February 5, 2023
The woman lies on the flattened boulder, the boulder where she would lay naked under the dappled sun in her younger years, witnessed only by the leafed out Grandmother Oaks, Black Birches, while the Witch Hazel leaned over her. And there she would pleasure herself.
But it is Autumn now, if not Winter, both of her life and of the land. Yellow Birch leaves rain down, cold coins of sunlight she once delighted in. She is naked, legs together, arms crossed over her heart bleeding ribbons of blood soaking into the moss beneath her. Two bare trees frame her while she stares into the clear blue sky seeing nothing.
Do the trees miss him, she wonders, has this stony bed noted his absence. And what of this trail he made so many years ago that has carried women and men and children down to the stream to float the simple boats he’d made for them? The same trail that carried women going to pray by the water. Does it miss his footfall?
How does the world work, she wonders, tears pooling in her ears. How does the world create and uncreate herself.
The painter steps back from the brown skinned woman, from the Old Woman and Quan Yin floating above the crown of the woman’s white haired head. The one who paints knows her own skin is pink, yet here is this woman emerging from the stone, wondering whether to un-create herself.
The painter sees a mushroom emerge, and a little girl carrying a watermelon full of seeds, a very old woman hovers over the woman’s right shoulder and the Guardian stands in the tree.
Is she a sacrifice, is she an offering to life. And who wonders this, the woman or the painter? From where did you come asks the painter.
The woman speaks in twilight language, “from your mother, and grandmothers, your great and old ones. I am their unshed tears upon the clay. I rose and came to you. Your Wailing Woman, your Lo Llorona, your Keening Woman. I rose from the soil that ran with blood and tears.
“I saw an opening in your heart and I took it. A precious opportunity to heal. I have been given a place of honor. Quan Yin at my head, Quan Yin at my feet. I thank you. “
Rain beings to fall on the painting, or is it tears, clay runs off the boulder in rivulets, soaks into the soil.
4 thoughts on “Ancestors”
As always, Nora, your painting vibrates (no pun intended!) with life!! And I love the small images that surround this magnificent woman!
I see you, with the Spirits around you and inside you. I am tracking you still.
So beautiful, Nora. Thank you. I see a compilation of your painting and writings. Another book, perhaps, a picture book with writings. Beauty. Love, Debby
Stunning words and images, Nora, and powerful, as always!!