"She went home because memories collect in us and form aquifers of meaning below the surface of our lives."
Nuala O'Faolain. The Story of Chicago May.
I have been reading the book, quoted above because i wanted to be friends with Nuala O'Faolain. Now i have just found out she died a few years ago and i am mourning a little. She wrote with a heart and soul and courage i have only found a few times in my life as a reader (of course Elizabeth Cunningham is right there too)
But this quote just reached right into my belly and poked bits too tender to be poked right now...
At that prod, my ears became attuned to the silent running of these rivers of memory, deep deep in my body.
They sound dangerous and beautiful.
They make me feel like i am looking from the very top, at a thunderous waterfall. As my eye tries and fails, tries and fails to catch droplets to follow to the bottom, my body is secretly listening to the silent call "jump jump jump".
Nuala's words tell me that deep in my cells i have little rivers of fear and joy. Of longing and releif. Of tenderness and harshness. These little tributaries sometimes carry my heart and my life to places that perplex and wound me, confound and expand me.
But they are deep and although they run in me, some of them are not of me.
Do i need to fish in these rivers? Swim in these rivers? Dredge these rivers?
Do i need to drill down to make this flow surface where i, as an adult, can mount a clean up operation?
Do i just need to go to the silent deep and sit a while?
I have a strong connection with the word aquifer. That secret, whispering, gentle, flowing word.
One of the spiritual sites i treasure in my life is Nieu Bethesda. it is in the Karoo in South Africa and the home of one of my art heroines, Helen Martin. The water in this town runs down little open culverts, in front of every house and comes from aquifers deep in the mountains. The water has filtered through the mountains over thousands of years and the magic of the flow of that water is palpable.
So I see that the aquifers that run through my body are ancient too. After all, i was present as an ovum in my mother's body when she was gestating in her mother's body. My cells are made of history. Some of that history is clean like the Nieu Bethesda water.
Some of my history is toxic combustible goo, like the oil spilling into the gulf.
The colour of the sky *the ocean * Elizabeth and Maeve * people who reach beyond the ordinary * genuine generosity *good food * watching things grow * the miracle of birth *a woman's power *tenderness in all its forms * the cycle of life * courage * people with a sense of fun * compassion * beautiful jewellery * art that is made from the heart - without a view to the purchaser or the market but made because it has to come *Clarissa Pincola Estes * grace
LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS THESE ARE MORETHINGSTHATITHINK
i welcome you with warmth and love to the thoughts that grab me .... and the way they come out of my fingers when i make the time in my day as a mother and artist and poodle walker to write them down.....