Erica, on Kinship. Sling Diaries, Vol VII.

December 05, 2017

 The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.

Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.

ON KINSHIP

The word kinship sat typed on my iPad. The blue line flashing right beyond the letter “p.” Flash, flash, flash... I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t even know where to begin or know what I wanted to say. What does kinship mean to me? It reaches far beyond my lineage. It feels more sacred, more weighty than that linear style of thought. Kinship. It feels soulful. It feels important. When I say the word out loud, it feels like a hug. And then it struck me, kinship has always been that magical feeling of rapport with people that you experience randomly or routinely, outside of your blood family. It's a feeling of connection. The flashing blue line moves forward, leading the way for all the different expressions of ::Kinship::

I almost always feel a deep sense of kinship with fellow birthkeepers. Babywearers. Foodies. Book aficionados. Lovers of stars. Light seekers. Lightning bug hunters. Skin sketched with art. People with a boisterous laugh. The level of deeply bound togetherness that negates logic. The sensation of knowing someone intimately, but its someone you’ve just met, someone who has smiling eyes, someone who wears a hat like your grandpa’s, someone wrapped in the scent of a long lost lover. A sense of familiarity and connection.

It must be kinship. 

I have many friends that are so much more than friends. They are my heart family. My heart yearns for their laughter like that of my sisters. They are people whom communication flows as freely as the wind crosses the open plains, people whose level of strange feels more normal than a librarian named Edna. It's that person you joke must be a sister or brother from “anotha motha.” It's that old lady that wears the fluffy sweater who feels more like a third grandma then just some lady you make weekly conversation with at the cheese counter. Then there is that one old man who became your friend, just from eating at the same restaurant everyday, who begins to tell you he loves you and you know it, cause you love him right back. It's found in the act of wanting to leave a gift for your mailman. In the missing of the regular barista at the coffee shop who left for a new job three weeks ago.

It must be kinship.

 Words slides across your phone screen, a face smiles out from a photo, their story comes crashing into your heart space and you can feel their joy, or their pain, or their wonder. Little 3x3 squares share snippets of life lived far off across the sea, never for you to see it in real time, yet your heart loves the stories that fall from your feed. You follow along anticipating the birth of their baby, the release of their album, the next weaving of their words. Your heart bursts with the sweetness of honey over their triumphs, sending congratulations and waves of love... likewise your heart plummets with the weight of lead at reading words that carry news of grief, or heartache, lifting words of prayer and releasing waves of light to lift them up. You click a little blue button, “Follow.” Because this person’s life has become more to you than a series of photos.

It must be kinship.

Kinship. A word that envelops the expansiveness of what it means to feel a deep sense of connection with someone and sometimes something, other than your immediate family. It's the magic that enables us to turn this wide, wide world into our community. It's the marrow of caring so deeply about other people that their life, their needs, their well-being matters to you as much as your own. It’s ancient and universal. Kinship is the weft on the loom that weaves us all together in some sort of majestic masterpiece. It's what keeps you here reading my words. It's what brought you to this community of kick-ass babywearers, its the soul of this very platform. 

It must be kinship. 

P.S.: From the lovely lady at the cheese counter, to the missing barista, to the amazing soul at the restaurant...these are all true accounts of the many forms of kinship in my life. Here I am with my dear friend JD. Our kinship has deepened to love. I love this man so very, very much.

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Follow along with Erica over on Instagram, @laughing.moon, and The Sling Diaries on Pinterest