Thursday, February 7, 2013

Be Your Own Beloved #7

Every day, I am taking a self-portrait in conjunction with Vivienne McMaster's Be Your Own Beloved e-course.


Today's prompt is about Self-Reflection. I immediately knew that I wanted to use an old, lower-case letter "t" mirror that a friend scavenged for me a long time ago. As I was wandering around the house with it, wondering where to take some pictures, my eyes fell onto the picture of my Great Grandmother, and I suddenly felt this STRONG desire to include her in my portrait, somehow. Of all my ancestors, she seems to be the one I have the most karma with. Even though I never met her, she weaves her way through my life in the most startling ways.

*trigger warning: lost pregnancy*

In March 2007, I experienced a ruptured tubal pregnancy. This was particularly heartbreaking, because we had been trying to get pregnant for many years. The emergency surgery resulted in my losing my only working fallopian tube and essentially closed the door on my ever being able to be a biological mother (although sadly, it took us many more years of trying to discover this fact). Five years later, I co-created a Mourning Ritual & Un-Baby Shower to mourn the loss of my life as a Mother. It wasn't until the day of my Un-Baby Shower (held on the anniversary of my lost pregnancy) that I realized that my Mother's Mother's Mother died giving birth to my Grandmother ON THE VERY SAME DAY.

Thankfully, we live in a time when modern medicine could save my life. I survived my pregnancy. My Great-Grandmother did not. But the daughter she birthed survived and grew up to give birth to my mother, who then grew up and gave birth to me. The "Lady Legacy" of my family comes with a lot of heartache and sorrow and pain, but also a fierce creative streak, undeniable psychic abilities and a deep love for animals.

Why are my Great-Grandmother Elizabeth and I intertwined in this palpable way? I may never really know the answer, but I have glimpses through doing art, crafting ritual and doing healing work with my family. And this self-portrait is another moment of healing, understanding and love. I also love that my painting of St. Anne is peeking over my shoulder, watching over both us - that was a delightful accident!

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