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What’s in an Aarchive?



With the art/research work I do, I consider myself fortunate to be able to keep working and to work from home during the pandemic. With this privilege has come confrontation. I was confronted with the stuff I accumulated over my lifetime. Like many people, I started clearing out items that no longer serve me.


In clearing out, I’ve also gone back. As a gentle challenge to the drive to be productive during the pandemic, I took time to be reflective. I reflected on work I’ve already done by returning to the “small a” archive of my journals.


The concept of “Big A” Archives and “small a” archives comes to me via an interview Anique Jordan and I once did. There are formal, institutional “Big A” Archives closely guarded and not always easy to access. And there are “small a” archives, in our stories, in our gestures – in our bodies – and more. Jordan’s sharing of this idea really stuck with me. When I recently returned to my own “small a” archives, I found something of great use.


Last fall, I participated in an online writing workshop, which focused on the theme “it’s all medicine”. And the prompt for the following reflection was prescient: “welcome your muse into this space, for today, with our words, we build an altar for the medicine we receive”.


I edited the reflection that I wrote and turned it into a poem. I am sharing this poem on my website at this link. May you it serve as medicine for you or perhaps invite you to consider where you find medicine.


This blog post is connected to my Spring 2020 newsletter, which was dedicated to the qualities of water. To get the full story, you can subscribe to my newsletter here.



© 2020 Desmond A. Miller