Art Place

But What IS It that You DO?


Blog post 3 – March 24, 2016 by Marta Singh

Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO)

How to language it, eh? The work we do in this storytelling residency.

Take yesterday. Two young women and I. They had been in Canada for less than six months. One had come from China; the other one, from Ireland. To “What interested you in this project?” one replied “For my English. Is no good.” The other one shrugged, smiling.

I could tell you what we did, but that’s not what happened. I could tell you where we sat for the three hours of our time together, but we’d gone far, far away from there by mid-morning. I can tell you this: “True places are not found on maps.” Herman Melville told me.

And you too know of what he speaks.

You too have been in a house that you have loved. Perhaps it was home to you, perhaps your love for who lived there, for how life felt there, for who you were there, made it home to you. Then your story took you elsewhere. But wherever you went, you never forgot.

And time went by.

One day, you found yourself back in the land of that house you loved. You went to it, but what was this? Every room, a different color, a different purpose. The wooden floors? Replaced with carpet? Gone, the lovely furniture? And the ones you loved, gone, too.

It is the same address. The same street. The same building. But it is not the same house. That house, the house you loved, cannot be found on a Google map. But lost, it is not! It can be found inside you. Sometimes, by listening and responding to a fairy tale.

So, put into one sentence, that is the work we do. We go looking for true places.



Thanks for sharing / Merci d’avoir partagé!

About The Author / À propos de l’auteur

Marta Singh

Marta Singh

Born and raised in Argentina, Marta is renowned for the skill of her crafting, her poetic use of language, unique expressiveness and passion of presence. Her one-woman shows lend language, body and voice to what comes forth when fairylore crosses paths with personal narrative. Expect beauty, depth and emotional impact.

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