Clifford’s Euphoria

Think we can all admit how buttoned up most of us are when it comes to expressing raw unbridled joy. It is so intense we can find it kind of embarrassing.
For us at A.R.T. seeing raw joy lights up our hearts. The liberation!    
First let’s imagine how it feels to live a life without any means of making anything happen in the physical world. To always be a passive observer. All that yearning to engage the world stymied.  Then A.R.T. comes to town and you see what you can do with the laser.All those colors. All those different application tools. Any size canvas you want. Suddenly you are in charge and can make any color go anywhere you want it to go.  It feels like a dam has broken and out floods the joy. So. Clifford [quadriplegic, nonverbal] choosing to use our laser technique he directs the color to race, to swoop, to make slashing zigzags, looping circles, all at high speed. In this dam break Clifford begins to shout.
The more he feels his liberation the louder he shouts, color flying over his canvas, creating a super supercharged field of energy.
His professional caregivers, feeling he might be embarrassing us with all this wild shouting, they tell him, “Clifford, no shouting. Clifford? Please no shouting.”
The artist, never taking his eyes from the energized field of freedom he is creating, he is living inside, Clifford manages to bring a forearm to his mouth and bites onto it to muffle the shouting he cannot stop. Its like someone has duct taped his mouth, but you still hear him. And the color flies, Clifford’s eyes blazing with his having burst into a realm of freedom.Real action. Real energy. Real joy. That had remained so bottled up for so long.