About the image
This image was conceived in the Fall of 2018 during a ritual I created for the expression of grief and rage around stories that were surfacing in the media related to survivors of sexual violence.
From the depth of my rage, I felt our inter-connectedness, how we are all alive today because we’ve survived the passage of birth. Not long after the ritual, I found myself in the birth room in the role of doula, holding in my arms a baby that didn’t survive the passage and witnessing the complexity of heartbreak, beauty and connection of death.
Also, around the time that this image was birthed, my work with the womb began to focus more and more with clients processing unwanted surgeries around their womb. Hysterectomy (removal of the womb) and cesarean sections (surgical delivery of a baby through the abdomen) are two of the most common surgeries in the US. While these medical procedures have an important place in medical care, their extreme prevalence indicates the loss of the traditional folk practices and healing that has always tended to the wellness, resiliency and honoring of the womb for survival.
As a somatic sex educator, I work predominately with woman and queer folks who are survivors of sexual trauma. For me, survivor is a reclamation term much like the words cunt and whore. Survivor moves beyond the identity of victim and relates to our incredible capacity for resiliency.
The image is intentionally placed at the heart, symbolizing the womb containing both the point of grief as well as the center of creativity. The echinacea, iris and rose adorning the womb are plants that I cultivate in my garden.
May this womb image offer you the medicine that is needed at this time.
Proceeds from the sale of this image benefit scholarships for my offerings for survivors of sexual trauma.
Drawn by Stepha Lawson.
Printed by Ink Knife Press.