What will happen in the still of night?
There will still be light
When voices are out of sight
The song is sung and the sitar strung
Isn’t even present any more
The images on the walls – ‘Surface Tension’ – Sujata Majumdar’s – herself as scientist, herself as artist -have stayed in the gallery.
All the rest of us, as I said, have left.
Earlier today, I needed to run out while I was viewing Sujata’s works of photography presently at display at the Amsterdam Medical Centre. The one of a mountainside that has a velvety texture in apparent three dimension alongside a sandy texture has caught my eye. Surface Tension. A curious emotion that I can barely recognize at first overcomes me as I gaze at the images, and the temperature (cold) and the smell (spirit) and the sound (clogs) make me want to flee.
But I have been invited here to tell a story on the theme of ‘resonance’ in the gallery exhibiting Sujata’s images, and so I stay. Storyteller Krishna of Fifth Friday Sisterhood sent me the invitation: “RESONANCE can mean a number of things to different people…like the echo of sounds or musical instrument…or reverberation of sounds from surfaces…or the memory of a distant voice in the minds of a person…
Or the stories from the inner thoughts and emotions of an artist as they explore their practise, and then expose those explorations, and share that RESONANCE with others. So think on the theme…it can mean anything to each individual…”
When the ‘audience’ arrives and assembles, and it’s my turn to ‘tell a story’, they get from me a poem in the making. To be completed by us. Handwritten on recycled paper and called ‘As If’.
Each verse, incomplete, ends with ‘as if………….as if………………….’ After every ‘as if’ in the poem, they are invited to add words and write them down.
But first I read the incomplete poem.
Then ask for volunteers to write. There are more than the verses on paper.
After 5 minutes, I ask who would like to read a verse. Enough volunteers again. They read aloud – taking turns with each verse in chronological order, and ending each verse with their words after ‘as if’. Accents from here there and everywhere. Voices that resonate.
While they read, the rest of us fill in our incomplete poem.
Then we all read the all the verses with the words added by the volunteers. A collaborative poem.
And here it is:
Won’t step on snail
Stop, go, stop and go
Wag of a tail
As if, as if I have a dog
Lead me on
Don’t got a clue
Depends on me, depends on you
As if, as if I followed the yellow brick road
Tongue stuck out, white, white bird
Don’t say a word
Just fill up space
As if, as if the music will take you home
Pink cloud all dressed
Says it wants to flow
And with the water go
And I …ripple along?
As if, as if the pick up plays my song
Flash of light
In plastic flies
Silver wings, it tries, it tries
Now to chase
As if, as if it had a choice
Ah so little
So full, so sweet
Twitter, twitter, tweet
Eyes and thoughts, thumbs
As if I wasn’t here
As if I never speak