I ask my baka if i can massage her feet and she says no. she makes me turkish coffee, i make her laugh. she gets offended when i offer to help her with anything, it’s like she knew that i was lazy anyway. she loses it when i put my bare feet on the tile or if there is a draft and i have wet hair. we have sacred girl talk in the kitchen (read: we talk shit). My auntie talks shit about another auntie and in that moment i remember that we all suck somehow.
mreža za sušenje, sara graorac, 2022. photography: natasha katedralis
In these passed months i’ve been tracing the movement between heartbreak and heart broken wide open. I’ve witnessed clarity and still opted for blur, questioning if clarity is even worth my orienting. I am fat drops of rain, a good student, nipple hair, pH imbalanced, sexy, decorated, mosquito food, sun drenched and love soaked. I am the laundry that was folded when it was not completely dry. Although i know better, i am still desperately (and hilariously) feeling for the switch in the dark, still not processing that there is no such thing.
Sava Sekulić, žena samoroda (self-born woman), 1988 (hvala Laura <3)
In this place between worlds -the one where sedated, disconnected girl is untangling herself- there’s at once an amnesia and a total retention. Something about paranoia vs. metanoia. Everyday it’s just suspense, suspense, suspense, and apparently, i’m supposed to just exist there. My mom always reminds me about how birth is our first trauma in this body. She tells our story: the violence experienced by an inappropriate and non consensual induction. we mourn the systemic divorce from non-institutional, natural and radical birth practice that centers embodiment, deceleration, integration and deep reverence for the ceremony of miracles. These are the type of births we all came from at some point in “time.” I can’t blame the obstetrician who wanted to go home early and somehow that makes me feel grown. Still, it is curious how the cellular memory of our earthly entry can be our lens forever. For example, for me, it’s a sense of i don’t deserve to regulate on my own terms and my body is not entirely mine anyway and the overall exhausting sensation of bracing against the ground possibly opening from beneath me at any given time.
a commitment to the future: tomato sauce shining like zultanite in my great-aunts pantry
This summer I am a balkan bimbo back in her ancestral homelands. My intentions are to be present- to feel instead of think. I want less intellect and more surrender to back brain. To cell and soul knowledge. I pray when i wake up the way my girlfriend showed me: morning breath, horizontal, my palms over my eyes. I am learning what embodying boundaries feels like for the first time, even though i’ve abused the word for years. I call my friend, spiralling, and she says “i think you might be in a space of tracing yourself and your family system new ways of communicating.” she asks “what is your pattern of communication? What is your body language? How do you sound?” every day i have to acknowledge that emotions are not meant to be conquered- they just are. i check in with my inner colonizer and wrestle to withdraw her illusion of power. I waddle into the sea and remember how a psychic told me that i come from sea hags on my moms side. I cackle and screw my face from the salty water, thoracic spine in a bow, mucus and tears like rill patterns across my oily skin.
Sava Sekulić, Fisch, 1985