there is a butterfly at the back of your throat

i have been working on constructing garments that resonate sound, the sound of bells and jingles can help with reducing anxiety while orienting us to space through echoes and reverberations. these gloves are sound resonators with charms, beads and tassels that is part of my everyday adornment as armor.

there is a butterfly at the back of your throat

taking care of yourself is a full time “job” i say “job” because it’s about mentoring yourself, honoring the inner child deep within (and in doing that, we can) address the tensions, traumas and phobias we might have internalized and when i say the word “job” im acknowledging that sometimes it feels like a chore to “take care of ourselves” like how i really don’t want to stretch today but i made a poster as a reminder to do it and put it on the wall so i do it everyday that’s why i say “job” because that’s what self-love is sometimes - doing the things you don’t want to do but doing them anyway because they are good for our minds/bodies/spirits/souls … i also say “job” because i’ve always had multiple jobs, assignments from other people to complete, whether it’s from family or work, it always comes at the cost of ourselves, our time, labor, mental health, a part of me is leeched by these different forms of exploitative structures, what’s another way to share my love as a fruitful labor that is not tied to them? … taking care of oneself can also mean taking care of our people, our communities... why can’t that be the default for everyone and every living being?

there is butterfly at the back of my throat, it is part of the throat chakra. throat chakra is about sound, it can mean for feminine and queer people — the need to be heard. people like us are at the edge of being misheard, not understood, or made invisible, when i was walking the other day people kept walking towards me, i felt invisible like the sidewalk was not my space but a space for everyone else but me. i moved out of other people’s way and then i started singing as i walked to calm myself down, “im here, immmm hereeeee tooooooo,” i get anxious so there is a lot of singing. the butterfly in my throat is always flapping to be heard and understood.

often we look at the symptom and not the root cause: my hair has been falling out, i’ve always felt sluggish and tried to maintain a “normal” form of capitalist energy by drinking coffee. my mother and i have had to work multiple jobs growing up —why do we have to work so hard?— there’s two different kind of thyroid “t4” hormones, one that is more easily absorbable than others. when you have hypothyroidism your thyroid doesn’t work or works very little. this can cause many issues: ive felt them as being tired, hair thinning, heightened anxiety (and related paralysis at times.) thyroid-related issues are also understudied because its seen as a “feminine” condition (i.e. lots of money can’t be made off of it and its doesn’t impact “masculine” people as much so why bother?) i feel sad knowing my curls are thinning, and have changed my vegan diet to include more seafood, i also need to change my diet again to low carb, my mom recently did that too, i need to ask for help. it’s hard for me to do that. i want to radically accept myself, my intergenerational hypothyroidism, thinning hair, and changing metabolism. sometimes i get in cycles of self-pity as in “why me, why now…” but i work through it, i accept what i can and cannot change and am committed to fierce self-love. its not a one-time thing but a process i do again and again and agaaaaaiinnn (here im singing) i dedicate myself to learn more about the conditions of my body and paying attention because your body will not speak verbally but your body will show you, what’s working and what’s not — intergenerational trauma needs to be processed (and perhaps, healed) intergenerationally and if those people are not around physically, they are in our bodies and need to be processed from within.

there is a butterfly at the back of my throat and i need to be heard, felt and touched. i long for embrace, the kind from a friend or lover and also the kind from fabric and material, since the ongoing pandemic, my video practice has slowed down to consider the miniature, the small gesture, the token of kindness, the tactile and the haptic and inspired by ayqa khan's adornment works, i’ve been working on textiles, sound resonating garments like gloves, immersing myself in the tactility of sound, learning the daff (frame drum) and oudh string instrument, african-asian pulses of my ancestors that reverberate through meditation, voices vibrating at the back of my throat.