A message from Yvette:
We don't always take a lot of time to walk around the communities we pass because of logistics or concerns about the weather or worries about the boat...
But in Torgorme we made time; and it was calm, and lovely, and casually intimate walking around and talking to people in the town bordering Akuse dam. I was especially moved speaking with an older lady called Tasi (Aunty) Comfort.
She makes pots and talked to us about the process. She also talked to us, on request, about her tattoos. One on her chest—that holds a memory so potent she seemed almost to cry. And one her inner left forearm. Both spoke interestingly of identity.
The arm tattoo stated her name and origin. A tradition amongst some of her generation—before we had IDs, and when even we might forget our own birth). I looked at the tattoos I have in that same place. The wild ginger flower. And, "to call myself beloved."
I thought how both sets of tattoos are two sets of the same process: identification. I thought that perhaps one identifies you externally and the other internally. One is about fact and one is about the story we tell of ourselves. Or they're both stories. Memory and idea are both ineffable. Which even is the memory and which the idea?