Standing in front of a group of students sharing knowledge of indigo and other natural dye plants, I am acutely aware of the object permanence that this moment encapsulates. How knowledge endures through generations is a mystery. How and when it bubbles to the surface is not of our own devising. You might never be certain from whence it came. Yet here we are in the richness of this time, heirs of the garden of good and evil.
I am a descendant of farmers, as are many immigrant, indentured, and enslaved peoples. Service to the earth is not new, nor am I. The accumulation of my life is a direct articulation of my ancestors sowing. I am soil, seed and sun. My life and work up to this point have been built on layers and layers of legacies. I do not believe I made any of this on my own.
THE ACCUMULATION OF MY LIFE IS A DIRECT ARTICULATION OF MY ANCESTORS SOWING. I AM SOIL, SEED AND SUN.
I AM INDIGO’S MOTHER. MY GREATEST AND MOST PRECIOUS SEED.
I find most of my understanding in dreams, submerged in water. Portals that create pathways between myself and things beyond invigorate faith and ignite intuition. There are days past and present where I find myself drawn to places and spaces without words or reason, only wonder. My time traversing landscapes and cultures, taking in craft at the feet of artisans, has always felt familial. I am grateful that traditions steeped in elemental harmony are upheld in the hearts and hands of the chosen.
I am an artist who collaborates with nature. I have delighted and immersed in the beauty of botanical color for over a decade, yet my knowledge of this alchemy is in its infancy. I see the soil as a story. One that is telling of all that it holds, of all that it bears. Lush and light in its insistence of hope and liberation. Intricate and endless in its connections and depths.
There are days in the garden when I leave it all on the ground. When the weight of what I carry is too intense and I am called to lay my burdens on the earth. It is with great care and welcoming that the dirt beneath me drinks of my tears as it did those of my ancestors. Soil regenerates to become fiber and blossoms that breathe color and weave wonders. How miraculous. As ever, earth reawakens us into something more.
To learn more about the work of Kenya Miles go here.