Rebecca Sharp

Rebecca Sharp


♦ The Air that Carries the Weight ♦


We each bear hundreds of little weights, tied to our bodies with pieces of string.


The exact number is incalculable and in itself has no value.


We might start off weightless:

unthinkable, immeasurable;

floating and infinite—but we don’t.


Not even then.


There’s no way to remember              (weight or weightlessness)

and so we imagine                              (the air that carries the weight).


That moment when the very first weight joins you


is the weight of being physical, of being in the world.


It is also the weight of forgetting, the end of unknowing.

(They are contingent, those two—they feel the same, taste the same.)


It goes on regardless.


With every interaction, another weight is tied on

—even from the other room.


It doesn’t hurt, it does no harm.

We do it to each other all the time.


They might make a sound—all the little weights

knocking against each other as you move.

Some are heavier than others.


And if you’re still and close your eyes, do they rest against your jumper?


How are they attached? Is it red thread or yellow;

fishing wire; parcel tape; leather?


Is it adornment?

It could be a game.

It should be reciprocal.


Sometimes the weights have a grounding effect,

lending their innate perspective,

a sense of belonging.


Other times you’ll feel them pulling in one direction or another.

And that could be useful, something you come to accept —

or pull against.


You make judgements, adjustments.

The weights can describe and (dis)locate;

can help you become yourself.


But for some people who have these little weights attached, it can all go the other way.

They misread the weights and instead start to feel weighed down.


They misinterpret the system—that pulling feeling:

they think the weights are telling them to speed things up.


And if you follow the weight of that thought,

then the weights are there to drag you under,

to quicken some kind of managed decline.


And if you give the weights that kind of power, those things will start to happen

(weight versus the air that carries the weight).


And sometimes we tie them on ourselves.


We are the weight and the air around it.


Accepting this language we are the push and the pull,

the tangle of strings,

the place and displacement of the physical and other ideas.


We talk about how the weights are made and who makes them;

we talk about cutting them into parts and moving them around;


we have meetings;


we do something about it.


♦ ♦ ♦



Rebecca Sharp is a writer from Glasgow, working in poetry, performance and prose. Her practice variously incorporates directing, producing and performing; working across disciplines and in collaboration with other artists.


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