When Katharine posted about being in hospital we started nattering (me trying to make her laugh, her telling me I was causing her physical pain). As the brand new opening to her innards began to heal into a scar we started to talk about the idea of celebrating and marking her body’s new journey. As a circus performer, her body has always been both her toolkit and her art form. With the pandemic’s onset, many people in performing arts have been having to address their connection to their bodies and where their identity entwines with how much they can physically do (and often how much they can physically do on stage). When the curtain came down in March, Katharine spent the time training her strength and flexibility and finally found the time to do the length and duration of workouts she wanted to, rather than trying to squeeze them between shows and meetings and coffee and living a fully glorious life. And just at the point that, in her own words, her body was in better shape than it had been for years, suddenly she has to learn and heal and find her new identity with this new life mark spanning across where her six pack was. It’s going to be a journey, learning her new terrain, but we wanted to celebrate how incredible it is that our bodies are always fighting to heal us. And to document that now is a time for rest and self care.
Covid has brought us many things, and for me one of the most heart filling has been building a friendship with the owner of this scar. We’ve moved in the same circles for 20 odd years but never really known each other. Behind the noise and struggling and harsh daily realities of this pandemic, a quite little beautiful thing has been been blooming all around us, and that is being able to see the ones who are really there for us, the ones who show up, the ones who you really connect to and the friendships which deserve nurturing. It looks like we are in for a hard winter ahead, so maybe reach out to someone who may be struggling with our news of six months of gloom and just remind them you care.