Brad-Leaf – USA

Healing Ritual Space is where I spend about half of my time. The so-called “altered state of consciousness” is a place where I go regularly, on my own accord. Daily, nightly, I pass back and forth between the world of dreams, and the world of form, and I watch how one becomes the other.

As we did this photo shoot, my grandmother was dying. She lay in a hospital bed 170 miles away, struggling to find her way through to the Spirit World. She needed my help, and so…I set out with her to find the way through to the other side. The lens of the camera became our portal.

the lens is the birth canal
Is it me, looking for the way through,
or is it my Mamaw?
The Voice says, “It is both. Go through. You’re up!”
Right now, I am her, and she is me.
We are dying
and we are being born
through this portal
into a new place…

And so here we go…through the portal, only…
I don’t know whether I’m going out…or in…
Is this the beginning, or is this the end?

Blessed be the return of the light.
Blessed be
the two-way street
where the ends called “birth” and “death”
loop back
to meet again.

This life is FOREVER!
Blessed Be
the FIRE in ME
which always burns!
Blessed Be.
So motit Be.

The sound of pen touching page is the only sound, as the latest rays of this day’s sun filter through the frosted windows of the funeral chapel where I sit, with the lifeless body of my grandmother. She is not here. She has gone to fly. How do I know? I went with her, and I came back here to tell it.

SHAMANISM: “To know the realms of life and death; to cross freely back and forth between the two, until you can no longer tell the difference.”