compass of your mother's mother

compass of your mother's mother

Where do we go when we want to go home… I often wonder if this is a movement backwards, to places of origin, or a movement forward, perhaps toward a new source of the self, a self-reinvented, or even a way towards the beginning as if time inverts itself. 

Which it may. 

Beneath this is a river, and this river is not made of water. It is made of desire, and all of the whys of each movement that we make in either direction, any direction, even the movement of breathing. Do we yearn for a home-place in acts of desire for survival, or is it something else, the proximity to those secrets we carry with us, the unanswerables, the mysteriousness of who we are and why we move. How we feel, not WHAT we feel, might just lay in this venture towards a resting place, even if that resting place is in motion, as is the river, perpetually, changing and twisting towards something that calls us endlessly in voices indiscernable. We leave those we love in order to find this, sometimes, a truer home amongst strangers. 

When there is one eye looking back, and one eye on the road, what are we missing? 

There is a compass in your pocket, if you put your hand there now you will feel its outline cool against your leg. You’ve never touched it before but you’ve been using it for your entire life, and it is not of this world, it is a gift from the dead. You carry no love for them, and yet there it is, and you disregard it, pretend that it was not lying like that against your skin, the prick of the needle so close to your blood. And so you forget, and move on, it is all hit or miss and you leave a trail behind you, a chain of successive forgettings and remembrances like a ladder leading nowhere except there is always the next step forward. And in between all of this is the desire, and the faces of those you meet along the way, each a little piece of the puzzle you are trying to solve, though you don’t believe it, don’t believe in puzzles, just beauty and art and breathing and fucking, there is a trail of faces, a trail a million miles along, you don’t believe that either, you can’t, where did it start, so far back you can’t remember, again, a forgetting, a loosening of the hold, the phantom compass in your pocket, there is a long way to go…


spend your time, in the parlor of a fortune teller

into the night, she gives you what you always knew, her

bed is soft, and she asks you what you’re looking for, you

leave the door open wide against the early morning


don’t look back, there’s another one behind you waiting

in shadows cast, for you to leave with just your honor

nothing wrong with that,  but don’t expect no troubled waters, you’ve got

your father’s map and a compass from your mother’s mother


there’s a man, and he calls himself a poet, only

talks of time, and of love that we all turn from, do we

only that? you recall a dream, and then another,

your father’s map, with the compass of your mother’s mother


don’t forget, there are some who know what happened here

don’t you let, yourself drift too far, a disappearer

don’t you get, the idea that you were always hollow

don’t forget, what you leave behind will always follow


[for to love the father

for to leave the mother

to deny the brother

for to find a lover]


don’t look back, there’s another one behind you waiting

in shadows cast, from the love that we all turn from, do we

only that?  you recall your life, and then another

your father’s map and a compass from your mother’s mother


images, words, music & edits by caitlin scholl