I AM RAINING / PHOTOGRAPHIC SERIES IN COLLABORATION WITH MAT HORNBY
“His self is outside him, its energy distributed among the beasts and birds whose life he shares, among leaves, water, grasses, clouds, thunder – whose existence he can be at home in because they hold, each of them, some particle of his spirit. He has no notion of the otherness of things.
I try to precipitate myself into his consciousness of the world, his consciousness of me, but fail. My mind cannot contain him. I try to imagine the sky with all its constellations, the Dog, the Bear, the Dragon and so on, as an extension of myself, as part of my further being. But my knowing that it is sky, that the stars have names and a history, prevents my being the sky. It rains and I say, it rains. It thunders and it says, it thunders. The Child is otherwise. I try to think as he must: I am raining, I am thundering, and am immediately struck with panic, as if in losing hold of my separate and individual soul, in shaking the last of it off from the tip of my little finger, I might find myself lost out there in the multiplicity of things, and never get back.
But I know now that this is the way. Slowly I begin the final metamorphosis. I must drive out my old self and let the universe in. The creatures will come creeping back – not as gods transmogrified, but as themselves. Beaked, furred, fanged, tusked, clawed, hooved, snouted, they will settle in us, re-entering their old lives deep in our consciousness. And after them, the plants, also themselves. Then we shall begin to take back into ourselves the lakes, the rivers, the oceans of the earth, its plains, its forested caps with their leaps of snow. Then little by little, the firmament. The spirit of things will migrate back into us. We shall be whole.”
David Malouf, An Imaginary Life (Pages 95-96)