“I started this year in a kind of dream state. In the beginning it came from my time in the tropics, a slowing of my pace as I spent days in the sweltering glow of a small coastal town in Mexico. I would wake to a chorus of birds, heading to the rooftop to watch the sunrise as an assembly of trumpeting roosters led the song. Birds are my favorite animals, so it was bound to be good from there.
After my decent from the sensory breakfast on the roof, I would walk along a cobblestone road, salt in the air, thick with beckoning. Within minutes I was on a quiet, golden beach. The alchemy of warm sand, pelicans slowly diving and the merging of my skin and the pulsing sea set the tone for each of my days. In the evenings, I would go back to the roof and watch the sun set over the animated town. My nightcap was to sit under the stars and get lost in its shimmering vastness while the nearby waves folded into the dark.
This sea to sky rhythm was my norm for as long as I was able to stay, and in that rhythm I felt like I had come back to my most natural self, calmer and in tune with nature.
That winter left an aftertaste on my skin, and there was no better place to stretch it out than on the beaches of our West Coast. By the spring, I was swimming in as many lakes as I could, as often as I could. I would glide into the deepest part my arms could take me, rotate my body towards the sky and sink my ears below the surface of the water, again, staring upward. I would listen to the whispers of the lake. Held in the arms of plants, the water again was calming me, holding me.
I find it impossible not to notice that these sentient energies I adore; the birds, the trees, the water…many parts of nature are shrinking.
As the year progressed, my wondrous camping trips could not hide the fact that there are fewer bird songs, many trees are cut down and the rivers are no longer swollen. The ripples of human activity do not feel smooth and I am unsure of what will happen next.
In the late part of summer, in a gesture of appreciation and concern, my dreaming body grew roots that I planted deep into the Earth. I felt it essential to dig in, asking myself questions about my relationship to the whole - whom have I hurt? How am I hurting myself? In a period where all things are extremely vulnerable, what is my relationship to my environment, my community and to time?
Time led me back, back to my parents, my grandparents and beyond. I called to my ancestors, in particular the ones who had a deep relationship with the ecosystem and with the traditions that cradle it. I began learning about the old world, the songs, the language and the ways of being, and how things changed, bringing us to where we are today.
I am still in the process of asking myself questions; I likely always will be. I have made contact with the sky, I have made contact with the soil, and I am making contact with the things in between.
Each piece in the “CONTACT” series represents parts of my year. Blues like the water and skies I swam in, greens, like the chlorophyll edges of the lake, copper, like soil, and gold; the radiance of nature. Ancestors, time and space hold the tangible pieces that fall on the canvas together. The mediums are textured and speak to the movement of life.