Above is a piece of spiritual jewelry I made out of aluminum wire, meant to hold a bough of nightshade inches from ones' face. This plant is devastatingly beautiful but invasive and poisonous; deep green with purple flowers that turn into multi-colored berries. I am wearing it like this because I feel that we as a society are too detached from our mortality, and the truth therein. Death and the truth are common denominators - one seeks us all and the other we must seek, actively, and constantly, because it is not static. Mortality is a strong unifier and catalyst I've found, and the upside of grief is that sometimes it can be a deep and mysterious motivator, and that it can gift us with profound appreciation for our loved ones and our own existence. I'm not saying that it's not terrifying or not hard or not sad. I've been in a weird vortex of grieving pretty privately for years. I'm saying that no one is ever, ever alone in this regard. So much of death is a shared experience. And that death is there for a reason, both literally and figuratively. Death is truth, and truth brings death to illusion and often, ego. The shared experience of literal death brings empathy, and so often empathy is the revealer of truth.
.... So, I wear this bough of poisonous nightshade when it is time to stop seeking comfort, when it's time to face death and remember: that which is not love is fear, but even in fear there is an opportunity for empathy, which is fear's alchemy to become love once again.
All the time that you thought it could wait
the thing that you love was escapin’ right out the back gate
And all the time that you thought you just waste
You’re actually building a throne for the thing that you hate
A-a-a-a-ll the things you thought I wasn’t capable of
A-a-a-all the things I thought I wasn’t capable of.
Sidenote : I have been inspired and turned onto the notion of a “death doula” by my friend and fellow artist, Emily Cross (see: Cross Record / LOMA ) (who happens to also be a visual - musician - artist - scorpio - person and co-produced Petrichor on my 7”). I am thinking that later in life, I might go down that path, to be there for and to sometimes even guide those who are nearing the end of their own life or a loved ones’. We all have our own truths to help reveal, even as they change, to the world — no one should feel lesser than for their, and mine may be as a death doula, eventually. For now it is as an artist, but frankly, the individualism of my art is bothering me, even now. Community and sustainability and inclusiion is to be valued and glorified as much as independence and beauty in its many easily seen or mainstream forms. Anyway, just thinking out loud here.
Love you. Wanna be better all the time, what ever that may mean. Let’s do our best to not be afraid.