New Directions Via ‘A Body of Water’

There is something mysterious about titles. The other day I sat down thinking that I might begin by trying to tap into the ramifications of the title of my book, and looked again at the title I had been given for my talk today: 'New Directions', I thought, 'via A Body of Water'. Now, I have a mind that thinks in pictures. When I hear words they run as clumps of letters in lines across my mind. For better or worse, mine is a visual imagination. 'New Directions via A Body of Water,' I said aloud, and, since I also have, they tell me, a mildly morbid imagination, what I saw was Charon, the ferryman of the Styx, the cold river of black blood - it is ice cold, those who have been to the real Styx have all said - and the dead shrouded and laid in ranks on a barge, with a coin between the teeth for the fare. Charon would remove it with his shrivelled fingers. Well, it is the direction we are all going in, whatever the vehicle.

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Published 1 October 1995 in Volume 17 No. 2. Subjects: Imagination, Introspection & introversion, Writer's inspiration.

Cite as: Farmer, Beverley. ‘New Directions Via ‘A Body of Water’.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, 1995.