Faith Medicine

one-of-a-kind: clamshell box with recipe cards, book of photos, feathers, elixirs in glass vials, 10 x 10, 2012

edition of 15: soft velcro case with recipe cards and elixir in glass vial, 5 5/8 x 9, 2012

After recently attending the Mildred Haun Conference on Appalachian Studies, I became intrigued by a presentation on traditional homemade folk remedies. This triggered childhood memories of rambling through the woods with my father on our West Virginia farm to dig ginseng and sassafras roots for making tea. Now that my father is gone, I attempt here to acquaint myself with homemade folk remedies as a way of reconstructing memories of my father and healing my grief over his untimely death. Everyone has faith in something: a higher power, the human spirit, a cure.  In Faith Medicine, I wrestle with the following questions: To what extent can a remedy truly heal us?  Is it less painful to hold on to memories, or to purge them from our system?  I think that if something heals us, it is largely because we choose to believe that it does.

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