Pattern Seeker

I was born to two mathematicians in the cold part of February, days after Imbolc.
 

The lines of my ancestry traveled from Scotland, Ireland, Germany, England, Scandinavia, and Bohemia. My maternal grandparents raised my mother in Pennsylvania and my paternal grandparents raised my father in England.

I was born in a birthing center, less than ten miles from the United States Capitol.

My parents were matched and married in a mass wedding in Madison Square Garden by notorious Reverend Sun Myung Moon. They are divorced and I am not longer part of the church community, but that, among many things, has shaped me.

I am full of books I've yet to write.

 

I was born to a family of pattern seekers and people who like to sing. I’m a pattern seeker and a pattern breaker. I’ve drawn the heavy lines in the ground, in my heart, in my voice and behavior, saying “This stops here” – to shift generational patterns that caused me pain, to help remove the trauma from our family lines. I try to unweave the pain and reweave the beauty; to save the knowledge of when the bulbs first show in Spring and how to sing harmonies.

 

I am motivated to participate in resistance to systematic oppression. I strive to heal the personal and generational traumas of racism, poverty, domestic abuse, sexual violence and colonization, including work to restore languages that have nearly been lost due to forced silence. I attempt to balance my participation in movements with outspoken advocacy and humble attentive listening.

 

I observe that as a descendant of colonizers, with a childhood positioned in suburban, middle class, American privilege, that there are many perspectives that I am unaware of.

I continue to ask questions, listen and educate myself to become more aware of global and specified circumstances. I have been humbled and blessed by powerful friendships and allies. I have bolstered myself with art and vision, with the support of others, and in support of others. I celebrate life fiercely as a creative, intentional human. I sing my children songs from my blood memory that sound of old mountain melodies.

 

I'm inspired by macro details: grains and threads, stories passed down through generations. By the baby fox whose eyes I saw in the headlights several nights ago, and the discarded whiskey single on the dirt road, several nights later, whose reflection I mistook for baby fox eyes. The rabbits nosing around on the frosty ground for onion bulbs. The sun on my back. Geometric patterns in organic contexts, and variation in the thickness of my pen line.

 

Language and Illustrative Line

 

I play with language and pen lines in similar ways: distilled emotion and rough landscapes of narrative.

 

Surrealism is my catalyst for articulating the abstract. I let my longing settle; follow it to its cusp, with words, paint, and fine lines.

 

These fine pen lines sometimes explode, rash and frustrated, shifting from subtle distinctive contours into frantic scratched textures tearing brutishly across the page and then transforming back again to discretely rendered lines and figures.

 

When I write, I follow the rolling – the way thoughts travel when they haven’t slowed down for the sake of logic or respectability. The result is dense, emotionally charged abstractions heavily packed against each other, textured alternately and simultaneously with washes of grief, glowing with joy, and gritty with historical context.

 

Creative process is my healing mechanism and my source of pleasure– to find myself and the world more bearable and more articulated. Even when the pieces are stark, painful representations of reality, they allow me to synthesize it. Catharsis sustains me, because it makes room inside of me for simplicity.

© 2020 by Nicole Celeste Anderson

 

Photo by Jonah Michea Judy featuring clothing design by Mirabai Kwan Yin www.mirabaikwanyin.com