I was a child, maybe eight years old, when a family friend took me fishing in a small farm pond outside of town. I remember he handed me the rod to reel in a giant catfish he had hooked. I struggled to get it to shore in alternating fits of excitement and exhaustion. To my horror and amazement this person removed a knife from his belt and cleaned the fish before my eyes, making me an accessory to the act in real time. He pointed to a large mass in the guts, identified it as the stomach and deftly sliced it open to reveal a fully formed bluegill inside. I watched stunned as he proceeded to gut the bluegill as well, delicately removing a partially digested minnow from its stomach in turn.
There is something here about the illusion of living edges, the truth of interconnectedness and suffering, the mystery of beginnings and endings, the profound power in water. We are social animals performing in time, loving, attending, deluding, consuming and destined to be consumed. Intentional play, humor and absurdity are grounding, revealing approaches to making. For me, the only honest paths forward for creating work, for human solidarity.