Bodies of story: a project for/of words, healing, and justice
Bodies of stories are like bodies of water: shifting, fluid, and rippling out effects from single drops in intricate, webbed ways that are often difficult to decipher.
We are the stories we tell ourselves and each other. This is how we survive and this is how we thrive, as all our fabulous selves. We are fighting like hell. We are naming and living and witnessing and remembering. We are organizing and we are healing. This is part of that story.
It begins with questions: how do we decide when we are healthy? How do we decide when we are sick? How did we end up in a world that tells us health is an individual problem with an individual solution? What is wellness in a sick world?
What are the stories we tell ourselves and each other about our bodies? How do we name the collective bodies of which we are a part? Where do we get the words to name and witness our own bodies, the bodies of those around us, our relationships to the healthcare system, to those we turn to do for advice or authority or expertise or support? What stories are we told? Which ones do we write/speak ourselves? What words grow in our bones, and what bones grow in our words?
How is our health inseparably linked from the health of those around us: our families, communities, neighbors, and others? How has that been hidden from us? What are the relationships between trauma, oppression, health, and wellness? Between emotional, spiritual, physical, mental, collective health?
What are the violences enacted against us in the name of healthcare? How do we create resiliency and resistance to those violences? How is healing justice organizing transforming our collective and personal stories about wellness, health, wholeness and liberation?
How do we bring our bodies more into our writing, our writing more into our bodies? What words and healing practices have been stolen from us and how do we reclaim, renew, recreate them as an integral part of collective liberation?
Caroline Picker is an acupuncture student, writer, and organizer working for migrant justice in Phoenix, Arizona. She’s a radical queer femme, an antizionist Jew, a fat, white, anti-racist fighter, a lover of babies, sometimes a poet. She believes our collective liberation is bound in how we support people, as individuals, as communities, and as movements. Her writing has been published in make/shift magazine and the On The Issues Cafe and is forthcoming in the anthology Queering Sexual Violence.
All original artwork by Leahjo Carnine.