Come In (she said)

What do we remember of the womb, the world of mother-child, when we were one?  Do we remember gentle waves,  rocking on a seabed of safety, embraced by its self-contained shores?  Do our cells forever feel the pull of oceans?—longing to find once more the lost liminal—floating free, water and earth overlapping in an intertidal dance?

Is shelter the same as home?

If we carry our belonging on our back like snails.  If we build temporary abodes like caterpillars, waiting for transformation, a future entirely reconfigured, a momentary ephemeral flight.

Is there an either/or, or is it always both/and?  The leaving, the long road back, the journey the same but different, a vast and endless circle, each step verged, again and again.

I stand impermanently on a threshold of sand, looking for solidity, a resting place.  Where is the first mother, starborne, moonshadowed?  What existed before the beginning, the original dreaming?

of return—how to
meet yourself

Sometimes I feel like I keep recomposing the same poem over and over. This meditation on shelter, for earthweal, is just the most current version of my repetitive state of mind.

40 thoughts on “Come In (she said)

  1. I wonder too. We associate home with house, and when we change house we change home, when we separate from spouse or children our home is reduced to the house we live in alone. Is it still a home or just a house, a shelter? Is shelter a home and vice versa? I imagine that other animals don’t have the same semantic problem. They trust the ones they live with, they trust the shelter they have built to protect them. Doesn’t that make it a home? We make everything too complicated, maybe because the ‘trust’ part is not part of our make up.

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  2. This is a poem both lovely and intriguing, with the core questions we ponder, where is shelter, where is home, the leaving and the returning (which is the actual journey, I have discovered in my long life.) Beautifully done.

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  3. In your painting I see a figure in a red dress in the center with her head in the stars. I think you capture the paradoxical nature of “reality” as we know it so well in your writing. As every thing takes part in the inherent cyclicity of things, I don’t know how you can avoid the circular (e.g. repetitive) when speaking of it. I like the graphic representation of the 2nd piece and that looks and feels like both a starting place (womb) and as a landing platform. I love this shift of words:
    ” carry our belonging on our back like snails” Great musical choice for your post also, Kerfe ❤

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    1. Thanks David.
      I think the figure was layers of tissue paper. It’s something I did a long time ago which is somewhere in storage so I can’t check for sure. I remember that I photographed it after taping it on the window to get the light shining through.


  4. These questions never end for me either. The answers come and go, temporary, perhaps like home or shelter itself, something in the mind that the physical apes, but that remains transient in both spots. I especially relate to the caterpillar metaphor and the road whose traveling makes a circle.

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  5. I like the artwork you have used here. The last one looks like an embryo in the womb. There is a very inner quality to the whole post – an entering into some primal womb of shelter. A place that protects and heals.

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  6. Very well woven and inlaid, Kerfe – I think the yearning for the mother’s shelter and returning to the sea are of the same poetry and biology. There’s a Freudian, Sandor Ferenczi who theorized as such, that the cataclysm of birth repeats the 500 million year old phenomenon of when life first emerged from the sea. Certainly the textures and emotions you explore here suggest the same, and I’m all on board with it. Nice work.

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  7. Sometimes, it might be nice to build a cocoon and shelter away until some of the chaos settles down. But, then I wonder will it just keep circling around.

    In the painting, i see a bird with wings open.

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