My Sis

This is my sis, my twin, my go to for sharing everything from parenting dilemmas to artistic quandreys, from existential freak outs to baking a chicken. We aren’t quarantining together but my apartment building has made one exception to our prohibition on visitors, Carol Pratt’s twin sister Abbie. We have made films together, written a book together,  studied Psychoanalysis together, we have parented each other, we have nursed each other’s children.  She is a yoga teacher, sheathed in 25 years of brilliant theory, known throughout the yoga communities of the United States, Europe and now Japan. My son Sammy and I have been her demonstrators in her Zoom yoga classes during the Covid19 pandemic, where teachers and students continue their practices. After the classes she leads discussions about how her students are doing during this period of isolation, she hosts discussions with her teachers every other day and meets on zoom with her apprentices who study her material and with her guidance their teaching and their lives expand. She is a fierce advocate of her teachers, she is extremely opinionated about the brand of yoga and it’s attendant theories and writes about and lives what she preaches. Most simply put, she is a proponent of Chinese theory and medicine. Although her theory, metaphors and teaching techniques to rehabilitate the body are impressive and has depth beyond how to embody a pose, it is her personality that ignites her students.

Like her teaching her mothering is direct, often disarmingly frank and demanding, usually but not always shrouded in humor.. She has three talented children all with equally large, loving personas. I am so proud of them and consider them my children as well. 

I have told her that if I get sick and tragically die from Covid19 that she will be the mother of my children immediately, no stoppies. Her answer, “totes.” Being a twin has taught me who I am. Looking exactly like another person all my life has demanded that I know who I am, where I begin and where I might be going and just whose journey we are on.  Being so alike and yet so very different has meant defining myself over and over for myself and those around me, which can be obnoxious I’m sure.  However, for me it has been an existential pursuit from a very young age, with mixed results, depending on my age, level of ambivalence and who I can share it with. Where do I begin and end with respect to my twin’s existence, her wants, her gifts, her challenges? 

Designing clothing has been one revealing answer. I started cutting up my clothing to remake them in a more boyish vein when I was very young. Perhaps it was a way for me to articulate a difference. Although it was probably a response to the fact that the men in my family seemed to roar their opinions to snag the light. But  It was also an attempt to rework my mother’s choices for me, to reconfigure the shape of my body and to assert and insert my values. Clothing has always been, for me, a dialogue, a tellining. And with my twin, a loud one and it’s on going.

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