Monday, April 27, 2009


after the first piece in GIMP, in which the dancers stand directly before you in their brokenness and beauty, lawrence carter-long begins the second piece with the stem of a joke, "so three cripples walk into a bar."

carter-long fails to complete the joke and so trusts the audience to make the connection* between three objects of the joke and the three individuals with disabilities in the crew. look at us, he slyly suggests, as we struggle through the violence, soak up the intimacy, shrivel in alienation and strive before your very eyes.

look at us, carter-long demands, in all of our brokenness, boldness and beauty.

look at us, he telegraphs with his distinctive gait, but don't forget that we've been watching you too.

and though our observations could be full of bitterness and our jokes could easily objectify three able bodied assholes, i think you are beautiful. i look at you in all of your beauty, i see the risks you take and i cannot help but be changed.

i suspect that christian homiletics** are the last thing on carter-long's mind when, objectified under the stranger's eye he refuses to reduce the object before him to anything less than beauty. but i think christian preachers*** can learn so much from his self-awareness, refusal of reciprocity and his proclamation of beauty.

lawrence, i echo your assertion that "this has changed has been an honor and privilege to have the time to stop and really look at you."

* a connection i failed to make, by the way, until i read the globe's review
** a five dollar seminary word for preaching
*** of which i, in my off-work hours anyway, am one