Image above: On a wooden floor, a brown femme with short hair bows toward a bowl of water and oranges, which they hold in their hands. From above, their back tattoo reads "We are alike, forever grounded by our-"

this morning we were blessed with time and sun. i knelt down on the banig my paternal grandmother gave me, to wash some stones in salt water and lavender buds and leave them out to dry with me in the light. i smoothed the cracks in the stones with my hands and small rags cut from my dad's old t-shirts and dyed pink with avocado skins gifted from friends.

as i wiped over the salt stones i noticed all the rough places where the salt had absorbed water particles, swollen and melted over a span of years. i wiped off the small dark debris stuck to the surface. i thought about how we humxns are so akin to these salt stones, carrying old attachments and debris in our bodyminds for so long that they filter what is able to be exchanged; and how we too must be cleansed with salt water and bathed in sun. i held in my heart the words from a poem by lyla june, "In the language of the stones there is/ no word for mistake./ Only the complete/ understanding of what it/ means to be a beloved son or daughter./ I am the rock/ and God is the water."

in the presence of my maternal ancestors' spirits, with the tools gifted by patrilineal family and chosen kin, under a mentor sun supporting me being seen, among the birds and flies i breathed and did not feel alone. i spoke the affirmations: i am not alone, i am wanted, i am loved, i am protected. what a beautiful thing to live and be connected. i thanked my parents for creating me. i thanked the earth for feeding me. tears slid down and with the same hands that washed these stones i smoothed the salt water of my body from my face.

may we all clear the clutter and debris of old attachments. may this open us to experience more pleasure, wonder, curiosity and love. may we connect with our most resourced selves and communities as we work to heal our lineages and younger selves. may we take each step with gratitude.

it is an honor to be among the recipients of the chicago artist coalition SPARK grant this year!

"CHICAGO, IL. April 27, 2020 — Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) today unveiled a total of 28 awardees who will receive unrestricted funds during the 2020-2021 cycle, including 25 awardees of the SPARK Grant program, two recipients of the MAKER Grant and one recipient of the Coney Family Fund Award. With the generous support of the Joyce Foundation and an anonymous donor, the SPARK Grant this year expanded to 25 unrestricted awards of $2,000 each. Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, CAC has a strong history of supporting emerging Chicago-based visual artists through unrestricted grant funds, and now administers a total of $61,000 in unrestricted grants to artists, more than five times the amount administered by the organization only two years ago.

'At this time more than ever, we are committed to awarding unrestricted funds directly to artists,” said CAC Executive Director Caroline Older. “Artists are foundational to the arts ecosystem of our city, and direct financial support is only one of the myriad ways in which CAC offers support and opportunities to Chicago’s community of emerging artists.'"

Grantees pictured above: Juan Arango Palacios, Yesenia Bello, Ireashia Bennett, Peregrine Bermas, Ladipo Famodu, Carlos Flores, Lional Freeman, Stephanie Graham, Juarez Hawkins, Malika Jackson, Dominique James, A.J. McClenon, Juan Molina Hernández, Allen Moore, Gabriel Moreno, Eliza Myrie, Zachary Nicol, Jose Santiago Perez, Aida Ramirez, David Richards, Roderick Sawyer, Jennifer Senecal, Monica Trinidad, Vicente Ugartechea and Marvin Young.

Linked below is a directory of Asian and Pacific Islander Healers and Therapists offering support during the pandemic. The resource is a working document, co-created in love and solidarity through Dragonfly Intergenerational Healing Services.

"This resource is: For anyone seeking mental, emotional, and/or spiritual support. Several of us offer sliding scale services because we want to make healing more widely available. Additionally, this resource is for healers and therapists of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to connect and be in community with one another."

All content created by Peregrine Bermas, 2020

Chicago, IL

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