EarthBodyBoat: Queer Journey of a Somatic Earth Artist
A book in process ~
Earthbodyboat is the artist’s journal and memoir of Ahjo, a queer feminist. When a crisis erupts at a political event, Ahjo faces the possibility of needing to build a defense of their right to expose their naked female nipples as a means of artistic expression and resistance. In response, they build a boat that is this hybrid book—exploring multiple art forms, selves and bodies as they navigate the stormy waters between the personal and the political.
Along the way, Ahjo encounters ancestors, Baba Yaga, spirits of the land, The Crone, The Tree of Life, and a host of other travelers of liminal spaces who have much to say after generations of being silenced.
Earthbodyboat journeys beyond the wounding of binary ways of thinking and gendering that fracture everything into parts, and, instead, offers the gifts of standing in the threshold with it all.
* * *
In writing this book, I am learning how to walk as Crone close to Earth. It is, in essence, an apprenticeship into eldership. With that comes the necessity of “getting right” with the Earthbody wisdoms residing within Crone that have been destroyed by patriarchal and white-colonial thinking. There’s no longer time to ignore Crone’s howling cry to be emancipated from the past as only myth and fairytale: Crone needs to be lived and expressed today through our actions.
Crone comes forward in Earthbodyboat as the guiding soul wisdom we all have access to. Crone offers an experience of time based on cycles of growth and death.
In distinct contrast, the young, wounded self who appears in the book expresses those doubts and fears we all walk with. This voice has internalized the judgments of teachers and people of authority, succumbed to the general malaise of patriarchal / hetero-normative conditioning, and is ruled by a linear timeline. Eventually, through the enfoldment of the book, this voice matures, developing critical thinking and the ability to self-reflect. Finding meaning in visions and art, the flame of Spirit begins to arise as our liberated, wild, queer self.
Lastly, there is the Art in which I process it all and aim to find a way to connect beyond myself to the wounding of our world. My art arises from this body where all is integrated and lives between different dimensions of time as a Warrior Elemental Creature.
I have yet to arrive at any kind of mastery in walking as Crone or living in balance between these different parts of self. Through Earthbodyboat, I offer a peek at the creative and healing potential of our woundedness and inner conflicting voices. It’s important to me to show the journey, rather than the arrival, and to live the questions, rather than the answers