.

 

             I thought about dancing.

             I thought that if I danced, the dancing would help me radically imagine.

             I imagined

             I spoke to friends, I texted friends.

 

             I smoked Secret Cookies and read passages from M Archive: After the End of The World by Alexis Pauline Gumbs. 

             I listened to a conversation on Permission to Imagine: Radical Love & Pleasure featuring adrienne maree brown and Sonya Renee Taylor. 

             I joined a reading group at @yard_concept (YAAD).

 

             I facilitated artist convos.

             I repeated the question.

             I did other things.

 

How would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?

 

             I danced in a thong.

             I danced without my glasses.

             I danced to “Money” by Cardi B

             half naked, horizontal in my bed

             I danced to the tune of 3 of the ghosts living in my head. 

             I danced with the bedroom lights on, trying to look scared

             I danced with the moon, and howled from a ledge.

             I danced with my feet up and channeled memories of long and not so long ago

             I danced with fantasies, to be shared, perhaps, tomorrow?

 

             I repeated the question.

 

             How would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?

 

             I thought about lists and essays and books

             I thought about writings by bell hooks.

             I thought about drama – as in the bacchanal of the day

             I thought about vaccines, and horses and hay 

             I thought about parrots and hot air balloons

             I thought about that time Ernie visited the moon.

 

             I thought about circles and triangles and squares

             I thought about pushing Donald Trump down a flight of stairs.

             I thought about diamonds and exes and Os

             I thought about endings that begin with, hello.

             I thought about how I string words in my mind.

            I thought about translating and transposing language to unwind.

 

             I slept.

             I dreamt I was sleeping.

             I woke myself up to dream.

 

How would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?

 

I would sit in the sun and observe the flight patterns of birds and I would imagine myself flying, birds of a feather, now. I would repeat the question, “how would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?” 

I would meditate, sometimes guided by Lama Rod Owens, and I would invite my circle of care of benevolent ancestors to huddle around me. We would lay hands on my heart, on my womb, on the small of my back, on my forehead – or FORRID – as my mother tongue would correct. 

 

            I think about my own voice, and remember that sometimes, it is difficult to hear. 

            I listen.

  

I would let go.

 

I would take a nap.

 

On December 20, 2020, 10:17am EST, I decided to give the response 

 

      even more    

                space

                                             and 

                                                                  @ 10:58am EST 

 

                                                                                I     a m   d  e f l a t ing

                                                                                               spinning 

                                                                                       as I land,

                                                                                       eyes drooping

                                                                      nostril passages opening bones

                                                                                    creaking, resetting

 

                                                                    The church bells start their ringing 

                                                                                     11 times

                                                                                  my teeth are shifting

 

                                                                                     Big Belch

 

                                                                         jaw loosening saliva pouring 

 

                                                                              moaning exhales 

                                                                                    hands alive

                                                                        pelvic mouth softening, opening

                                                                              waters bubbling,

 

                                                                                                                lips

                                                                                                                       hips 

                                                                                                                         lips 

                                                                                                             tongue 

                                                                                                      wagging

 

                                                                                      back of the lungs spreading

                                                                                               wings sprouting

 

                                                                                       spine waving, balancing

 

            How would I respond to the idea of radical imagination?

 

I would think with multiple generations.

 

            On December 20, 2020, 2:05pm EST, I am thinking about legacy, and thinking about how to help nurture, and co-create communities of care for Black people, queer people of color, Caribbean diaspora people. I am thinking about the focus necessary to keep going, gathering. 

 

I would think of mothering.

 

            On December 20, 2020, 2:15pm EST, I am exhaling + letting go.

 

            How would I respond to the idea of radical imagination?

 

I would inhale for 1 2 3 4 5 and on a long exhale, I would let go of holding my butthole and pelvic floor. I would do that again and again and feel into the opening of my jaw, and the softening at the back of my eyeballs.

 

            How would I respond to the idea of radical imagination?

 

I would hold myself, arms criss crossed with each of my hands resting on each of my shoulders. Legs crossed, right over left or left over right, I would sit in a kitchen, in a white metal chair facing out a window, writing, my left ear is feeling the soft warmth of the rising sun.

 

I would repeat the question.

 

How would you respond to the idea of radical imagination?

 

About Fana Fraser:

Fana Fraser is an artist, creative consultant, and full spectrum doula in training at Ancient Song Doula Services. She was born and raised on Iëre, now known as Trinidad and Tobago, and she currently lives in Brooklyn on Lenape land. Fana’s work is rooted in a contemporary Caribbean aesthetic and framed by narratives of eroticism, power, and compassion. Her performance work has been presented at region(es), Issue Project Room, Wassaic Project, Brooklyn Museum, The Knockdown Center, Movement Research at Judson Church, BAAD!, La MaMa Moves!, the CURRENT SESSIONS, Gibney, Trinidad Theatre Workshop, and Emerging Artists Theatre. From 2016-2020 Fana served as Rehearsal Director for Ailey II. She currently works as a facilitator and consultant for South Bronx-based arts organization, Pepatián. Most recently, Fana was shortlisted for the 2020 BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Caribbean-American Writer’s Prize.

fanafraser.com