i was born in the valley

self-published zine (Edition of 50), 2016 - ongoing

I’m drawn to places where I experience a kind of spatial and temporal collapse. When I walk the paths of a ravine in Toronto in the present day, I feel the condensation of my previous experiences in the ravines of my childhood and adolescence — both near and far. This leads me to wonder — is there something inherent in this geographic mark which facilitates a particular kind of experience?

 

When I was sixteen, I fell down the side of the ravine near my home. It was spring. My body slammed into a fallen tree, and I came to with a shard of wood lodged in my thigh. My friend coaxed the largest pieces out of my leg, and soon, scar tissue had grown — a purplish thin spread of tissue covered the wound. It was only once my new skin had tentatively covered the area that I realized I still had a small piece of wood inside me. 

 

While it showed mild signs of infection, I didn’t tell my parents, I didn’t tell my friends — the piece of wood remained. When I was anxious, I would locate the spot on my left thigh and press down.

 

By the end of that summer, my body had made a few feeble attempts at pushing the wood out - opening and reopening, opening and reopening. One day, after swimming for an afternoon in the warm August sun, I sat on the pool deck and looked down at my leg. I could see the fragment, my glorified splinter, peeking out from the spot on my thigh. I pressed and it slid out effortlessly, worn smooth. 

The first volume of this zine was produced with the generous contributions of Maddie Alexander, Juliana Foronda, Emily Moriarty and Amanda Rataj in the form of interviews and stories. Volume two is in the works, if you have a tale to tell and experiences to share with these topographical markers, drop me a line