Separation: experienced as a mother, a daughter, a human. This body of work draws connections between the push and pull of early motherhood and the heartbreaking separation of children from their families at our border.
I often think about geologic time as the fleeting moments of early motherhood drift by yet drag on for ages. As I slowly separate from the life I carried inside me and continued to carry for years attached to me, I weep for those mothers and children just like us forcefully separated too soon while seeking refuge.
Circles represent wombs and curled up babies, women in all their roundness, toddlers bouncing and running. I think of these circles as pulling on each other as they separate and thus reshaping like water into drops. During pregnancy, fetal DNA can enter a mother’s organs and remain there for decades. When nursing, the baby’s saliva is pulled into the breast and informs the composition of the mother’s milk to meet the baby’s unique immunological needs. Even as mother and child separate, they pull bits of each other along. I am forever changed. As is every mother.
In a New Yorker article in November, 2018, Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan poetically describes the connection between a mother and a nursing infant and the horrifying effects of separating them.