THE CRYING CLOSET
A healing process; get yourself a bandaid.
The marks we make that cannot be undone.
The many questions we have that are often unanswered.
Sitting on top of a steel closet with my back facing out, I place bandaids on my back. The band-aids have 엄마 (mom in Korean) written on them. I press my hands up on the wall, symbolic of shame, mimicking the way I was punished as a child.
“The Case For Not Being Born. Life is so bad, so painful, that human beings should stop having children for reasons of compassion.” (David Benatar)
Having turned 40 earlier this year, I have often struggled with whether or not I want to be a mom. Sometimes I silently punish myself for having had two abortions.
A long braided black rope is connected to my hair, tied to a silver bucket filled with black paint. I pull this bucket up to the top of the closet and drip paint down. I begin to tell this story:
I found three baby bunnies on the sidewalk. Later to find two of them dead. I moved them under a tree and covered them with leaves. A few days later I placed them in a red embroidered silk box with moss quartz and seashells and buried them by the tree. Months later, I return to dig the box out and brought them to a peaceful garden outside of Portland at a Remembrance Ceremony.
The doors to the closet is opened to reveal a black and white video of the bunnies and I climb into the top part of the closet. I twist and turn my body and finally settle into a position with my legs open and begin to pull out and unfold blood covered tissue paper from between my legs, from my underwear.
The histories of moms.
“All the eggs I will ever carry formed in my ovaries when I was a four month old fetus in the womb of my mother. My cellular life as an egg began in the womb of my grandmother. I spent five months in my grandmother’s womb and she in turn formed in the womb of her grandmother. I vibrated to the rhythm of my mother’s blood before she was born. This pulse is the thread of blood that runs all the way back through all of the grandmothers to the first mother.” (Layne Redmond)