A T a l e O f C o m i n g O u t
In late Summer of 2016, I posted a version of this picture to both my personal and professional social media. Then I deleted it. Then posted it again. This time I left it. But I wondered if it was ok. I wondered if it would be misinterpreted. I wondered how I wanted it to be interpreted. What did it mean to me?
Recently it was National Coming Out day, and Indigenous Peoples’ day before that. I am often late to the party, so to speak. And though I am typically quite vocal online, I said nor shared anything which outwardly acknowledged either day. I thought intensely about both though as I navigated the delicate situation which demanded my more immediate attention in real life.
But then I took that photo.
I was alone in the grow dome on my father’s property. I’d been sitting for tea by myself, getting still and quiet as I journeyed within, contemplating the emotions that had moved through me since arriving in this tender place that once felt like home. The atmosphere was balmy in the dome, despite the chill of the mountain air, just beyond its walls. I have always loved it in there. It is warm and moist and smells like earth. The vitality of the plants is palpable. And so I took this photo. And I loved how it came out. It seemed to me, to accurately communicate a feeling which I’ve tried to capture, through both words and images with limited success. It is a feeling which has guided many of the most precious and meaningful moments of my life. It is, simply, the love that lives in and through my body, both for and as this Earth.
I am someone who is aroused by the scent of soil, the sight of petals spreading wide in invitation, beckoning to the bees who will drink in their nectar, and collect their powder-fine pollen as a devotion to life itself. I am someone who is aroused by the breeze playing in my hair, the touch of feather and flower against my skin, the sensation of the Earth cool and solid beneath my feet. Sharp teeth and strong arms. Soft lips and the scratch of hair on bare cheeks, bare breasts. Thunder. Birdsong.