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baba's song

Such a visual oxymoron to see your ancient face
so clearly on this high-tech screen,
(my own Discovery Channel)
travelling across all the years
and miles in between,
capturing forever your playful smile,
your leathered face
and your fading milk-soft eyes
You are older than the “old” I knew when I was five
and you were my Baba,
my safe harbour-
an oasis of joy amidst the mud and the fear,
you were the keeper of my smiling memories,
of picking grapes and riding donkeys.
Lying on your daybed,
your kitchen was my world,
your wood fire stove the source
of the rarest scented air.

And yes, you are even older on the screen
than the “very old” you looked
the day four decades past,
when both our tears ran faster
than the train tearing us apart-
my face hidden in the soft warm folds
beneath your peasant scarf,
my body wrapped in the sanctuary of your arms,
somehow sensing but not really comprehending
the finality of this farewell-,
the uprooting of my sapling life,
as you begged my pilgrim parents
to let me stay or to send me back,
if I failed to thrive in the red earthed land.

Many years on
in this place across the sea
this adult child finally grieves and accepts
that the day you died
you took with you
the remaining grains of my crumbling past.
Now there is nothing to go back to
and its too late to tell you
that I loved you and
without you,
I survived but
I did never thrive.

© ValentinaD 2008

baba's song

Valentina D

Joined September 2008

Artist's Description

.When one migrates in childhood to a world which is thousands of miles away and possibly twenty or so years ahead in technology and lifestyle, It does feel like very quick time travel and your childhood memories feel like they are still alive in another land waiting with the people you knew then as you knew them then. When those people pass away that faint possibility that you can go back is forever erased. This is a bit of a pathos filled and naive piece of work because it I suppose takes me back to my feelings as a child. my “Baba” (grandmother) was an amazing woman who played a central role in my life if not by her physical presence, by what she imparted to me during the formative years of my childhood ,the unconditional love and safety which paradoxically made my heart stronger and more able to deal with the “perpetual grief of the immigrant child”(comment by Rodeorose) felt as a result of being parted from all one loves in order to be taken (with the most loving intentions) to a “better life”

Artwork Comments

  • Arcadia Tempest
  • Valentina D
  • hsien-ku
  • Valentina D
  • lolowe
  • Valentina D
  • JaneCSolomon
  • Valentina D
  • Antanas
  • Valentina D
  • autumnwind
  • Valentina D
  • Cosimo Piro
  • Valentina D
  • Paul Gibbons
  • Valentina D
  • rodeorose
  • Valentina D
  • rodeorose

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