Caroline A Raine

Saturday, April 30, 2011

30 April: Roots the True Foundation

A lovely lady I knew a long time ago, gave me a copy of her lino-cut called "Roots the True Foundation". It was a pictorial depiction of where she was at, at the stage in her life. It is a collage of the things that were her defined Roots. These had nothing to do with childhood, birth rights, heritage or ancestry. They were the roots which she claimed for herself ... that which she felt had defined her and which illustrated the beginning of a new life in herself at about the age of 35. This fascinates me - the opportunities for re-birth and starting again. We can all do it, at any stage of our lives. There are fantastic possibilities that exist in being able to drop off the baggage and the pastness of Being.

So now - ABNA is over and "Edward Beaton" up on Amazon. It's a good quiet place to be.

I am thinking though of Roots again. There is a wonderfully powerful poem by Ted Hughes, which I discovered (strangely enough) at one of those milestones in my life when I was trying to define Self and my take on Roots and belonging. Ted Hughes is my favourite poet - such a dark and brooding and  indulgently brilliant poet. It is called "Wodwo", and it is about these figurative Roots. Beautiful writing. It became something of a prayer / chant for me:


What am I? Nosing here, turning leaves over
Following a faint stain on the air to the river's edge
I enter water. Who am I to split
The glassy grain of water looking upward I see the bed
Of the river above me upside down very clear
What am I doing here in mid-air? Why do I find
this frog so interesting as I inspect its most secret
interior and make it my own? Do these weeds
know me and name me to each other have they
seen me before, do I fit in their world? I seem
separate from the ground and not rooted but dropped
out of nothing casually I've no threads
fastening me to anything I can go anywhere
I seem to have been given the freedom
of this place what am I then? And picking
bits of bark off this rotten stump gives me
no pleasure and it's no use so why do I do it
me and doing that have coincided very queerly
But what shall I be called am I the first
have I an owner what shape am I what
shape am I am I huge if I go
to the end on this way past these trees and past these trees
till I get tired that's touching one wall of me
for the moment if I sit still how everything
stops to watch me I suppose I am the exact centre
but there's all this what is it roots
roots roots roots and here's the water
again very queer but I'll go on looking.

Ted Hughes


Jeana said...

Beautiful poem.

Dwight Okita said...

Caroline, I think the cover for your hard copy book is great. I am mid stream in the process with Createspace. Could I ask if the designer read your novel before submitting a cover? Did you give them any ideas/input prior to their designs? Is the cover a collage of pre-existing photos? Thanks. -- Dwight

Caroline said...

Hi Dwight, I did my own cover. I used the pre-format options on Create Space. There is a lot of creative variety there. I tried at first to go wild and completely do my own thing, but it became such a mission. Then I tried the pre-formats. I had the photo which I knew I had to use (the picture of my son a few years back)and then I selected font style, colours and layout from the selections on Create Space. I liked the ability to click and experiment and see instant variations. I selected the text for the back page.