From Childhood to Youth

Childhood to Youth

In response to a prompt from the Chocolate Box in the Soul Food network of creativity

What I see…

I look at these photos and see friends and a brother passed on, in accidents that I heard about in some cases second hand.

I see highschool friends some I still know and some I don’t. Some are mothers and some will be soon.

I see the promise of childhood in my daughter’s hand brushing the weeds, or are they flowers?

I see a pinecone that will be in my future. I see my daughter wearing the grass skirt I never did. It took that many years for my mother to come into her own with culture.

I see my parents full of anticipation for their children’s future, not realising time will pass so quickly, so quickly these photos will fall like still life memories of their lost son.

I see my childhood, my daughter’s childhood, my mother’s motherhood, and the anticipation that things can change- we can paint a new canvas.

That is what I see. This is what I hope. Do I really see? Do I really understand?

(C) June /Pearlz all rights reserved.

Following the Pebble

look at this rock

Without land, memory and place I am like the young trapped Helen Keller. Yet as I dive into the depths of soul’s identity, freed from senses that distract me from the next journeys I might take, I become that wiser older Helen Keller who feels through the darkness the soul’s journey.

I meditate on a pebble I hold and then I toss it into a deep well where it never seems to land. I feel it fall. It speaks to my heart.

What would it be to have no garments of memory, land and place to tell me who I am.
No sense of tall Kauri pines to stare at out my back window. No kingfishers sitting on the cricket pitch next door. No endless rainy wet seasons where I wish I had a drier.

What would it be like to not think about what colours like black, red and yellow meant on an Aboriginal flag- to not know what the Southern Cross is, and to be free of a collective memory of colonisation and slavery and boats with people chained crossing the ocean to look after somebody else’s cotton or sugar cane -to not be moved by words of sorry that come late but are not too late?

What would it be like to stand at my front door and the front doors of every home I’ve lived in and not remember the nearby streets, and market places of stone of Salamanca and St Kilda and an early childhood friend who told me ghost stories.

What would it be like to have not been a mother, not been a wife, a sister or a daughter. To have all ties of kinship stripped away and have been left orphan, with no knowledge of a family tree crossing Europe and the Pacific. To have not seen funerals, births, and weddings.

What would it be like to have no knowledge of holy lands, and places of pilgrimage, of the grave of those who sacrificed for their beliefs and tore away the veils of meanings bound by memory, land and place- to reveal that there is more than memory, land and place to make us who we are.

I walk without all my memories, we all do. How many remember their journeys in the womb, and then their first steps and the first hugs from their grandmother’s? I travelled far when young and lost the sound of their voices, the touch of their hands, their wisdoms and their customs. I also lost their fears, their prejudices and many of their stories. Patchwork stories come through from parents who once knew them well and yet left them behind on other shores. They share their understanding of the stories, and pass on what they value.

I stand outside all that might form my identity and find that I free fall after the pebble, plunging into the place where there is no identity, but there is the total immersion that first made the pebble.

© all rights reserved Gumbootspearlz

 

My Medicine Bag

This was inspired by the Medicine Bag prompt 

 identity boots 2- self portrait flag and feet

My healing bag is made out of thin strands of synthetic plastic that are dyed in the traditional colours of my mother’s village in Papua New Guinea.

It is lined with silk from the kimono of a Japanese Princess. Persian Paisley Patterns adorn the silk and soften that synthetic plastic when I place my hands inside to feel what’s there. It is a healing bag that says remember Mother Theresa, Remember Tahirih, Remember all those soul women who wandered through the soul garden almost every step of their lives.

It is full of the choicest tiny strawberries to eat and smell. Another time my fingers are covered with the scent of the apricot coloured roses at my wedding. Things to remember, to savour fill the bag and in moderation they are healing.

Words waft out of the prayer book I have placed there, chants of Persian Poetess Tahirih, run through my veins and I feel the sisterhood of Faith and creativity and sacrifice. Love is a verb, prayers want to lift me to action.

The ocean cools me and now I swim with the dolphins and mermaids my girl students seem to love so much. But these mermaid girls can drive monster trucks under the sea, and the monster truck boys can learn to care for the ocean. The healing bag says humanity needs two wings, and both must be strong.

Both countries of mother and father… surround me with their love and give me gifts to tell my stories, to heal my soul, and to find that identity is what you store in your healing bag not just what you are born with.

(c) gumbootspearlz all rights reserved words and image

Rain Mirror


contemplation river

Originally uploaded by gumbootspearlz

My mirror watches rain
It splashes out my reflection
As that reflected meets that outside the mirror

Fingers dance in mirror movements
Reflection and I yawn,
We sing, we commune to find out
Who is real
I or reflection
I or the rain
The rain or myself

Rain dances down the mirror
I see the butterfly flower tree outside the window
The green tree frog suctioned to the window
I declare “I am the real
You are the reflected”

My reflection takes my words and processes them
Says nothing but hears the rain
Smells the rain, longs to touch the rain

Mirror rain, reflect raindrops
Raindrops reflect rain mirror
Rain watches mirror my-self.

(c) All rights reserved image and words gumbootspearlz