Deep Time Ceremonial Entanglements
Metabolizing the experience has felt like sipping a deep-time brew of entanglements: ancestral, ecological, cosmological, cultural, matriarchal...
A part of the process involved listening to Ursula’s stories of her badass mama, and the way she, as an artist, challenged gender-normativities. It also involved listening to the journey Ursula has been on with her own process of ancestral honoring and re-membering. There was (and is) an inter-ancestral invocation happening through the veins of Ursula’s personal family history within the stories she shared.
It also involved me asking questions about Ursula’s vision for the regalia, and what some of the traditional movements within Tlingit ceremony are. She showed me how women and men traditionally dance, and then we played with those movements (as my ancestral tapestry doesn’t include Tlingit).
I’m always stunned by what it takes to conjure holy moments that reverberate across time, and all the forces and bodies that are involved.
For example, the life of these photos is infused (and brought even more alive) by the lands we participated with that day.
Lands whose stories live in the crevices and chambers of rippling rock and towering spires. A land inhabited by the very old elder “crypto soil” (that can be several thousand years old), rabbit brush dappling the land with rich yellow, and rock people that adorn the ground with all manner of color and texture. Rock people that speak in geological time. Lands that coyote, fox, owl, roadrunner, and rabbit call home. Lands of mixed and diverse human ancestry housed by a single descriptive of Pueblo peoples.
It was a day where the clouds and the wind played with the regalia and our talented photographer Kahlil Hudson (Ursula’s brother), which was another layer of beauty evoked. Familial co-dreaming - her brother supporting the introduction of this sacred garment to the world through picture.
And my own body that has cellularly been mattered into being by my own ancestral tapestry. Ancestors that adorn my face, and dance through my marrow. Human and more-than-human ancestors, alike.
Through flesh, bone, breath, sweat, and blood lands meet lands through tapestries of entanglement. Desert kisses ocean through the supple contours of feet. Exposed soil hears stories of densely packed forests. Sky whispers evolving memories told and re-told by the stars. Shapeshifting rock remembers other bodies while witnessing new bodies of articulation.