The Screaming Stones
My Mother was always good at hiding her emotions.
A strong powerful liberated woman of 1970s Ireland, a generation of women that denied their own
frustrations and bred the powerful age that is Ireland right now.
From her Mother, a true Victorian, she learned to absolutely NOT discuss anything that made her
feel uncomfortable. This was her fundamental right.
These powers made dealing with her more difficult when she began to develop the Alzheimer's
Disease which eventually took her.
While you could never tell she had this debilitating disease, for many years it made her agitated
and very nervous. When I would visit her at home I could instantly feel her overwhelming sense of
terror as her memory faded along with her perception of reality and her sense of control over her
environment; a secure guarded place which she had created for herself and our family.
She had no one to relate her condition to and instantly became defensive on any suggestion of
Being around her was difficult. I could generally only take an hour of her restrained panic.
When I had to get away I would take long walks locally on the rocky beaches of the South East
coast of Ireland, myself in a panic with the frustration of not being able to help her combined with
the realization that I myself might inherit the condition.
All I could do was scan the earth for answers.
I kept finding these odd stones with perfectly round holes cut-into them by the force of Nature
pounding waves on the shore.
As Nature had also cut perfectly rounded holes into her memory, her focus, and her perception, I
saw dark, desperate faces screaming in these anthropomorphized stones.
They mirror what I felt.
And, even though she is gone, my panic hasn't dissipated.
Screaming Stone 6
Sumi ink on paper
24 x 18 inches
60 x 45 cm
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