seeing self in the canyons.

Joey and I visited Page, Arizona at the tail end of our cross-country venture. Joey was perhaps most excited about getting some time in at the Antelope Canyons to work his photo magic and indulge curiosity and creativity. I did not go down into the canyons with him, as we booked a tour geared specifically towards photographers — and a photographer, I certainly am not.

What I love most about my interaction with these photos, is that my experience of them is separate from Joey’s. He was able to experience the wonder of the canyons in person, and although I did not, I am still able to tap into the beauty and enchantment of this place through Joey’s work.

As a result of this approach, the written work accompanying the photos is a result of spending time with the images, allowing them to speak to me, and letting them merge and interact with those things currently buried deeply (or perhaps not so deeply) within.

The women in the wall.

Faceless.

Tracing their figures -
From neck to hips.
Telling stories of weighted shoulders,
lifted and sunken chests, 
and bellies — some stirring, 
some empty, 
some bloated, 
and some fulfilled.

Everything below the waist -
six feet under.

But it wasn’t always.

The sacred feminine -
adored, abused, ignored, praised, shamed.

The women in the wall?
The women is me.

My sinewy canyon heartstrings -
the microcosm in the macrocosm.

Sometimes the heart must be pulled out of the chest,
re-woven into the fabric of the earth,
and sewn into the pathway of my wandering,
to remind me that it’s still beating,
or bleeding,
or both.

all photos courtesy of the supremely talented (…okay, I may be a little biased) Joey Stryker.