By Naomi Lewis
Looking back is like gazing into a kaleidoscope. At the end of a long tube, colorful patterns emerge, flow, fuse, click and change as I slowly turn my life, remembering.
A friend who died young was wise beyond his years when he told me, “Naomi, whatever you want to do, you have to be it.” I spent years fumbling, before I understood his words in action.
I couldn’t have known as an untried youth who I was, what I would produce, who I would become. When I was a pretender of things to come, I couldn’t even imagine the depth of me or what I would discover until after long years of erupting, melting, cooling, sizzling, folding, thrusting, like geologic movement, producing mountains and mole hills.
Not until I stared at sands so silver they hurt my eyes at the estuary at Laugharne did I acknowledge I was a pilgrim in search of “Fern Hill,” the playground of golden-tongued poet, Dylan Thomas and held my dream of Wales in my arms. I stood where he stood and I too was “happy as the heart was long” and the day was “Now.”
I could not know who I was until I searched for and found where they came from. Not until I walked where trees on both sides of the road waved, and bounced and kissed in the middle did it dawn on me that I felt something akin to what my ancestors must have felt. I was on a difficult journey in reverse to a small village in Lithuania from which my mother’s father’s grandparents immigrated to America. I too was a pioneer just like my venerated forbearers.
|The road where trees kissed in the middle in Smalinenkai, Lithuania|
I didn’t know I would become a Shakespearean actor. Not until I was pronounced ‘a Goddess on stage,’ did I grasp I had become what I wanted to do.
I could not have known who I was until I peered at the sky through a slender tube after the passing of many years that I was more than I could ever in my youth have imagined. My pedigree is eternal. Now, what can I do knowing, I am a child of God?
Mwnd, Wales summer 2005
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