30 May 2014

Rhetorical Roots

I am leaving on a jet plane to the District of Columbia.

In my carry-on, I have some of the most precious pieces of my life.

Art feeds me. It regenerates. It invigorates. It educates.

If you have followed me, you know I am a photographer. I capture the lives of those I love and the issues that impact our world as women, people of color and adoptees.

Lately, as I struggled with the lack of history, I began to work more intensely on my ceramics. I began throwing what my hubby likes to call “door stoppers” in the fall of 2009. It was new, and I saw that form as a way of making dinnerware.

As I began to throw more creatively, I still struggled with my need for perfection. All pieces must be symmetrical. I joke that I hate mugs with handles for this reason, but secretly, I just dislike pulling handles.

My work progressed to flowers this fall. They had more meaning to me. Growth and reproduction.

But this winter, the news of no records and the potential of not knowing my original family began to take a toll. So, I locked myself away in music and clay. What emerged were these expressions of emotion tied to my adoption experience.

With each cut to the roots, I felt progress. While it wasn’t the progress I wanted, it satisfied my needs.   Each cut became deeper, but I never seemed to cut through … I wanted to cut through and create a break to the other side. As I worked, I realized that perfection just wasn’t in the cards. My last work was a deconstruction. Even though I was going for imperfection, it still was balanced and symmetrical. Some things just cannot be cut out of a person.

Some of these pieces are accompanying me to Washington, DC, and the Living Loud event at Busboys and Poets at 1025 5th St. NW, this Sunday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. I will be meeting up with many of my Lost Daughters sisters.

Please come and listen to the voices of adoptees as we explore our rhetorical roots.

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