Monday, April 7, 2014

Word of the Week 5

Word of the Week:  PALIMPSEST
Palimpsest art by  Marie-Therese Wisniowski
A simplification of the noun's meaning is: a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible.  The word speaks to me of a more personal rewriting, of how the people we used to be bleed through the strata of time, how the scrims that occlude our past selves are thinner, more revealing in some spots than others, how remnants of our histories allow us to reinterpret the parts we can decipher.

My ruminant tendencies are heightened in the middle of some nights.  They may be prompted by dreams or, more likely, result from a sudden awakening that leaves me vulnerable to previously unrealized possibilities.  I have sanded and scraped away bits of 28 years in two marriages, the first begun when I was 18, and even through gesso and acrylic washes, decades of becoming,  I find those younger selves waiting, looking to me for enlightenment.  In a palimpsest, what had been recorded is not quite here, not quite gone.  I observe with eyes either more knowing or more kind.  The boys/men benefit from these gauzy revisits, as though some of what has been eroded is a hardness of heart in response to pain.  There is greater forgiveness for all that I could not have known, appreciation for being not only still here, but softened rather than steeled.  Blame and fault grow more faint on the page.  Where the words can't be decoded, they appear as dots and blotches.  Love's great speckled egg.

2 comments:

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jerry - Thank you. How nice to meet you here. xo