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  • davikath8

I'm Still Here

Updated: May 23, 2022

Whenever I doubt myself, the continuity of my mind and my body, all I need to do is dance, turning and winding and bending and straightening to the music of Stephen Sondheim. I connect effortlessly and instantly with the girl who, while at the age of 10, did not fully comprehend the emotional nuances of “The Ladies Who Lunch” or “Send in the Clowns,” grasped enough of tone and of character to perform a juvenile comical tragedy. Lyrics and melody transported me out of my sad basement with its orange striped carpeting and its cheap faux-wood paneling, out of the sad town in which I was born but would not stay, and out of the sad circumstances that trapped and damaged me but that I nevertheless escaped.

So I am one and the same, the dancer and the growing child, the survivor and the thriver, the melancholy clown and the sardonic critic, the one who sings and moves. Fifty-two years after my birth, thirty-six years after the bone marrow transplant that almost killed me but effectively cured me, I join my wacky soul sister, Carol Burnet, in a voice not beautiful but certainly compelling, in Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here”:

I've run the gamut, A to Z

Three cheers and dammit, c'est la vie

I got through all of last year, and I'm here

Lord knows, at least I was there, and I'm here

Look who's here, I'm still here

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