This is a gun.

This is a gun.

From the Rehearsal Room… 

the CONTACT project process is deepening, and we find ourselves moved…to tears, to anger, to hysterical laughter….to formation, to renovation, to solidarity, to push-ups….pushing up against the fight, the flight, the meeting, the holding of…one another.  the pressing into flesh and bone…contact…the memories, the histories, the shared pain and sorrow of fathers and grandfathers and nephews and nieces who would not speak to us of their experiences, who beat her instead…who held in their own, giant, breaking hearts – in silence.

we find that

over and over again, we have different versions of same stories.

we find that

we have very different stories, but same hearts doing same breaking.

we find that

our listening to one another and our moving through the work of training, composing those painful and joyful and loving and destructive moments into theater — we transform, transpose, translate our realities into a new memory.  a contemporary, SEEN AND HEARD, version of these histories,

now united with others.

hats off to this ensemble and to all veterans and veteran allies doing the work together to bring us all into a more felt experience of this LIFE.



writings from the ensemble

This is a gun. [by Daniel Bear Davis]

This is not a symbol.
This is a toy.
This is not a gun.
It is a symbol
Of a gun.
A gun is not a toy.
A gun can take life.
A symbol can take life.
A symbol can give life.
This is not a symbol.
This is a M16A2 5.56mm rifle. Standard military issue. 800 rounds per minute. air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, shoulder-fired designed for either automatic fire (3-round bursts) or semiautomatic fire (single shot) through the use of a selector lever. It has a fully adjustable rear sight. The bottom of the trigger guard opens to provide access to the trigger while wearing winter mittens. The upper receiver/barrel assembly has a fully adjustable rear sight and a compensator which helps keep the muzzle down during firing. The steel bolt group and barrel extension are designed with locking lugs which lock the bolt group to the barrel extension allowing the rifle to have a lightweight aluminum receiver.
This gun saves lives.                         This gun takes life.
This is a theater.
It is not a battlefield.
A theater is a place for symbols.
To shoot it out under hot lights. Ever aware of the audiences predatory gaze. Devouring the details of our every move.
What would you die for? There will be no more dying here tonight.
Skin in the game.
Blood on our hands.
Death is not a fucking metaphor.
This is a battlefield.
Where we ask, what would you LIVE for?
This is not a battlefield.
This is not a gun.
I will not die for you.
But I will live for you.


What would you fight for ? [by Carmen Serber]

First of all: What does fighting mean? What is the definition for a fight? 

A definition for fight in the dictionary says: a fight is taking part in a violent struggle involving the exchange of physical blows or the use of weapons. Fighting seems to be very negatively connoted, something we should not do, at least in our culture. I do agree that a fight is usually violent, but it is also an extreme expression of emotions. Through a fight we express ourselves, and being able to express as many emotions as possible makes us a whole (more whole) individual. I believe that learning how to fight the “good” fight can help to understand ourselves and the world around us. An understanding that prevents us from suppressing emotions and later on destroying the humanity in ourselves which might be nothing else than what I would define as war. Destroying humanity.

 A “good” fight releases turbulences in our energetic systems, it can help our bodies to be heard and seen and most of all it calms the body and the mind when it is over. It even can help to find resolutions in an ideal circumstance. I believe, if we all had had more permission, allowance and invitation to fight as children, we would be able to perceive and bear confrontative situations earlier and much better. 

I worked with children in a psychiatry and fought enormous fights. Real physical and serious fights. I was projected with so much frustration and anger that could not be addressed to the origin source (parents, siblings, teachers…) as there was no acceptance for fighting or “bad” emotions! Often a fight resulted in exhaustion, but also in relaxation and a lot of released tension. The children were calmer and able to talk about their fears and frustrations. They were able to order their emotions and understand the source. Furthermore, I could understand parts of their family dynamic which helped the whole family system. 

I am for a dedicated area in each home where parents and children are allowed to fight with each other for a limited amount of time and if necessary daily. Fighting before talking. But communicating after a fight is essential!

I think war is not about fighting. I think war is about destroying (humanity). 

One Comment

  • Chris

    This was absolutely inspiring, thanks for sharing! I especially liked the juxtaposition of battlefields and theaters in This is a gun.

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