The Dancing Bear is the title of one of my plays. The Dancing Bear is a person dressed in a bear costume. She wears it like we wear our own bodies, our own personas. You should stand clear of The Dancing Bear, because if you don't, who knows what you'll find out about yourself. (The truth hurts, doesn't it.) But then again, maybe it won't be so bad.
Genesis (triptych), Acrylic paint and graphite on three 12"x 16" boards; 2021.
I survived. It was that simple. I was spit out of a spiraling vortex where there was no consciousness of this reality, where cause and effect had no meaning or nothing else had meaning. Nothing had meaning, nothing had value, nothing was named. All that existed…was nothing.
All I could do was stay alive. Breathe in and breathe out. Pump blood through my veins. Give nourishment to my vital organs. I learned to kill with my bare hands and I learned to like it. I could fashion weapons from anything around me. A rock. A stick. My tears.
I survived. I resorted to cannibalism and I ate myself. I focused all of my energy on devising ways to kill, and in doing so, I realized that the more life I snuffed out, the safer I became. No other life became more important than my own.
John Greiner-Ferris is an artist in the Boston area. Sometimes he makes images. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he does both.