I took the warmer months by the horns as I got to go up to Grafton, NY for a BIPOC farming immersion,
continued learning more about urban agriculture, had a fire escape garden and radically eased back into performance art
and art making up at Three Phase and Art/Life Institute, primarily at the Queerteenth Festival (yes, I literally, radically “Queerteenthed” my heart out).
I was also blessed enough to be able to take one of the final classes in cordwood masonry from Rob Roy, a natural, earth building pioneer in upstate New York and also gained trades certifications through a trades
pre-apprenticehip program focusing in the green trades.
An artist residency at Three Phase Center for 2021-2022, Documenting process was crucial.
After time on land in Grafton, NY, I tapped into making PJ some more time traveling tools whose purpose not
only centered farming, but also self-care and fighting narcissism (professional, institutional, systemic, domestic, intimate).
A dawning realization further into pandemic revealed logging on to social media and engaging with people on social platforms, began to give me anxiety. Even keeping up with cultural affairs, pop culture and my own website maintenance and sending out updates and was exhausting and anxiety inducing with self-ingrained “performative” pressure. This greatly contributed to my mantra of low-to-no-social-media, which I currently practice.
Self awareness and some evaluations revealed that I was severely burnt out and that the process is usually a 4 year healing journey...
I showed all the signs, and struggled wildly against growing fatigue, racing thoughts, sensory overwhelm,
not being able to function executively; flailing desperately against severe depression, difficulty with tasks, and
articulating thoughts/feelings. I had become extremely socially withdrawn to the point of isolation - being
hyper selective around public and social interface. Learning to be in that space and accept that I couldn’t just work it,
wish it, or-try-a-new-activity or imagine it away has been a difficult journey but serves to provide systemic rest, time
and insight and tune into the core of a resiliency I didn’t know I owned.
2022 brought all kinds of surprises including a second health intervention - but one that I now know was induced by relapsing into hyperproductivity, amidst anxiety and neglect. However, I now have the insight to notice and decolonize toxic practices around productivity and family patterns and can slowly pinpoint and identify their presence.
It’s been a boon to complete another Queer/Trans/LGBTQIA2+ BIPOC rural farming immersion, gain various
trades certifications and a certificate in urban agriculture. I’ve really tuned into some wonderful learning spaces and
affirming queer/trans/LGBTQIA2+/BIPOC communities, held virtual space while facilitating daringly bold and vulnerable allied and gender affirming youth exploring theatre and world making, learned how to tractor and continue to relish in the uncomfortable space demanding stillness and self reckoning that the universe has yet again mandated to me.
This season of life for Pirate Jenny is far from what I envisioned, but being held in the loving hand of the creator
and leaning into life from such a tender, supported and authentic place - feels different, but right.
I hope to continue examining this art-life continuum with PJ - existing within the trades and BIPOC farming justice; outfitting her in tools that fortify her in food, care, farmer, artist and land justice while also uprooting and defending
her and others against narcissism.
This is a gentle work in progress.
Pics, posts, work images and such will later ensue with gentle insistency and ease.