Onions, cinnamon, apple, garlic Alexis' stump covered in chocolate in Lindsay's hand an upside-down wrist tattoo wonder
Mad Home: Process
We snuggle. Pet a dog. Dissociate. Dream. Eat 100% chocolate with mint, a taste sensation we affectionately term ‘butt blood.’ Laugh (tired-abs, cheek-aching, involuntary-tears kind of laugh). dales brings memes about robot furnaces, poetry and zine-making, and sweet tales and tips on queer glute workouts. We challenge one another, stating needs and desires and dislikes and no-go’s: apologizing, shifting our actions and relations. Nathan crafts monologues that make the hairs on my body stand in praise, populating a whole world in my bedroom with projects that are (and make us come) undone. We actively negotiate not ‘shoulding’ on ourselves or each other. Sticky hands, flappy hands. Nathan and Lindsay Mad collaging on their hotel bed, layering and gluing together timelines of now and the moments that have been carefully collected over the past fifteen years. We massage knots out of each other’s shoulders. Sing songs to each other: “I wish it was Christmas Day” (dales) and “hello darkness my old friend” (Alexis) and “mmmbop” (Lindsay). Alexis leads us in a sensory encounter with food: we cover our limbs in chocolate sauce, mix garlic and smoked paprika and dates, take bites out of an onion, touch smooth wood cutting boards and sharp knives, eat combos that make us cringe, and love the cringing. “I get to make a sparkly jar, I get to put avocado on my body, I get to paint people I love. Like, what the fuck, man?! This is amazing” (Alexis). Sarah grows plant babies for potting (black pansy and lavender and other scent-rich herbs), and teaches us to make glitter jars with a lusciously loose recipe. We pour too much glitter and then pour some more, “making it worse,” which is sometimes better. Create swirling cosmos, and a toy dinosaur graveyard. Sharpie sharpie sharpie, potato potato potato. We like dogs and succulents more than most humans. Swing on a porch swing. We talk about bell hooks’ notions of love (2001) and Alison Bechdel’s Fun home: A family tragicomedy (2007), and Sarah Ahmed’s feminist survival toolkit (2017). We bring our favourite books to litter the home: Star Trek aliens and Eva Hesse who used caustic materials to make magnificent sculptures and went “a little like us” (dales). Lindsay collects pots and papers and paint, glue and glitter, soil and snacks, bananas and tents. Alexis makes us waffles while we share our wants and needs with each other before we opened the doors to our Mad Home. We challenge our perfectionism, reminding ourselves that this can’t be ‘done,’ and that “perfection harms me 24/7” (dales). We invite Danielle in to help us hold space, for us and for others, so we can be in our Mad Home without being forced to perform as ‘host.’ We work to hold both physical and psychic space for our differences, our distance, our specific needs and desires, and our unique artistic practices.
[three dinosaurs ride on top of one another next to black and white butterflies on top of bell hooks' "all about love" on top of a jigsaw puzzle next to four different sensory toys]
Some elements that shape our Mad Home include: becoming affected by friends and ancestors across time and space; decorating our walls with the stories we want to tell; finding home through dialogue; honouring our needs and desires in collaboration; inviting into discomfort and distress; curating for anti-pathologization, access, and support; curating for memory and breaking-as-resilience; curating Mad sensory worlds; and sharing Mad Home beyond these walls.