The other night, I attended a dance performance called SKIN. Here’s the synopsis from the program:
SKIN examines touch and skin as a tactile organ. This evening’s performance examines the questions: Why do we touch? How do we use touch to communicate and what ARE we saying when we do? Why do we long for human contact? How can touch be so universal and, at the same time, so uniquely intimate? What happens to the human body at the moment of touch? Our skin is our largest organ and our means of contact to anything that is not part of us. What is your skin holding in?
Before the performance even began I was already into my inner monologue and applying all these questions to my hyperhidrosis. When the lights went down, I was ready to be moved and was hoping that I would be. For the first time in my life, I was brought to tears by dance. While watching these beautiful dancers move their bodies and touch each other in such intimate ways, I was thinking how lucky they are that they can dance barefoot across a stage and not have to worry about slipping and falling because their feet are puddles underneath them. I yearned to be able to do what they were doing in their bare feet and scantily clad bodies, whirling and twirling and holding each other’s hands.
I found myself drawn to each of the dancers for different reasons. They all had beautifully designed costumes, each one a bit different from the next. The costumes were sheer, sheer enough that you could see their breasts through them. How brave they were to bare it all for this performance. After all, it was about skin. I found myself drawn to a couple of the dancers who were a bit more curvy, just like me. While all of the dancers were good, for some reason a couple of them seemed more real to me. We’re more alike than unalike, and I found myself inspired by their bodies, their talent, and their bravery to dance in costumes that covered very little. Like them, I must brave myself to walk around in my own skin. My own sweaty skin.
What is it that you’re hiding underneath your skin? What would you do if you no longer had to be literally uncomfortable in it? I envisioned myself on stage, baring my heart more often and speaking my truth because I no longer had to worry about being sweaty all the time, which so often becomes the filter for my daily life. So much can be said through touch, or the lack thereof. I shy away from touching the majority of people because my hands are usually sweating. But that doesn’t mean I’m one who is closed off to the world. Sometimes it’s just hard to live in life when you are wet.
My skin has hyperhidrosis. Want to know what’s underneath it? A combination of yin and yang. East and west. Positive and negative. I must choose what I allow to come up to the surface, which at times is very hard when I can’t turn off the physicality of my sweating and my condition is manifesting itself all over my hands, feet, socks, shoes, jeans, sleeves, etc.
Underneath my skin I am:
What can I, and you, do as someone who suffers from hyperhidrosis? I can choose what I offer to the world, even if I have to be sweaty in the process. I can choose to let go and allow myself to fall into the right people, knowing they will catch me when I fall. Yes, it’s nerve wracking initially. Everything can be the first time you do it. But you have to be willing to jump and fall in faith, knowing that the risk is worth it. Because once you do, you will feel alive and open to the abundance that awaits you in life. Be willing to fail. Be willing to risk everything.
This performance of SKIN could have gone on all night and I would’ve felt like it had just started. What I gleaned from it I will take with me, underneath my own skin. SKIN portrayed truth, beauty, relevance, awareness, emotion, and courage. Gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, transgendered, all are worthy of touch. And so am I, and so are you.
We, too, are works of art. We just have a bit more “shimmer” than others.
Photo by Drew Levin, Postcard by Levi Parker
Copyright 2012 My Life as a Puddle