There are the families we're born into, and then there are the families we make along the way. When we form family bonds beyond the bloodline, we feel a sense of coming home even as the circle that holds and protects us starts to widen. This painting celebrates the security of finding family in unexpected places. It reminds us that kinship is something we get to choose. We all need others to hold us with the affection and respect that helps us know in our bones that we belong to this life.
About the spell:
“Chosen Family” is a spell that reminds us we are held. Even when our dear ones are getting on our nerves. Even when we set firm boundaries. Even when we’re stuck in old, obsessive patterns that trap our wild intelligence and have us scanning every intimacy for potential threats or thrills. Even when there is conflict, separation, distance, confusion, or upheaval. This spell is about choosing to belong to family—chosen or blood—even when it’s messy. There is a gentle forgiveness in this spell for all the walls we’ve built against intimacy. Working with this spell means stepping into connection, committing to life-in-process, and exploring the depth of your human heart. Ultimately, this is a spell of celebration and gratitude for all those who have held you and who have let you hold them. It is a spell for deep settlement.
A meditation on family:
Wherever you find yourself in this moment, find yourself breathing in and out and taking up space. Find yourself sweetly held in place by gravity… and see if you can settle into this steady sensation of perpetual connection. All the dizziness of life’s complexity cannot budge this simple, reliable bond we have to the planet that carries us through the existence we’re incarnated into. This meditation on family can begin at the base of your spine, at the bottom of the ocean, at the very dawn of time. As you breathe you may remember that your ancestors are in the sky and on the ground, they are stars and they are stones. Your human blood sings a certain song—can you hear it? Sometimes the song grows stronger in the space between your breaths, sometimes the movement of your breath becomes a thread and that song the needle. Sometimes time wraps itself around you. In its embrace you may remember where you came from. Listen to your cells as you ask them who you are—what is your story? where do you begin? how have you been carried all this way? Your cells know who they belong to. Your breath knows what you’re made of. When your heart falls into rhythm with another heart, each becomes a messenger of resonance and an asset to this world.
About the painting:
Corina: This is from a snapshot of my life in the Pacific Northwest, where herons and ducks are daily sightings for me. One day when a dear friend/chosen family member and I were walking by the lake, they insisted we stop and lie in the sun to watch the ducks. I’m chronically overworked and like to walk and move between stints in the studio, so I was initially reluctant. But we ended up spending a rare hour of totally goofy, relaxing time together just watching the ducks. This painting is dedicated to that friend, and to our chosen sister Ella!
Jocelyn: It’s funny, for Corina this is a snapshot of her life, and for me it is a snapshot of my own—late last summer, that heron I saw again and again, standing among the ducks in a shallow stretch of the French Broad before it turns away from Little Pine. Always such a comfort to behold. I'm pleased with this one.... A very happy birthday this month to our remarkable, astute, and beautiful Mama, and to our brilliant, hilarious, and beautiful chosen sister, Ella!
This month's offerings:
We've got a sale going on this image for the whole month of May! Buy a print of Chosen Family and get 15% off, using the coupon code CHOSEN.
This month, we’re deep in art retreat for the 2019 calendar of small spells! Follow our progress @abacuscorvus on Instagram. And you can find out what each of us is up to by following @corinadross and @jocelyncorvus
Oh, and JO IS DONE WITH GRAD SCHOOL.