Home: The Journey of Water

The water that our ancestors touched is the same water that we touch today – when we stand in a river or an ocean, we can be assured that our ancestors touched the water that plays at our toes, ankles, knees, and hands.

The human body is anywhere from 45 – 75% water depending on our age, weight, and gender. And for those who arrived to the United States of America, whether by choice or force, water was likely a unifying element to be traversed by air or sea. Water both creates a natural border and also allows passage. It provides freedom and has also enabled slavery. It has separated us from our families. And allowed us to birth new biological and chosen families. Water is our lineage. Without water, life would cease.

We have created man-made borders for 195 countries. Those borders contain within them a lifetime of memories – smells, tastes, touch, sounds, relationships, and landscapes. When we leave these borders, these memories are carried with us in the waters of our bodies – breaking the illusion of those man-made borders being something that could contain or constrain us or something that was needed in order to keep us safe. We carry the love of our ancestors and families (biological and chosen), as well as their expectations and hopes. We carry the hope of building a life where we can thrive and a life that can sustain generations to come. We carry this love, these hopes, and these expectations with us in the waters of our bodies.

This piece explores the universality of our relationship to water, ancestral and present-day, both boundaried and boundary-less, as a means of life in all of its forms. It is an invitation to consider how we are shaped by the geographic, mental, and emotional boundaries of where we were formed. It is an invitation to examine our relationship with ourselves, our families, and each other in the universality of our experience of water. It is an invitation to find our footing in a place of equality and equilibrium, where no matter how small or large the country we come from, our oceans and rivers of experiences, wisdom, and perspective, are needed and necessary in these times, equally. And it is an invitation to remember that no matter where we are in the world, we can step into the water that our ancestors also touched.

duck cotton canvas/fabric dye and paint/cherry

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