In Love, In Dreams

by Maria PalaciosMaria PalaciosAt forty-two, I’m living the dream, my dream; the dream all artists have at least once; our own version of Paris in our pockets, a stage, an audience and our fifteen minutes of fame.My version of Paris, this time, is San Francisco. Its picturesque personality, her colors and her hills, the gentle breath of her fog and her majestic soul; the loud call of her artistic voice. In every sense of the word, San Francisco has become my Paris.My “fifteen minutes of fame” come from my involvement with Sins Invalid. The dream would not be complete without it.  There would be no rehearsals and stage fright.  No sweaty palms, raised heart beat and stomach butterflies.  There would be no big stage, or the heat of the spotlight, no flashing of cameras, no sound of applause, no green room that’s not really green, no big mirrors in the studio, no tofu and salmon wraps; those details that make one feel like a star.   Sins Invalid is all that.   It’s every artist’s love and dream, theaters and long nights, the lessons the exhaustion, the loudness of the past, the heartbeat of a movement and a message that can no longer quiet down.Until the birth of  Sins Invalid, there had been no artistic venue that celebrated and welcomed the beauty of the disabled body, the sacredness of our pain, the history of our battles and the courage to share our art and our truths.   Sins Invalid has challenged the taboos and stereotypes surrounding disability and sexuality. It gives the audience a sneak peak of a reality that for too many years has been kept in the dark. The disabled body has been shamed for being different. We have been isolated, segregated and forgotten. We have been denied the right to our bodies, the right to our sexuality.     Sex and disability are words swept under the rug by distorted social beliefs, ignorance and fear.  As a creative person, being part of this social metamorphosis and this new movement of artistic sexual liberation  is the true essence of the Sins experience.   The true dream.I came to Sins Invalid as a spoken word artist in 2007.   I came with nothing but my words and my passion, nothing but my raw metaphors and my love of performing. I came like a gypsy girl dreaming of Golden Gate Park.   A gypsy girl from Texas wearing my scars and my poems, my long skirts and my words.    Like everyone else involved with Sins, I bring my personal passions and my art.  I bring my own disability history, the color of my skin, my Spanish accent, my sins and my own political sexiness.   Yet, I have grown even beyond that.  Before Sins Invalid,  I had never performed off paper.   I had never shared my work on stage without the comfort of my printed words guiding me into perfection.    Sins Invalid challenged me to find myself artistically beyond the comfort of spoken word.  I suddenly saw myself awakening to a new persona.  My words became fearless.   A personal transformation had begun.When I fall in love, I fall in love hard and long.   I fall in love deeply and in the most intense ways.    By the time the 2007 show closed, I knew I had fallen in love.  I had fallen in love with Sins Invalid.And I’m living the dream.   The dream of  this love and this feeling, this movement, this journey of artistic sensuality.    I’m in love with being me right now at age forty-two, on stage, celebrating my sexuality while in most countries in the world I would be too old to be considered sexy.    Then lets add the disability factor.  In most cultures throughout the world a person with a disability would not even come into consideration as it relates to sexiness.   The power of the message in all its artistic forms have made the experience with Sins Invalid  my Paris metaphor.     It becomes the memory of the gypsy girl from Texas rolling the streets of San Francisco.  It becomes fifteen minutes of fame that last a life time, lines permanently tattooed to my poems.So here I am looking for the words I’ve left scattered to help me find my way back home, back to the lights and the stage, back to nights of San Francisco where I have grown heart and roots, poems and friends.   Yes. I’m living my dream.  Would I do it again?   And why?  -Some people have asked.    And the answer is yes.    I would do it again and will for as long as I can, for as long as this love will last.   Nothing is forever.  I know.   But when you’re in love, the word forever has no meaning.Love and Blessings,Maria R. Palacios