“What does it mean to belong to what is causing the flood?” – Terisa Siagatonu, “Atlas”
How do you spill? Is it a forward motion, leading you down to touch your toes, grab that which lays out of sight, only to then snap back up? Or do you let yourself run, filling in the gap between a stone and a log, between here and there, between me and you? Does your flow congeal in the face of neglect, or have you put it through a centrifugal spinner and it is now overflowing?
Take a walk along the spillway, listen to the water kept in behind the wall of the dam. Upend a glass of wine, watch it trickle down the cupboards and think “today, I’m not going to clean this”. Fill your clothes until they burst, unable to contain all that you hold. Let yourself spill.
Did you choose to leave the container, or did the containment choose to leave you? When laying in the bath, is the bath holding the water, or is the water holding you? And what does it mean to your downstairs neighbour when you sync yourself to the rhythm of bath water moving from front to back, only to fall out of syncopation and collide, sending the lukewarm liquid all over the bathroom floor.
An oil spill is remarkable in its cataclysmic beauty – take a peek, but make sure you don’t get stuck. Tap into a well of latent emotion, striking it at such an angle that the oozing fluid you didn’t realize was locked away slides through, spilling onto your shoes, onto the floor. Don’t bother wiping it up, it’s worth taking a look.
If we drain ourselves, does the stuff that leaves necessarily spill? Does it seep? Trickle? How does the experience of spilling change the quality of the object. We say it’s always worth crying over spilled milk.
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