“The Universe is made of stories, not atoms” – Muriel Rukeyser
The above quote comes from the introduction to a fabulous travel book I have just read, entitled ‘Kite Strings of the Southern Cross’ by Canadian Laurie Gough. In this book she weaves her magic storytelling around the unsuspecting reader’s soul, enabling the reader to see, feel, taste, touch and bring forth those things that have been hidden inside us all since primeval times. A wonderful ‘must read’ if you like travelling, love sensous writing and muscular language.
For the last two weeks I have been staying with my son and his partner in Malta. This is my first visit here and some of the time I have spent working with him on a book we have produced together. He is a fine art photographer with his first exhibition here and we have taken those images from the exhibition and put my poems, which are interpretations of Greek myths, alongside them into a book. The images themselves were taken here in Malta and he calls his exhibition Between Lands, which is a translation of the Latin mediterranean, and he also, being from the UK, is between lands himself.
His story is a search for self-expression and the realization of dreams, mine is about finding words; words that have meaning, colour, depth and texture. By virtue of the fact we’re related our stories have naturally intertwined, coincided and been on many a collision course. But we have also separated, blown free like dandelion seeds, settled temporarily, then blown away again, bringing us to this point in our histories.
My story as a mother is very different to that of me as a single person, that of me being young is different to the story of me that is retired. Yet all these stories are facets of us in the same way that petals, stamens, leaves and stems are all part of the same plant. In the interconnectedness of our lives our stories wrap around the essences we are made of singing us all into being and providing us with a rootedness that keeps us attached even when we are at our most displaced.
“All stories, like rainstorms and revolutions, must begin somewhere”; the interesting bit for me is unravelling where my story starts and then letting go to allow it to carry me through to the ending.