Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Miriam

Africa Day.



........A living woman had been mistaken for one of the dead. As the cart moved off towards the graveyard, someone noticed her arm twitching. They called out in alarm and the cart stopped. She was separated from the corpses and laid on the ground. It was the sight of that dead woman living that dragged me back to my senses. The womanès name was Miriam. She had lost her husband, her father and two of her children. Her third child had survived, and he desperately needed his mother to live, for he had no one else in the world.

I bent over her prostrate form. I felt for her pulse. It was faint and she was barely breathing. I checked for any signs of injury but there was none that I could see. It must have been simply the shock and the trauma that was killing her. I put my head close to hers, and started to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. After each breath I pressed my weight hard onto her chest. I did this for half an hour or so, her little boy holding his motherès hand and willing her to live. I had to save her! For his sake aloone, I had to...

Suddenly, her eyes opened. She gazed around herself, as if she was coming back from the dead. As soon as she realised that she was still alive, she started to scream and scream, and scream. She was screaming out the names of the dead. Why hadnèt death taken her, she wailed. Where was the sweet release of deathÉ I tried showing her that her little boy was still alive, but she was beyond reason, in a place where no one could reach her.

The one person whose life I had saved actually wished that she was dead.........
("Tears of the Desert A Memoir of Survival In Darfur" by Halima Bashir)

"...... Miriam - the woman I had brought back from the dead - stayed with us, along with her little boy. Each evening she would cry and cry, and everyone would cry with her. Her pain forced us all to remember, to return to that terrible day again and again. But no one resented her for doing this. She was living inside her pain, and our greatest fear was that she would never get out....."



Much thanks and gratitude to Lee who donated this wonderful piece of batik that he purchased in South Africa. The strength and beauty of this image is something that I saw and wept over while reading the oft quoted book above.
On the inside, the green fabric with brown circles comes from Tanzania. The side panels and back of flap are from Barundi.
The bag itself is large.
Pockets in each side panel, and two on the inside.
Bids start at $45.00 Cdn, and the auction will close at 8 pm, cst.

9 comments:

Alison said...

Beautiful Joyce! I'll start it out at $45.

Anonymous said...

What a powerful post for the description of this bag. $50 MK

shaunak said...

Beautiful...
$55

Anonymous said...

AWESOME...$60.00

Shelley said...

Ok I am guessing I have no hope in getting this one as it will go way outside my budget...but here's for hoping!

$65

Anonymous said...

Love it!...$70

oneblessedlife said...

My copy of Tears of the Desert arrived today in the mail. Thanks so much for telling about this book; I'm looking forward to the read. :)

joyce said...

you'll not regret it...

Jennie C. said...

I just put in a request to my library for "Tears..."