September 2022-FeBruary 2023
"Motherhood—a baptism that washes away all you thought you knew about strength, patience and unconditional love. A glory that showers you. Here I was, stripped and undone, all to be reborn again. And oh, what a sweet chaos it is. To hold the rivers from my bleeding body and liquid gold. To swell as far as Saturn’s rings. To travel the stretch marks down my breasts, my hips, my thighs. To be anointed your mother."- excerpt from my book Beckoning of the Wind: An Ode to Motherhood
As I sit here assembling these visual captures of my motherhood experience, collected over the span of six months, I'm in deep awe of the stories that these moments tell. It's quite emotional to see how the state of my mothering has evolved over the course of these months, to visually see the physical changes and feel the internal changes. This project was a spiritual assignment. Motherhood is spiritual. I cannot put it any other way. The vision came to me, and I knew that I was called to bring it to fruition. I questioned myself, heavy, wondering how I would carry this out—being twofold the studier and the studied. I doubted my skills, as documentary photography is not a realm that I've ever really explored. But I felt called.
I began my self study in September 2022 and continued through February 2023. In early January, I was diagnosed with Adjustment disorder, with symptoms of high-functioning Postpartum depression and anxiety. Though I had known for a while that something was unaligned internally, receiving this diagnosis completely altered the way that I perceived my motherhood experience. I had to sit with myself in a way I'd never really done before. There were a lot of ups and downs, a lot of uncomfortable moments. This visual synopsis is proof of that and proof of the shift that mothering has brought upon me.
I never knew something could consume me so much. That something could stretch me so wide and alter the very structure of my bones. But mothering has—and it continues to do so. It is all a baptism. A fluidity. This is my calling. Weaving my lineage, so my son will know the strength of his heritage and of his own name.
This project is partially funded by an Arts Commission Accelerator Grant made possible through support from Promedica, the Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and other generous supporters.