The first time I watched Moana, I couldn’t stop crying. Here was a girl, growing. Her family’s expectations and eagerness to please drowning out the patient voice nestled in the depths of her belly. I cried the hardest when she saw a vision of her ancestors, strong and joyful in the confidence of their calling. They knew who they were as effortlessly as they read the stars. I stared up and couldn’t name a single constellation.

The past few years I’ve felt indistinct. Unfocused and overexposed. An accidental shot, a wasted frame. My body feels fractured, like unassembled Legos, scattered Scrabble tiles. Mind too foggy to imagine new configurations. My atoms vibrate, spreading into space. I wince as I’m pulled apart. I breath through it, praying I’ll rematerialize without transcription errors.

I’m unfinished. A dense block of text force-written for a false deadline. I’m longing for the rush of knowing what it is I’ve been trying to say. Until then, I’ll remember the work of Michelangelo: not David nor Pietá nor even the Sistine Chapel, but his prisoners of stone—unfinished, alive!

Adrian PatenaudeComment