April 14, 2022
Through my adolescent years menstruation was always associated with wild emotions, chocolate cravings and pain. I popped ibuprofen and Midol like candy, slept with a hot water bottle to my stomach, grumbled at the cramps and always had a cup of hot tea.
I’ve since learned that menstruation is more than pain, it’s knowing your body, being intentional about the way you honor and treat it, and sometimes even leaning into the pain–trying to understand why it’s there.
After my own personal journey of getting my menstrual cycle back after being on hormonal birth control, it feels like it’s finally the right time to talk about it. With the invaluable support of my family, classmates, professors, social media friends and so many wonderful women, I took on the task of doing a series of imagery based around menstruation.
In many countries, the weeks of the menstrual cycle are referred to as seasons. Menstruation is called the Inner Winter, Pre-ovulation (Follicular) is the Inner Spring, Ovulation is Inner Summer, and Post-ovulation (Luteal) is Inner Fall.
Comme La Terre– french for “like the earth”–is a project comparing the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle with the 4 seasonal phases of the earth.
“In your inner winter lie the natural powers of:
“In your inner spring lie the natural powers of:
“In your inner summer lie the natural powers of:
“In your inner autumn lie the natural powers of:
Hosting these women in my home was an honor. We did a brief meditation on feminine flow pre-shoot, and each female was in the phase of her cycle that we photographed–also helping us portray their season.
I relied on their stories more than I expected. When we made these images, I was still on my hormonal IUD with plans to remove it. I had started my own preparation to get my menstrual cycle back, so I needed to be reminded what it was like to have a period.
I’d talk with them, and ask how they were feeling, what they were drawn to, and we’d photograph it.
At times I felt like a fraud. I realize now that this was my fear speaking, but after having finally been back in flow with my own natural menstrual cycle, I’ve begun to look at these images differently.
We all are unique. We are changing, ever growing and progressing. Comme la terre, we must take care of ourselves, and like the earth, we too can find beauty in every season.
Happy bleeding mes amis!
Bisous, Alexa Ditto