Friday, March 20, 2009
The South By SouthWest Radiation Treatment
Despite being at the South By Southwest Film Festival, I spent little time watching movies. Because of the festival and our own recent filming, Austin had become a town I associated completely with film, a town of images. Our second day there however, the temperature hit 81 degrees, burning a bright hole through the idea of film like celluloid caught in projector. Sun screen beat out screening rooms, I could barely take a picture let alone address cinema. Laying by the water or walking past the bright, battered murals and signs on South Congress I felt each moment sweating by, happily letting it go, happy to walk, watch, feel my blood beat and sweat flow. The photos are weak, and I missed some extraordinary films, but Austin has a physical memory now –my arms are marked with it, pink and still gently warm. Ingrid Kopp and I talked about what the skin remembers - South Africa for her, NC, for me, both of us agreeing that our skins grew nostalgic at the first touch of the sun's heat, remembering the tanned, blonde kids we once were, forgetting, at least along our exposed arms, legs, faces, the pale, thin skinned adults we've become... I told her that when I was in Cancer treatment, I kept sending my mind into the darkness of my body, searching for the disease but feeling nothing, no physical presence, no bone or blood or tissue wetness – not even temperature. During this time I craved light like never before -even San Francisco's foggy sun drew me away from searching fruitlessly for sickness, pulling me up to my own skin and through the skin back into the world. At night in Austin I carried the warm, solid world on my pink skin, happy to be there at festival dinners and parties, while we talked film, more film, and boozed the warm night way.
PS. PICS FROM SOUTH AUSTIN:
The complete history of Austin as presented by FoodMart.
The Texas Carne Asada Massacre at Polvo's
Shop window on South Congress
Lights on South Congress