Wise Women

“One sentence speaks from a thousand tongues: the cage is You.”

[A Visionary Collection]


I hope in the chaos you see the correlation.

-Ani

Wise Women

 

I’m called back to the time 

of sages and seers, 

wise women

and weavers,

those who thrust

their will 

in spinning

the spools of 

fate’s tools,

 

chanting invocations-

 

incantations from above,

 

healing,

sensing,

making,

breathing,

weaving what’s to come. 

 

 

 

(Inspired by my night table read- Witches and Pagans [Women in European Folk Religion] by founder of the Suppressed Histories Archives: Max Dashu)

 

Tiny Bottles

I don’t remember when I first got the little glass beauties, but I do remember realizing I could use the tiny bottles as tiny vases (for aesthetics, or the faeries.. or whatever..). 

There was just something about the delicate beauty of a miniature vase; I was hunting for flowers to my glass slipper. And throughout the hunt, and as any Michigander would (should they find themselves on a similar pursuit), I eventually plucked a ripe, yellow dandelion flower. 

I know. 

If you love a flower you’re not supposed to pick it right? It won’t grow and blah blah blah. 

A small note that I’ll make here is: stop listening to what everyone else says

Pluck the flower. 

Quit your job. 

Run away at the altar. 

It’s never too late to listen to your heart’s calling. 

 

Anyway…. 

So, I plucked the dandelion. 

And I brought it inside, put it in my tiny vase, and more or less forget about it for a few days. 

It was honestly one of the first faery pots I had done, and I was new to checking for correspondences from my tiny guests…(0r, uhm… plant transformations…). 

Well below you can see what a I came to find after a few days, post-plucking, sitting in the light of my home. 

I guess I’ve just seen a lot of small children who pluck dandelions, and in a very Lenny-from-Of-Mice-and-Men-kinda way… absolutely murder them…

This made a whole thought pattern in my head about patience and waiting for your wish… maybe something metaphorical about how if you pluck a dandelion too soon you never get even get a chance at what you dreamed of… I’m not entirely sure but frankly it doesn’t entirely matter, because in the end – it’s simply not true. 

There’s so many metaphors to be drawn from this but mostly I want to point out that:

it’s never too late, or too early, or fucked entirely, or even good, or bad. 

This flower just was. 

And then I just happened to take pictures of it. 

Everything else in this piece is my human as fuck experience of it. 

 

Is there a word for feeling like you deeply belong in the midst of oblivion?

Running through the wild –

 

nowhere 

to go –

 

we’re all just 

blind lions.

I feel on my teeth this gripping desire to bare my soul for the world

but I feel saddened, shamed –

caged

– by those unmoving from their shallow sands. 

 

This emotion is meant to provoke me. 

 

And herein I stare, at the whispering mirror

Wherein it’s gaze, nakedness lay before me. 

 

And one sentence speaks, from a thousand tongues:  

“the cage is you” .

Petal Worship

Vision-er 

of 

petal worship

 

Shadow 

rising 

in my flesh

 

The key 

to life 

is 

imagination 

 

 

and 

aching.

 

Home

Everything about you

was a house I never owned, 

walls I never touched, 

entire rooms never roamed, 

closets were undiscovered – 

with an attic out of reach, 

uncharted waters lets to a basement down beneath. 

There’s a great big kitchen, where I can’t find any dishes. 

And every room still – 

I don’t know where the switch is. 

Yet with all these unseen spaces I’m waiting more to roam –

everything about you 

is still a place that feels like: 

home. 

Public Journal 003: 

When I heard the words Visionary let me tell you.. a monsoon of different ideas and creations swept over my head space. I could have, in any instance, stopped with a single idea I had, fully developed it into something that would be enough for this posting, and maybe even be more concise/ applicable… 

But, I mean.. as you can see… 

That’s clearly not what I did.. 

I think a lot of people would view the new ideas themselves as visions, but for me it’s the whole swill of them together; it’s finding the webs in the woven fabrics – of it all

 

When I was five years old I had a birthday party. There’s a long version of this story but the short is that I was the youngest by far at my 5th birthday party – celebrating with a lot of children I did not know – in a state I did not call home. 

And during this party, among the multitude of games we played, one of them was Pin the Tail on the Donkey, undoubtedly from the closest party store, and still showing crease marks on the donkey poster as it hung on our yellow, wood siding. 

But at 5 I could see those crease marks made grid lines, and though you can’t see anything while attempting to make your mark, you certainly can feel

I might not have won every game that day (me, trying to bob for apples with no front teeth..), but I pinned the goddamn tail as though God had placed it himself. 

 

I remember the first time someone told me I was observant. Seven years old, I’m in school and we’re learning how better vocabulary can transform a sentence. And my teacher, through his examples, was using much more attention-grabbing-voice-inflections in the sentences containing the higher caliber vocabulary words. 

For example, “A big cloud covered the sky.” was said robotically in contrast to “A ginormous cloud…”. He’s not exactly tricking us, he’s just a good showman, but I wanted to point that out – and that furthermore, I think if he said the lesser vocab word with all of the energy of the second sentence, maybe people would be just as interested nonetheless, maybe it’s not always about the word you use, but the meaning you put behind it. 

And I told him all this, after class as we were on the way to lunch, and he didn’t say anything more than, “has anyone ever told you how observant you are?”. 

 

When I was 16 years old I was involved in a car accident, hit head on, each of us going 55 miles per hour. I was on my way to my junior year orientation. I was driving, still had my permit and needed the driving hours, my mother was in the passenger seat as my guide. It was a sunny day and I had on my favorite shoes. 

I broke the largest bone in my body that day, among other things. But the fracture that really broke me was not of my femur, but of the life I had come to know. 

So many things changed for me within a single day. And as days passed entire seasons and lives and deaths and rebirths sprung from my being. I was so angry at the world when the accident first began (even now I speak about the accident in terms of the period that followed rather than the instance of impact). And it was only in digging the goddamn graves did I find myself again. The burial of the girl you once were – except it’s every goddamn day for three full months. 

I have a tattoo from the most major lesson of that period, and it’s really the cumulative lesson in all the thousand little soft and sharp and chaotic and self-saving lessons of that time:

the most important thing is to find your balance

A tricky thing – admittedly, when you are first learning to walk. You think it’s like riding a bike.. but balance itself is much more of a daily effort than I think anyone truly notices… 

Nearly two months of no walking; of all wheelchairs, and sitting in the shower; of being carried down the stairs and, of mostly – just lying in bed. And when I first finally put weight on my leg after the burning fall of 2015, I was flabbergasted at the resemblance of my footing and that of a new-born, baby giraffe. 

I had lost all sense of balance. 

And in seeking that stability in my body, the web shown through the veil – and I saw how all of my deaths were there to make space for the beam of my new life, the crumbling of the past to lay pathway for my prancing. 

I tell people a lot that I stopped caring about the childish bullshit during that period (because I was forced to… because I quite literally had no time or space to think of things outside of my healing and growth..), but do people ever stop caring about something they truly once did? No. I still care that so-and-so had this-or-that perception of me; I still remember and find validity in the problems of before – but in holding all of these other things in proper balance, the weight of those experiences fall far beneath any threshold I now have for feeling. 

The balance meant not only learning how to walk again, but how to do school and have friends and be social and also take care of myself in the most incredibly difficult period of my life. 

It meant going to events in incredible pain because my social side was dying of hunger. 

Or not seeing anyone for weeks at a time, because I was summoned within by the beast who bred me. 

And this might all sound very intentional but really the only step in this balancing act is to release control-

to get out of your own way. 

The ebb and flow is always existing; whether traveling through, or suffocating beneath, you – is your choice completely. 

 

When I first started college I was taking an english, a psychology, a biology, and a philosophy course. Pretty standard for a first semester undergrad. And though all those subjects can feel wildly different, and all of them were certainly taught by different professors, I found myself in a constant wave of correlating thought patterns. From class to class, subject to subject, it felt like every guide had the same ideas to share, the same things to say; just different talking points and perspectives through which each moment came to framing. And more than ever before, I felt the interconnectness of everything around me. 

The web was tangible in those moments. 

I could feel entire ancestries coming to voice through my bones. 

And when you take a step back to think about the common denominator of those subjects, it’s simply people: people talk this way or think like this or operate like this or maybe even exist for this reason. Wildly different subjects that all speak fluently through the language of my native heart – through the language of us

 

And I guess this is all to say, when I connect in with the word Visionary: I find myself connecting with each and every piece of this silly, little – yet incredibly large and meaningful, slice of existence that’s gifted to me each day I awaken with air in my lungs; in every perspective, emotion; in every way I’ve ever been forced to come alive and feel and really just be here in this abruptly human experience – it’s evolu-sionary. 

 

Photography & Writing by: Ani Khēmeia

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