Materiality: Harvested Landscapes + Friendships Lost #WeedstoWear

Ask and you may receive. A practice of reciprocity with land.

I’m just beginning to glimpse that trusting in the environment is a fundamental unit of loving practice. Trusting that the land that holds us will provide. This is no ordinary trust when we have been pulled for too many generations from land – either by willful ancestors or through forced displacement. We will have to reckon with how much knowledge we have lost, how much knowledge we can absorb through a deep process of interdependence with the people who continue to steward land as their mother.

I am grateful to the constant compassionate sometimes frustrated reminders by those around me who have this unit of fundamental understanding somehow still preserved in their souls. Making this project I went deeper and was struck with a deeper glimmer of the profound and devastating beauty of this love. Reciprocity.

Below I go into the process and the materials I harvested with companions who did and I recognize now have been doing their best to have this relationship to the earth in whatever way and continuing to share this pathway in face of the stubborn toxins of empire in people like me

Hoping to put these wearable sculptures back to soil in ceremony in coming weeks.

MEDIUM

bittersweet and ivy for structure, cedar cypress and yew bark for substance and the cleansing spirit of good faith, corn for flair and sustenance, mugwort for fearless intuitive pathfinding, lavendar and rose for love opened remembered inspired and protected through fragrance, goldenrod for gut health, and poetry for release of Truth

PROCESS

I harvested with respect and gratitude. I burned for clearing the air. I dried the harvest. I battled anxiety through conversation. I worked in loving meditation. I sang to calm my aching gut. I pulled lines from letters and poetry to each friend. I wove and wove and wove.

BARK

We harvested the bark from cypress yew and cedar trees – those the trees had shed and were very nearly coming off their trunk.

It is no wonder these shedding trees have long been revered in human history with life and death and the shedding of external layers as a connection to shedding evil put on our bodies before it becomes internalized

My friend made gratitude offerings to the trees each time we harvested one. I continued the process by burning cedar leaves and clearing myself of any negativity or negative intent before I would handle the pieces

these trees that shed inspired me of stories of the bark dress made for ceremony by people living in forests

I knew there was much knowledge I need to pick to harvest the bark so that it can actually be made workable, so to honor my ignorance and for the purposes of getting my hands connected, I intuitively began fan folding the bark to made them pliable.

My mantra: Still quite in the weeds but hopefully it all turns out right ????

Before long I realized I was creating the body of the ceremonial vessels with the bark – most particularly the girdle region

My stomach was a mess during this process. I was calling in the spirit of friendships lost – each sculpture called a friend. These friends were people with whom there was deep connection and effort. I would think about where we could have used support and recognized in most cases there was nothing we could do because we were so limited in what was possible. And possibly still are. I thought about how the messaging and acts of care they brought transformed my life in a fundamental beneficient way. I thought about the almost allegorical struggles I witnessed them having that we could not surmount together because we were peers and I had my own I was wrestling with.

I write more on these struggles in another post I am working on – I believe these struggles to be aggravated by empire culture – I see these struggles more and more as fragilities buttressed by empire culture. I hope we all see this one day so we can free ourselves.

These friendships may have run their course, but we can’t help but feel they were ended before maturing. What are the implications of green friendships burned by frost or cut for early harvest ?

CORN

Respectfully harvesting corn at Eastie Farm. Wow! How they growwwwww!! .
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Corn will add the flair to these wearables as only it can with its gorgeous broad crisped leaves #weedstowear

The maíz comes from El Salvador. Just exactly a year ago i was visiting. The complex history of US complicity (continued) is staggering and I wish to lift up the great love it takes to bring and make new home for people who were able to find refuge on this stolen land when theirs was / is systemically being robbed.

Photo by Lanika invitation to harvest by Kannan #ittakescommunity

MUGWORT

Drying maíz + mugwort – just so gorgeous – those delicate peachy pinks and earthy purples

Mugwort will be woven into each piece and burned before and after to secure intuitive pathfinding free from fear #weedstowearmany thanks to koko for sharing this practice .
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Drying these now so they are nice and crispy. Can’t wait to hear the rustling sounds as I work them in with poetry

In the mean time I’m singing to my aching gut and getting ready to perform .
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Many thanks to Taina for accompanying me  #ittakescommunity

DESCRIPTION / PURPOSE

A line of wearable art made of landscaping waste as ceremonial vessels for embodying holding and composting the toxins of empire that plague us because our communities so broken down not often are too many of us lucky to have everyday harms mediated so that we can see relationships through – in dispersing seminal fragilities honed by empire culture – in dispersing patriarchal toxic masculinity and misogyny – in dispersing compounding systemic violences that come from empire building – in dispersing internalized violence #weedstowear