(Finbar gave permission for me to post the poem below, one of my favourites of his)
Touching Your Hips
I know touching your
hips, that in ages hence,
someone beyond me will
reside in the summer green
of your eyes.
And they will, like me now,
be touching your hips with
wishes on their breath and
allure in their mouth.
And like me, they will drift
in the folds of your body and
ride the puffing billows
of your warmth.
And I will ache, when ages hence,
my hands will be empty
of the heat and form that
my palms and fingers now
decode and solve.
And ages hence, the cavity of
your absence will throb in my
collapsing chest and I will be lost
in the vastness of my future without
the buoyancy of your breath and
the promise of your hips.
If you think about it, the concept of ‘history’ is utterly subjective and reliant on the viewpoint, prejudices, knowledge and outlook of the individual recounting it. This is true not just of our own personal histories – which are coloured by our perceptions and knowledge AT THE TIME, but by history in general. They say the outcome of battles are written by the victors and the perceptions therefore are those of the victorious; the motivations, reasoning and thoughts of the vanquished are given little shrift. The narrator determines the tone and the perception and a true and unbiased rationality is impossible.
Lately, I’ve been musing on my own history and seeing in it as I cast my mind and heart back to other days and reviewing the fallacies of self and motive in the light of today’s illumination, an ironically poignant understanding of situations that at the time perplexed, confused and oftentimes, wounded me in their obtuseness.
History is a quilt of colour and texture that each of us assiduously stitches each day. Our lives are in truth, a fabric, an ever changing panorama of colour and texture and import. We take each moment, each second of our life and thread emotion and experience, pain and joy into a tapestry of unique design. We run our fingers through the textures of sentiment and shiver as we trail passion along our thighs. Needles can prick and wound our fingers as they nimbly weave what we think is fact into the growing design only to stand back and. in contemplating our work, see realities undetected due to proximity and impact.
Our quilt is quixotic and inimitable, each individual creation a kaleidoscope of colour and design, its own unique blueprint. It is inevitable that at points we step back to contemplate our task and in so doing, find fault with past perception and understanding. Maturity, experience and knowledge gained through insight and the patina of new experience muddy colours we thought pristine and bring a rich, burnished glow to what we once thought were mundane cloth.
We pull our history around us and nestle into its memories and recollections and lift a corner of our past to dab tears of past transgressions from eyes gone cloudy with thought.
The human creature tends to judge history and label it in terms of “bad” or “good” when its reality is that it is neither; it is instead the concrete threads which cobble together our lives; its patterns and textures are woven through the threads of other thoughts and experiences and forms in the end a moving, living tapestry of immutable nows that create in each heart and mind a past.
History is changeable, sometimes capricious and at moments, illuminating.
History can be burdensome or it can be liberating. It can bring with it the warmth of shared memories which preclude the necessity of stolid explanation or lend to thought a sting and a painful reminder of what was.
Ultimately it is mutable and open always to a new interpretation, because the fluidity of life together with the complexity of the human spirit provides a never-ending stream of possible interpretations and perceptions that cannot, should not, will not, be captured in resin…
And each of us, each moment, each second, each breath, wield thread and needle and weave into the intricate pattern of our lives, new thoughts, memories and perceptions that create the fabric of future reflections of past lives…