Yesterday, for ash Wednesday I had the words MY MOTHER’S GRIEF written on my forehead. And instead of carrying the ashes I had grown up placing on my body, I carried my mother's grief.
I Held it. Felt it. Recognized it. Experienced it.
I sustained something that was not mine inside only to have a sense of separation,
and overlapping time. A sense that I am still processing.
I wore these words during the day as I worked a seven hour shift. I expected someone to ask about the words on my forehead. No one did. Some customers carried a strangeness, curiosity and others (maybe) a sense of discomfort in their faces. And there was this shift of power occurring for me. I was not uncomfortable with the reality of this action. I felt power. I felt power as an artist. I felt the power that comes when there is no separation between life and art.
And so I carried this power, these words, and my mother's grief all day. All of this happened without hesitation, and happened because of art. Later in the day I had my Installation & Ritual class when everything about this act came together. The experience of it all became more heavier as I read the poem in which inspired these words MY MOTHER'S GRIEF. I felt a magnifying realization of what I was doing when reading the poem out loud. And while standing on this ladder with the words MY MOTHER'S GRIEF projected on me. The depth I had not seen in the morning collapsed itself on my chest, on my stomach, on my throat. My mother's grief the one that I saw growing up as a child, and one that still exist was inside the room. It was shifting and finding its was to something besides healing.
It was inhale of promises without a terminal. An elation in which an instance survives longer than expected.
I am still processing the experience of it all while the world remains-
And the words faded like the ashes themselves.
roots intersecting without rhythm
My mother’s grief
:: found its way
to run into trees of phobias.
adjust themselves at an early age
and my mother was young
when the exaggerated
spaces were depleted from healing:::
the narrow pathways of silence
Poem from Ruinas creative thesis manuscript
DLR February 2020