The darkness of the beginning was never a void.
It was never empty, never nothing.
It can only have been a body,
black as rich soil, the colour of
the inside of a heart,
unseen, but felt,
beating out a rhythm.
The body — Her body —
was a site of becoming, of potential,
resonating with the sound of poetry
in its elemental form;
poetry before it became the multiplicity,
before it became the abundant world
and all its wonders.
The darkness of the beginning was not a void.
It was everything —
every being and dream, every form and thought.
A great parthenogenetic pregnant body,
ready to burst with possibility.
I wrote this poem on 21st June, the Winter Solstice, as I thought about the creatrix of many Native American cultures: Thought Woman. Below are some of my rambling notes which led me to write it.
* * *
I was just thinking something very important about mind/consciousness, and Thought Woman (aka Grandmother Spider). If consciousness is a property of existence, and we cannot exist without the existence of others (who enable us to be ourselves through contact with what is not ourselves), then this is why the universe began. Thought Woman could not bear being alone—she had to think things into being so that her existence could become different. A multiplicity rather than just One. There was an absence of existence—an essential absence of consciousness, because nothing else existed to form the elements of mind. Mind is totally reliant on diversity, on there being many things, so that beings can become themselves by their sensuous experience with other beings. The more diversity there is, the more whole we can become, the more wise … Thought Woman could not bear to be only herself—she had to create, to think things into being.
|Spider Woman, by Susan Seddon-Boulet, 1986|