dw: There is a sense of vulnerability in taking time to focus on discomfort in this way, and similarly across many of the new rituals within this book. Would you consider vulnerability to be a key element to a lot of these rituals?
CA: Vulnerability is often a good place because it denotes an open position. Honesty is the most important aspect of such a ritual.
dw: I want to speak to this theme of vulnerability more. Over a period of nine days, during this interview, I performed your ‘Toe-Clench Barometer’ ritual. The tension in my toes pushed and hurried and poked at many things. I thank you for an invitation to reflect on performativity and strength and politeness and comfort and radical self-identity. It has helped inform a difficult conversation I initiated this week. Letting my mothers know I will shortly begin taking hormones was a fear of the future I have been ruminating on for some time. However, when I actually spoke to them and received warmth, acceptance, and care, I realised how much the fear was simply a fear of my own vulnerability. It is a kind of permission to oneself that every so often needs reignition. A gentle reminder that fears can often manifest and curdle within, and yet inform so much of what is placed or projected outward.
CA: It makes me so happy that you had that conversation with yourself and your mothers! My very best to you and thank you for the opportunity of this interview!