preface: I’ve been writing this since sometime in August. It feels important to post this today with the context that anyone femme or born with a vagina, and doubly for those whom are not white, experiences continual assault on our bodies and denial of our right to be embodied. We see it playing out in the Kavanaugh hearings, the deeply imbedded system that thrives on taking away all our personal dominion.
Let us fill the streets, the woods, the waterways with our naked roaring sensual alive bodies!!
For within each one body,
And in the many we are sovereign!
I've been solo for five years now, healing from preverbal sexual trauma and other muck. Fuck, it’s been a long, spiraling process; and yet, I’m grateful for this opportunity to put all my sensual energies into my art and nature practice.
During this time rather than feel any sexual sensations or even heart-love feelings, I've often grabbed for booze or numbed out on TV. Sometimes I’m able to pause, to be with these flashes of sensual stirrings, which I know now as a kind of self-love. It often feels like drunkenness (even without booze).
There is still a great deal of fear about opening to this love so entangled with grief and shame.
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Part of my art-making process has merged with a form of divination. Rather than drawing tarot cards to bring clarity to feelings or for something happening in my life, I’ll close my eyes and blindly scroll through over 10,000 photos on my iPhone. I always choose two to three and then do a composite edit with them. I layer, messing with blend modes and effects, letting the mood of the moment and sensory responses to each edit be the guide. Sometimes, I’ll focus on a question as I choose images.
In June, I started focusing on this drunk-love sensation
In this first, a photo of my hand on my belly and in another photo my ear showed up, as if to say, “This will be a process of listening to your body.” It’s difficult for me to look at this photo; it’s mucky, cluttered, I feel overwhelmed. Yup, no surprise there.
The next image came after a morning somatic meditation practice. I had just found out I have fibroids that are causing bleeding multiple times a month. I focused my attention in my uterus and noticed myself cleansing from patriarchal ideas that bondage my expressions of what I’ll call Queer Mother Essence. I made space to be the All of Us here in this Body!
Even though I identify as nonbinary, my expressions, my art, often come from Mother Essence. It could be Papa essence as well. I’m not sure if I would really know the difference in my body, but because I was raised as a female I think it’s easier to associate with Mother. Recently, I heard a fellow nonbinary talk about being pregnant and the absurdity of the hetero-normative Maternity world. They described how uncomfortable it was to be called mama and mother over and over again by people working in the hospital. Then how awesome it was to be called Mama by a fellow queer.
“Yes, that!” My whole being shouted!
Not to take away from their experience of carrying a baby as a nonbinaray being in of itself a courageous act in this dualistic world but there was something in their story that also resonated in this never pregnant body. Just because someone hasn’t physically given birth to human children doesn’t mean we don’t experience parenting others or even birthing (of human and non human forms). I would love to be called Grandmother, Mama, Grandpa and Papa by fellow queers! Maybe someday I’ll be worthy of such a title and perhaps my soul and uterus will receive it as healing.
The image that showed up later that night, when I was focusing once again on sensations of pleasure drunk love, was full of life. There was a breadth of space, queer rainbows, and what I called Wind Rainbow Ally Healers (actually two dancers from Dancing Earth ). I also see a uterus in the image.
This summer has been a challenging one for me. So hot and dry, difficult to access feelings of juicy life. I didn’t return to being with the sensual love sensations until recently. I finally felt the willingness to at least grab my phone, and do some divining. I ask the sensations, “How may I know you?"
The following beautiful image came forward.
The next morning during my somatic meditation, my mind/body kept returning to the image. Drawn in by the perspective, a simultaneous feeling of expansive floating in the clouds and feeling led and contained by stairs up to the center of a soft yellow rose. I was seduced. I let myself enter, to be with it all.
Let me emphasize here how much I have avoided my heart center (until the deer tree incident). I am not someone who can be told, although many have tried, “You need to focus on your heart. You need to focus on expanding love, on gratitude.” That does not work for this bull! It’s my journey, my stubbornness. I need to find my own way, in my own time. Actually, as a neuro-different being who suffered trauma from school systems, I now know that when I learn something through my own discovery it has a much greater and lasting effect on me.
Anyways, the stairs in the image lead me directly to my flowering heart. These words came with tears:
“There is beauty here”
“There is acceptance here”
“There is love here”
I was able to be with the feeling sensations of all that being true. It’s been a long, long time since that has been possible—if ever.
Again, I see a uterus in this image, along with the hull of a boat.
I spent time with the visualization/sensations of being in my earthbodyboat vessel filled with beauty, moving forward, protected and open.
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Since writing the above a few more composite photos have come forward. These two came from the opposite direction, starting from experiences in nature and then finding a way to express them in a photo.
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After compiling all this here for you, I feel a new sense of excitement for what is next on this healing journey and life art series. There have been so many days of hopelessness, stuck in meaninglessness. But seeing this all together it’s clear there is purpose. Purpose made from allowing myself lonely wanderings, of getting lost, of letting longings guide me to cracks in earth that are cracks of this heart that are actually the way through.
And the thread always there,
that is this body’s sensation
of both pleasure and pain saying,
“come home to me,