Coming Up For Air

So you go to this place where you temporarily suffocate yourself. It’s not like when you go to the dentist, because the dentist actually cares about you, cares about making you well. It’s something you agree to do together. This is different. It’s about leaving your body. You don’t watch from a distant place. You leave and when you return hopefully it’s all over. You brush yourself off, check to make sure you’re intact, and go on like nothing has happened. Maybe in the morning things will be brighter, sweeter. Your mother will be there serving your favorite breakfast, rushing you off to school. But because the body is the body, and because you can’t really leave it, the memory remains there in your cells. Every cell in your body has eavesdropped on this experience. All you did was hide, hold your breath, close your eyes, coming up for air only when you had to. When you return you look at your body, how problematic it is. How imperfect it is, although it’s not that it’s dirty or impure. Then one day you bump up against this hidden place. Your cells start to speak to you and suddenly everything hurts all at once. You’re sad and guilty and you don’t know why.

Didi Schiller is the creator of the raw vegan snack and treats company, Didi’s Baking For Health. She is also a textile artist who has exhibited in New York City, although her original artistic aesthetic was rooted in performance (Dance).