make a mind,
this little child.
Day and night,
my keeper be,
every moment watch at me.
pray Daddy –
And this is where the experience begins. In the darkness before bedtime I kneel and I confront the fact that my Daddy is dead. This part of the prayer has become obsolete. I cannot pray for an empty set. It is like this after death. The absence confronts you in unexpected places. For me, this prayer is my nightly ritual of confronting my late father’s absence. In that moment, every other moment and reason to know his absence emerges. The empty side of my parent’s bed. The empty driver’s seat in it. His phone number saved on my phone.
This project seeks to explore the ways in which this absence emerges in my daily life and in the daily lives of my mother and brother. It immerses the audience member in this absence. The randomized segments of text, sound and image make it so that each audience member experiences a unique narrative arc. But every arc is composed of the same segments. In that way, the absence is all encompassing.
“I see you in me everywhere” is a line I wrote about my father. His absence, to me also connotes his once-having-been. By writing about him, by steeping myself in his memory, I radically deny his absence and render him present in a narrative sense.