Wave (Kate O’Riordan)
A word that conjures so many meanings. Immediately, I think of the vast oceans, the ebb and flow of tides dictated by the moon’s cycle. The immense power of a freak wave or a tsunami hurtling towards a distant shore foretelling death and destruction. How tiny we are in a furious lick from the sea’s temperament. A gentler lick and a surfer rides the crest with arms outstretched and a soaring heart; for moments believing he owns the ocean.
We can look backwards in time to the moment of our birth by tracing the radio-active waves still emanating from the Big Bang. Through space and deep time and cinders of burnt out stars, the waves sing the lullabye of our own deaths. The final sleep to which we all surrender.
We wave a stick, a wand, a flag, a placard, a gun, a pair of spectacles to emphasise a point; a child’s hand to familiarize them with a silent language.
We gesture in waves: hello and goodbye. Come to me, stay away. Places from where we move on or return, train stations, airports, bus depots. There may be tears of laughter or sadness, there may be embraces or the turn of a back as someone walks away, but there will be a wave. An energetic flagging of an arm with the palm of a hand faced out or an arm simply raised, fingers curled in defeat as a loved one walks away.
We think in thought waves. And as a writer I’ll occasionally look on helplessly as my own tsunami comes hurtling towards the shore from which I cannot escape. I cannot find the words to adequately capture the idea or sentiment I wish to convey and the water rushes over my head. It wasn’t that the thought was too big, rather, my mind was too small. And then, the days I surf with my own arms outstretched and the accommodating wave carries me along to gently deposit my mind back to soft, safe sand. Each day I sit to my desk, I make a silent prayer that this day – the waves will blow me in the right direction.
Pour citer cette ressource :
Kate O’Riordan, "Wave (Kate O’Riordan)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), avril 2014. Consulté le 01/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/entretiens-et-textes-inedits/wave-kate-o-riordan-