Tectonic Women… Gina Wilkinson

| Blog, Her Side of the Story Blog, Uncategorised |

Researchers say that after seven years (some say ten), every cell of your body has renewed itself. So I could say that I become a new person, every seven years.

I love this idea that I continue to somehow renew myself as I age. I also love this ‘shedding of self’, a reminder of life’s ephemerality.  A reminder that nothing can be preserved, kept as it is and that change is inevitable. Everything, everyone ultimately transforms.

On December 30, 2017, I marked the 7th anniversary of my dear friend Gina’s death. She left us all too soon and so quickly. Taken in full swing. Leaving us the same way she lived: with fire and fight.

Seven years have passed… Wow. And so now (if this shedding is indeed true), none of my existing cells have known Gina.

And yet…

Her presence has increased, inside of me. Gina is in my body, I feel these new cells do know her. I can feel her in my bones, my blood, my heart, more than ever.

On this day, I want to celebrate my dear friend and colleague Gina Wilkinson.

An amazing artist: actor, writer, director and painter.
She was brave, unpredictable, inventive, generous, fun, audacious, sexy.
Always wore the best and craziest coats.
Was the ultimate hedonist.
Had the most infectious laugh.
Was electric and unpredictable on stage.
Played brilliantly with the English language.
Loved to shock and surprise.
Was inspired and inspiring.

Gina no longer walks among us as she used to. She has… transformed. Her presence increasing
through her physical absence.

Her art now lives in many of us. It certainly does in me. I have become a better artist since her death. I’ve taken more risks, failed more and soared higher as a result. I have wanted to honour her in my work. And I do. By saying yes, being more vulnerable, sailing unknown waters and accepting discomfort.

Once, Gina said to me: “I like who I am when I’m with you.” It is the greatest compliment anyone has ever paid me. An inexplicable and transformative currency of care.

Gina, I love who I am when I am with you too.

And this is my hope for women. That we can truly see each other and relate to one another with a fearless love. The impact of women bravely loving and empowering each other in a culture that often demands the opposite is, in my mind, an act of revolution. In 7 years time, I hope that our communities, like our bodies, have become wholly renewed but indelibly imprinted by the work and life shared between women.

On this day, and every day, I toast you Gina. Bravo to you and to all the women who dare to be all that they are.

Micheline Chevrier