Read the final installment in the captivating and thought-provoking Deep Salt Water series, an interdisciplinary collaboration among four artists—author Marianne Apostolides, collage artist Catherine Mellinger, photographer Melanie Gordon, and composer Paul Swoger-Ruston—based on the forthcoming book by Apostolides of the same title.
Room is pleased to feature the final installment of the captivating and thought-provoking Deep Salt Water, an interdisciplinary collaboration among four artists—author Marianne Apostolides, collage artist Catherine Mellinger, photographer Melanie Gordon, and composer Paul Swoger-Ruston—based on the forthcoming book by Apostolides of the same title.
Deep Salt Water is an intimate memoir of abortion, expressed through the language and imagery of the ocean. In Month 8, we moved through the book’s larger themes: ethics in a changing world, regret and loss, submission to forces greater than ourselves, and desire, returning to notions of smallness and intimacy: from the ocean to the womb, from the vastness of the anthropocene to a single person—a woman. As in all of the installments of Deep Salt Water, and the book itself, Apostolides attempts to create a sense of meaning amidst the constant onrush of life.
To hear this month’s text read aloud by Apostolides, embedded in a larger sonic landscape by Swoger-Ruston, scroll to the bottom of the page.
Deep Salt Water: Month Nine
Life doesn’t disappear, although that’s what ‘abortion’ means. My bible tells me: ab + oriri—‘away’ from ‘appearing’—becomes abortare through frequent, repeated, intensification. She’ll never appear through continual effort not to see.
I’d like to abort that conclusion.
Elision: abortion. What’s cut is the tissue—material, body—potential for life. But the potency—energy—gets released. It’s hubris to think we could nullify that; it’s like saying that humans could kill the earth.
Abortion exists in a realm I call ‘spirit.’ I can’t hold this concept inside my brain. In my womb: then I could, like the hint of a secret whose words I can’t know. Only whispers and tingling, like breath on the nape. Like the promise of more. I believe this sensation.
Refracted through the lens of sin, we quickly reach abyssal blue. But light, in the deep, is a radiant body whose warmth fills my veins and my mouth with its song. Luminesce in this lightness: I don’t seek forgiveness. I seek, instead, to bear the burden of my awareness.
“Bear it with me,” I’ll say to you.
Intensely, repeatedly: Bear it with me.
Deep Salt Water by Marianne Apostolides has been published! Click here to order your copy.
This month’s images are from a mixed-media collage, ‘Coral’, by Catherine Mellinger, macro-photographed by Melanie Gordon.
We’d like to acknowledge the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council, which funded Marianne Apostolides in the writing of her text, and the Waterloo Regional Arts Fund, which funded Catherine Mellinger in the creation of her collages.