Rise & Root

Rima Staines has created this rune.

She writes in part,

For some time I have wanted to make an image with which to start a quiet revolution on the backs of service station toilet doors, on the billboards behind carparks, over the screens of insidious train-journey advertising. In deep hatred for the feeling I get when I am forced to enter motorway service station cafes, shopping malls or toilets, I wanted to rail against all that is bland and homogeneous and commercial and life-suckingly chrome-and-concrete and spreading un-refuted like a disease across our land. I imagined planting little seeds of hope and solidarity in the form of a beautiful and rousing image which I would stick between the scrawlings of desperation and ugliness in the perfumed, disinfected cubicles made for us to shit in whilst we are not at home. The backs of public toilet doors are a fascinating melting pot of honest expression, dissent and advertising; it feels like there’s a communication between strangers played out there in this, the most private of rooms, and this is the way I wanted to communicate: liminally.

I’ve not followed the Runic Arts but I am struck by the direct simplicity of these marks that straddle pictograms and writing. They call to my Celt-Iberian roots.

This mark, which appears to have come to her in a dream – the way all creativity strikes as it crosses from somewhere else into consciousness by a path of its own devising – refers to roots, to growing things. It begins with the tripod stability that signifies rootedness itself, and goes on to rise into a forked asymmetry that calls for some continuation beyond what is, what is known, maybe even what is knowable.

Rima has offered this, and an image it may have grown out of, for anyone to use. In the above excerpt from her post, she shows us some of her motivation, how she sees these as possible signals of revolt, a sign that such revolt could be a form of growing, not simply a negative form of resistance. And, that such a revolt was best communicated softly, as she puts it liminally.

What a wonderful word. It speaks to limning, lining off, delineating, drawing a gesture or a mark that begins here, and goes somewhere….

It also refers to the edges of things, boundaries, the places and spaces that are known more for what they separate than for what they are in themselves.

The forces she resists are none-other than the Spectacle. The act, the reminder, and the sign post of leaving such a mark in such places is a way of countering the Spectacle and so is close to what we are about here.

I’ve been thinking of labyrinths lately. This mark is not a sign of labyrinth. Though it could be a map of safe passage through one. Its directions are clear. Go up from where you stand firm, and don’t be afraid to branch….

This seemed to be a good thing to celebrate here at Stone Soup. Her gesture of giving what she has created is certainly an example of the generosity that underlies our story.

I’m reminded of the Hobo’s marks used in an earlier period of hard times to help those who come later tell friend from foe, a welcoming haven from a trap.

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