Saturday, 20 September 2014

Have: Not Have

Though Whispers in the Woods is behind me, the project has raised many questions that will stay with me for some time. The Colonists settled on land to which their communities had access, but lairds eventually divided this land between them, in turn dispossessing the Colonists from land to which their community had access. These questions about possession and dispossession are important  in our private lives as well. What does our home mean to us and how do we feel when we’re dispossessed? What does the watch we inherited from our grandmother mean to us and how do we feel when we lose it?

In Have: Not Have I hope to explore some of these questions – not least within the context of consumerism. On our travels we buy souvenirs, for ourselves or to give them to neighbours for  looking after our plants while we were away. Many of these souvenirs we eventually throw away. Why did we buy them and why did they lose their meaning? Likewise, we rush to get our Christmas shopping done, anticipate how others will react to the presents we buy them, but often find it hard to find the ultimate present. What really is meaningful to us and to what extent can this be expressed through objects?
She looked at the shape of the p
at the end of her name –
the key in the palm of her hand

She had felt the pen
scratch the paper –
deposit time

The lines and curves that filled the blank space
incised sunset garden suppers
friends around kitchen tables
her bike in the shed for Sunday rides

She put down her pen
turned over the paper
read the Braille inscription.

Copyright text and poem Petra Vergunst

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