Memories of Water

Taken from a workshop in which participants wrote short pieces as the voice of water.  Later these were adapted and used in the production.  The audience was invited to listen to the memories through the giant tubes in the Pump House.

Some people think I’m like music, when you sit close to me, you hear the flow and it passes through your unconsciousness, and helps you reach places you want to be, places you want to go. I don’t know which places, but I want to go there too and be there, bringing them to life with my flow, flowing life.

Freedom to flow, freedom to be, to give life, gushing through unconsciousness, reaching the place I so want to be.  I don’t know the place but I so want to be there.

When I was moisture in your allotment, on your precious vegetable leaves, within the foliage rotting on the compost, you were very grateful for me; when you were digging and saw the earth suddenly darker and more solid, that made you pleased.  When you dug deeper, trying to dig out the mare’s tail, more than a spade deep, a spit deep, you were relieved to find me.  You were thinking of parsnips and broad beans, a table laid for supper.  You always looked up just then, on the lookout for rain, longing for it.

Once I was the moisture in your allotment
You found me when you dug deep. Once
I was the table on which your food was grown.

It’s like a parent says to a child. Don’t give up!  You’re a small thing and you need to gather strength.  Every living thing is the same.  I’ll not forsake you but you have to find your own way back to me.  Through these dry times, you need to think deeply, you have to think about things differently.  It goes without saying, you have to find me again.  However long it takes.

I have not forsaken you, little one.
Drink, gather strength
Then off you go to any length
Find your way back to me
Through the depths
Time sets me free.

I heard this woman talking to the people, trying to make them understand what was happening. “Look at your mountains, valleys, gorges.  Those hills, once rolling green, now have the look of deserts, waves of sand, sea shaped and blown, enough to make you seasick.”  Sick with longing for me, longing for those places where I was and where you knew me.  D’you remember me being there?  The woman knows how people become arrogant and foolish – she’s beginning to work it out and wants to change things.

Look at your mountains, vales, gorges
These rolling hills once green
Know that I was there
See where I have been
The deserts, undulating waves of sand
And below the caverns, lie cathedrals
In all I had a hand.

Arrogant fools, you do not know
‘Tis hand in hand that we must go.

Charlie Williams sat in me and I cooled his fever with my icy temperature. He’s a sweet boy, so I slipped over his skin, over his knees and between his toes, until he felt better and he moved his hand playfully, breaking me open and we laughed and laughed…

Charlie Williams sat in me and I cooled his fever with my icy temperature.

A woman called Fay Goodwin took a photograph of me on Rannock Moor, in black and white. You can see the moment I emerge out of the land, and flow north to south in a stream with the breeze rippling my back.  There are four small trees hovering in the early morning mist.  I appear as a stream of white light, calm and still and there’s nothing to show what happens after the trickling, meandering, the gathering, the quickening, the unstoppable roar, the great pouring out into what I become.  No sign then of the fall.  Or the sea.

I seep up from the dank darkness of the earth, spreading myself across the soggy moorland.  The air ripples my back as I move off on my journey.  Gradually, slowly, gradually, slowly, I meet and join, combining forces, morphing into stream.  Trickling down mountainside, gathering, quickening, growing as a mighty river.  Wild, roaring, unstoppable, weaving and meandering, pouring my great journey into the sea.

It was one afternoon about three, quite suddenly she stepped off the bank and edged forward. Because I was cold she gasped and I received her with stones in her pockets.  I recall trying to help her as she descended into me, quietly like a child.  The stones are still here, on the river bed, washed over, testimony, shrine, to her bravery, the way she descended into me, quietly like a child, one afternoon…

I received her with stones in her pockets, I recall trying to help her … she descended into me, quietly like a child … the stones now lie on the river bank, a testimony to her bravery.


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