Life is pushy when it wants the best for you. Sometimes you have to give in & give up, a lot…
When this photo shoot was set up in the spring, I knew I wanted to wear the dress I’d hung in public the previous October 4th as requested by Metis artist, Jaime Black. Her ‘REDress Project’ is an art-based awareness campaign in tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous women. Red dresses represent these women. (See tree photo and background notes here)
I’d chosen to hang my dress under my beloved weeping willow tree. That seemed like a poignant statement in itself. At the time of that participation, I was soul surfing through a course of life-altering loss, trauma, and life and death events.
In a way, even that gorgeous tree experienced the same before it let loose its majestic beauty. I’d saved it years before from being brutally hacked at when my ex would attempt to eradicate the ‘strange weed’ growing in the middle of our yard. … I guess my point is, there was a whole lot of understanding under and within that tree.
So, when I met up with Nadya Kwandibens, a very skilled and renowned photographer who honored me with her talent, she suggested we head to a local park and search for more of a nature-based/natural background. When we arrived, she scanned the landscape and then she pointed and said, “There – head over there, I think we should get you under those trees” – the weeping willows.
Nope, she had no idea of my story, it was just how this particular circle would finish. It seemed like a good omen and I suppose it was. I have come through what I think is the greater part of those trials and I have gained new strengths and continue to build them.
From a time I was certain I couldn’t even breathe for another 5 minutes to standing up tall enough to see – that no matter how hard the testing, no matter how hard life knocks at me, I will keep getting up. I know that now, because even when there shouldn’t have been a way I could have, I somehow did.
Like my tree, I am still standing.