I surround myself with them
I’m obsessed with them
I’m a collector of them
I’m a collection of them
I am my mother’s story and her mother’s story before her and her mother’s story before her. I’m filled with the treasures and the traps of all these elevated and exiled Ancestors in one hand and me in the other.
I tried carrying both over a minefield because I’m acutely aware of the sacrifices that have gone into the making of me.
I tried to carry both and the attempt was breaking me so I had to choose
I worried that my Ancestors were disappointed with me or disgusted by me because I chose to let go of their narratives. The ones that made me alien in my own sovereign body.
But as I staged and staggered through my own (R)evolution I realized that they were handed their stories by a cis het white dominated patriarchy just like me.
In centering myself and my people in my narratives I am salvaging pages that have been violently erroded by oppression and manipulation.
I am a new story in the library of us.
One that gets to get told.
Black now in TECHNICOLOR!
And my Ancestors?
They are so active, so understanding, so proud and so loud. Eeeeeee and so nosey! It’s embarrassing that I have to ask them to step away from the bed when I bring my partner into it.
They love me.
They love me not in spite of but because.
Because I’m the Queer Fat Black Non Binary Femme Witch story some of them didn’t get to live.
📸 By @tristancrane photography for the Here Portraits Project https://www.tristancrane.com/blog/tag/here-portraits/