Wednesday, March 26, 2003

birth is the remembering of journeying, it is not to be forgotten. we are women. we belong together in an ancient caress of the earth. we are full of giving like the parting of clouds, gently falling, carrying the promise of growth, of a season serene with maturation.

grandmother says that a woman cannot point to the source of her pain, saying, it is here and there. a woman finds her sorrow in her dream and everywhere. she is wounded even in her awakening. sorrow is not like clay which is put beneath the sun to dry. it has no shape. it is
only tears. slowly she cries. slowly she weeps. sleeps. and awakes. grandmother touches me with her word. i stand close to her and between us is a faraway place we have found, the place of abandon. grandmother says even though we weep we wait to be remembered. and to remember. she says of we wait till morning the dew will visit our feet. the earth has not forgotten us.

a memory is a mouth with which to begin. we have no mouth, grandmother says only the departed can speak our sorrow and survive. only they can walk on a path covered with such thorns, and such unwelcoming soil. only the departed can celebrate the end of life and nurture death in a calabash till it blooms. only they have a wisdom that can embrace suffering. only they can gather, in laughter and dance, the brightness of the moon and turn it, once more into death.

grandmother's song enters into my growing and find parts of me hidden and still and alone. full of forgotten things of the earth. she moves nearer to me and touches me with her shadow. the shadow falls from her mouth, falls from the deep inside her dream. i am swallowed by the shadow which grows from grandmother and bends deep into the earth, lifting me from the ground, raising me high. it is warm inside the shadow. it is warm like the sleep.

i wait for grandmother to find me, to find all my dreaming with her lament, with her tears. her song tells me about birth. her song rises from ancient rivers where the sun no longer rises or sets. a woman will find herself in such a place where memory lingers like the sun, she says. in such a place women stand without trees to surround their weeping. a woman's cry is naked like birth, there is nothing to hide it. it is a place with roots but without trees. grandmother's song finds the world where women gather. it is a place watered by tears. it is a place of remembrance. when the tears have become a river, morning will arrive even in such a place.

- yvonne vera. under the tongue.


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