When I wonder about ‘graceful,’ images of dreamy movement and soft curves come to mind.
Sometimes graceful movement is so fast – like a butterfly. I have to follow till it rests. Standing very still, I hold my breath and ‘click.’
Other times, a curve catches my eye. As I stare, I sense some infinitesimal movement within … an unfolding.
and then … there’s my own, walking times, when what I see makes me feel infinitesimal … and my heart leaps!
Sometimes I go about pitying myself, And all the while I am being carried across the sky by beautiful clouds. (Ojibway poem)
Here’s another graceful image from a story that I tell –
Out in the cattle kraal, a silver cord descended from high in an African night sky, down, down … to its dusty centre. By the light of the moon, a crouching man keeping watch behind the thorn-bush fence, saw his black and white, speckled cattle move apart. Hearing singing, he looked up and there, round the shining cord, he spied a line of beautiful women floating down, one after the other. Singing softly, they spiralled down till they touched the ground. All wore wondrous clothes and ornaments which flickered in the moonlight and carried a calabash held against one hip. Then they walked silently, gracefully, to an animal and murmured soothingly as they sat. Sing together again, they steadily milked his black and white cows.
As a child, Laurens van der Post was told this story about women of the sky by a black woman –servant. It’s on pages 132-4 of his book “ The Heart of the Hunter.” If you want to hear my version of the whole story, you’ll have to come to Storytelling Unplugged: the Meetup group I organise, next first Friday of the month!
All text (except those in italics) and photos by Meg
Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License