a dark path, with voices

dark path

Recently we rearranged the paintings and other pieces of art in our house and we decided it was time to hang A Dark Path, the quilt I made in tandem with an essay of the same name, included in Blue Portugal & Other Essays. The man who was the baby lying on a blanket while I made the path now overgrown with grass, more than 40 summers ago, is here again, with his young sons, and they are outside, looking for a place to make a fort with their grandfather’s leftover lumber. How their voices remind me of earlier voices!

A path of rocks, some of them split open with a young woman’s strength, has long since returned to earth, hidden under decades of grass and moss, perhaps faintly detected by bare toes on a summer morning. And the trail from childhood to lives in the beautiful damaged world—knitted back together by salal, bramble, shaded by cedars, faint voices of those children heard when the light is right, the heart ready to hear them. A path down a mountain with an injured guide, no poet but a dog gone to memory. Scraps of fabric hoarded for years, held to the window, cut into approximations of rectangles, and pieced, waiting for me to join the seams together to make a whole. Dark blues, greys, silks from India embroidered with flowers and sequined, a small length of indigo printed with saffron moons. Unfold yourself. Unfold the path made of pieced fragments, broken geometries.

2 thoughts on “a dark path, with voices”

  1. I am always fascinated by abandoned paths. Once went looking for an abandoned Roman road in England. Why built, how built, why abandoned? Have traced old aboriginal portages between lakes here in Ontario. Also now fascinated by abandoned gateways. Here at home struggling to maintain our trails, carved out, with the enthusiasm and energy of youth, through the ever encroaching, gradually hiding wilderness.

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