“I found no place on which to stand…
I made a foundation in my heart by means of my own will.”
King Ptah Hotep / The Way of Ma’at at Reclaim and Live uBuntu
My Radical Joy for Hard Times' 2018 Global Earth Exchange People Binding the Earth practice was to bind my own body as representative of all mothers and children who have been denied their visions and voices, exploited, polluted, and otherwise abused within the context of a social system that exists and persists by way of exiling and shaming the mother's unconditional love, universal compassion, and collaborative nature.
I chose my body for the practice because I have been uprooted since 2013, so do not have a wounded community or another 'place' for the practice as much as I do not have others to practice with at this time. My body has been my sole refuge, my home away from home. And just as is true for whole communities, home is not always a refuge when home is vulnerable to another's fear - greed, ignorance, and ill will.
This binding of my wounded mind and body demonstrates "that this place is loved and cared for, despite what has happened". May every mother and child realize this truth and feel safe at home in their bodies - safe to be seen and heard. Treated with respect. Treated as if they exist. And their existence is appreciated beyond measure.
Binding the Womb
This image represents the mother's polluted womb - the emotional and chemical burden passed to and carried by babes if they survive the insults their mothers endure.
Binding Vision & Voice
This image represents the mother and child's vision and voice exploited, manipulated, and denied. Thus, distorted with fear, shame, and rage.
"Compassion contains deep concern. You know the other person is suffering, so you sit close to her. You look and listen deeply to her to be able to touch her pain. You are in deep communication, deep communion with her, and that alone brings some relief."
Thich Nhat Hanh, Four Qualities of Love via UPLIFT