And just like that, the art of pantomime gets us.
Our attention is snatched away and whatever we were purportedly doing– strolling along, roller blading or running, we stop to do an about face to our own reality, to watch his painted face.
Desperate outstretched fingers seem amphibian and web-like; pressed against a sheet of glass that isn’t there, tells a compelling story of anguish. We empathize with his herculean effort to get from underneath the crushing weight. And even though we know it’s simply air that holds him back, we cheer for his freedom!
The street artist treks up Mount Ceenomore, to hear nothing and say nothing in a magical show of humanity. The myth of Sisyphus intrigues us, the daily grind is mesmerizing and so is the mime’s control over his agile limbs, taunt muscles and loose facial skin. And his thorough command of silence that calls out to us, not to help but to simply share the experience.
Like a glass ceiling or an invisible box that only he can feel, processing…
The mime’s performance reminds me of how modular obstacles in life can actually be; easily moved and erected. Constructed of short-comings, self-imposed lamentations and even by the most loving, a grandmother or doting father.
Harmless, ambiguous words that provide their own walls, that are systemic to a nation or a culture, that reiterates a woman’s role as a mother. And leaves her to languish in a kitchen.
Small girls are given baby dolls and miniature tea sets, dressed up to mimic their mothers in some infused setting, a long ago time and place. Where etiquette modified behavior and nods of approval were given each time she remembered to cross her legs at the ankle.
Stay clean and to be sweet…
Women do it to other women. Discussed and served on a platter and covered with cellophane, used to preserve the female. How her life should be, what she should do and old innuendos. It may be too late for my generation to dismantle the invisible walls that shuttered off technical spaces, but I imagine a different existence for my daughters.
A digital world where we’re mindful of our words, that we don’t recreate a mime’s struggle of walls and elevator rides that don’t go up. Where she’s paid more than chump change, pennies tossed into a basket for a million dollar act.
Someone asked me about my bucket list, I don’t have one. If I did it wouldn’t be a list of things I wish to achieve in my lifetime, but rather a list of dreams I was told couldn’t come true, without ever having dreamt of them.
Like a mime on a street, as we stop and watch him, as he does nothing.