I Am Crossing Over the Collective Trauma of My Ancestors, 2022
Relating to the Epigenetics of Creativity Show
Crossing over the bridge is going slowly.
I am crossing over the collective trauma of my life -
myself and my ancestors thru the paint, the songs and words.
They hold me like a cradle. Like the earth - the way the Buddha sat under the tree
until there was a place on the earth to be.
Painting the ground and people and plants puts me on the ground.
I am 8 years old. My uncle Snave doesn’t talk to me much.
He takes me on the tractor out over the fields.
They are a deep green black earth, like in a dream, timeless.
The family has farmed this earth for 12 generations.
I can feel it - it comes thru the hymns - We Shall Gather at the River -
Amazing Grace - And it goes back to Hans Herr - the mythic one who took 30 Mennonites who refused to go to war and came to farm in Lancaster Pa from Germany. I see this self that paints - that plows and that does not go to war - I paint.
I paint the fields of the farm that I feel that I was born on.
I tell stories. I go into the locked wards and I meet the family.
I see the one like myself who wanted to kill his father and did and I who wanted to but did not do so.
I sing to him the song I wrote about it - we become friends. We write poetry together.
I paint plants for the seed company - I recover from the trauma
of when my sisters were born, When my brother - autistic and I took care of him - I recover from the divorce. I recover from so many words that fill my mind when I think when I become full of fear. I put it into paint.
It is a plowing of my soul. Everyone needs ways to plow their soul. Shirin and Nico are here. We will paint together and meditate. - that is what we do. They are my daughter and grandson.
He is painting these ancestors’ portraits.
Painting lets me see the face of my daughter suffering when I refused to see it.
Lets me see my rage over the divorce in the form of a clay crocodile the wind blowing thru the teeth and jaws.
Lets me see the face of my betrayed husband as he disowns me.
Lets me see in the paint the faces of myself.