shared blinking breath ebb and flow of shoulders and our throats swallow did she practice, I wonder, her face how long have we been (lifetimes) practicing our (lifelines) faces do the shores of her mouth tilt up –always?– or was she smiling
– Wiam El Tamami
–The calming presence of a person holding space for me to sit still and be –The sound of a ticking clock, at first impatient then settled into patient waiting –I was surprised at how quickly 10 minutes flew by! –Silence of stillness –My puppy cuddling next to me, stealing idleness for herself as well
– Nicole Furlonge
calming comfortable settling in deep breaths video glitches time in and out settling back in breathe fully relaxing fully present
A collapse of time and space Performing presence Loving presence What remains present in absence? What remains absent in presence? startled by your sudden departure reminded of the impermanence of all things
The thing that resonated for me was the absence felt when you were suddenly not there, and I was left looking at myself again. That’s when I felt a sense of loss for your presence, and better understood what it had meant to me while you were there. The experience made me think about loss, and loneliness, and about trying to appreciate the present more. It was a very tangible way to reflect on that.
To idle in stillness and silence sounds like an invitation to a situation both predictable and pleasant. And yet! It was unexpected … and pleasant. Captivating and calming. At one point I sneezed. And before I knew it you were gone. I checked the time because I thought there was no way 10 minutes had passed, but indeed, we had idled for precisely 10 minutes.
Of course the moment I joined the room, I had a reflexive reaction of saying hi, but immediately realized the intent of the project. At first I felt a bit uneasy in that it seemed a bit voyeuristic, and that I was projecting my gaze onto you. I thought that perhaps this was required in that you were doing the same. But the longer we stared at each other, the more I felt an objectifying effect taking place. I realized by doing this I was seeing less, and unable to read you or connect with you. So, I closed my eyes, to see if I could better understand and connect with your presence on screen. It’s been a very long time since I’ve meditated, and the process was profoundly enlightening. The longer I meditated with my eyes closed, the clearer my mind became. All those thoughts or assumptions buzzing inside my head receded. I began to reconnect to my chakras, and the sense of the gravity that bound my body below me, and the connection I had with the space above me and finally the virtual space we were sharing. I did open my eyes several times, and focused onto the wall in front of me, outside our virtual space but always aware of it, which in turn gave me a sense of the space I occupied in my apartment and space outside on the streets.When I opened my eyes for the last times, you had disconnected which was somewhat disconcerting. I had expected you to just leave the space and the camera would still be on. Overall the experience was quite existential.