Friday, May 25, 2007

Karna's Vessel

I want to tell you a story about a secret beach and a pot and a woman named Karna.

Once upon a time there was a poet named Karna. She was a very sad creature, but she sung her poems from the bottom of her belly, where all magic begins. She sung them softly, because she did not know if she could sing. But the wind took hold of her voice and carried it. And carried it. Before she knew it, she heard her voice being echoed back to her. She heard her voice return with other voices -- voices that soothed, nurtured, encouraged. Fortified, Karna learned how to sing louder. And louder.

Karna's temple was her secret beach.

She went to this beach when her soul was at its saddest, because being there distilled her sadness into something clear, and capable of creation.


We shot the pictures on a rainy day. We were frustrated. I worried that the beach did not want to be photographed. When we could shoot no longer, we left. I decided that if it wasn't meant to be, then it wasn't meant to be.

We had wandered, literally, the entire length of the country in search of objects. I could not do it without a snake. We found one by accident, taking a long route by foot. I needed a basket. We could not find one. They were too big, too small, too shallow, too deep, too square, too different. We found vessels instead. Pots made of clay, made of earth. Pots cambered like women's bodies. Rounded.

Leaving, I left the pot for my beach. It was an offering. Keep this, I said. Keep this in exchange for what we have just done.

In the end, we found that there were only two pictures we could work with. I did what I could. I toyed with the colours, the light and the dark. I cropped.

A month later, I went back to my secret beach. I went to pray, at dusk and alone. I walked down to the beach, I walked through the trees. Within moments of stepping onto the sand, I saw something orange-ochre coloured. I bent down.

It was a piece of the pot. The lip of the vessel.

A month from when I had offered it, the sea had returned to me a piece of it. Blessed. In the days and nights since it had been offered, despite what had happened to the rest of the vessel, despite how many people had seen it, of all days for it to wash up in the shore... Blessed.

I have always had a weakness for synchronicity.

Today, I found this. Thank you, Sze, for taking it.


meena said...

the youtube link is great.....
cheers to the sharanya-manivannan style of spoken word poetry

Anonymous said...

Hey Sharanya,

No worries! ;)

Although I am a tad bit embarrassed by the abysmal quality of the video... those shaky, shaky hands.

Looking forward to your upcoming performance.

cheers, Sze