V Voice Lilith
It was 25 years ago when I flew down to Cape Town to be with my mother for her 80th birthday. Her cousin Naka Pillman had also travelled to be with us. Naka died last week a little short of her 99th birthday, so it is in honour of her that I’m writing this.
Naka was a larger than life character. A world traveller, writer, artist, craftswoman, well known in her field and for her contribution to South African history. My mother was looking lovely, happy to have her family with her. Naka was dressed in her usual flamboyant style, wearing cloths from all around the world, bracelets and beads adorning her, wearing a bandana, her wild and curly hair that escaped framing her delicately boned face, her eyes as blue as cornflowers.
One of the stories she told us was of her then recent trip to India on her own. She rose early to go to the Taj Mahal. She said about the early pink gleaming light as she walked. She said that she went to the very top of the Taj. She was aware of the acoustics right at the top. Gripped by a sudden desire to sing, she asked her guide permission. No no he said, no singing. But she got her way, and sang Ave Maria. She said the air was filled with the sweetest sounds – and while singing, completely unexpectedly, she received an answer to a personal question that had been plaguing her for many years. The voice was clear and commanding … and on that she made her particular life decision …
Oh, listen to a maiden’s prayer
For thou canst hear amid the wild
‘Tis thou, ’tis thou canst save amid despair
Though we’ve by man outcast reviled
Oh maiden, see a maiden’s sorrow
Oh mother, hear a suppliant child *
Your voices in the comments have made my soul sing, my heart and mind broadened in so many ways, I am so grateful. Thank you so much. You are all sages in our current times, a feminine energy sorely needed as counter-force.
*As sung by Celine Dion. Different renditions use different words. (The Latin is very particular)
Thank you for reading!