ENG - During her time in residency Rachel developed two publication projects both concerned with our current ecological climate condition. Her web platform Impermanent Earth invites submissions from across the globe and "seeks to collect observations of the changing world not only to further awareness but also to remember the places that have held meaning for us."
Simultaneously Rachel drafted text for a limited run artist book with six stories about elemental destruction inspired by myths and folklore. "Of the Sea" is featured as one of the stories of the project:
VIE - Trong thời gian lưu trú, Rachel phát triển hai dự án xuất bản liên quan đến vấn đề biến đổi khí hậu hiện nay. Trang web Impermanent Earth của cô mời đóng góp nộp bài từ mọi nơi trên thế giới và "tìm kiếm những sự quan sát của một thế giới đang thay đổi không chỉ nhằm tác động đến nhận thức mà còn để ghi nhớ những nơi chốn đã từng có ý nghĩa với chúng ta"
Rachel phác thảo cho cuốn sách với sáu câu truyện về sự phá hủy từng phần được lấy cảm hứng từ những truyện dân gian và thần thoại. "Of the Sea" là một trong sáu câu truyện đó:
Rachel TonThat - Of the Sea (extract)
Once our people had walked along the ocean floor hunting eel and octopus with spears- we had barely needed to surface for air. Once every man, woman, and child in our village had swum like fish, had hardly known what it was like to be dry. I had grown up on sea myths and stories of what we had lost, but now only a few still told those stories by the fire. There were new stories to be told, of the ground beneath our feet, the earth under our fingernails, the vibrating, lively green of new leaves.
Our oldest story, the one my grandmother whispered over me as a child, was this. The earth and sea were once one, but the earth grew restless. Trembling with impatience, it thrust upwards and cleaved from the water, creating mountains and hills, islands and continent. As it shook all of the animals, including men, broke free of its skin and inhabited the land.
Alone, the sea grieved. From its depths it created the creatures of the deep, the behemoths and the cetaceans. School of smaller fish and other underwater animals flickered into life in the folds of its current. But without men, the sea had no companions. It wept and the rains came, engulfing the earth in water, overflowing rivers and lakes. Men and beasts were washed away. The earth worried for its creations and made itself hot- steam rose in great clouds where rain hissed against molten rock. But its efforts were in vain, for more of its creatures perished.
The first shaman of the new race of men dreamed of the sea and saw its loneliness. She assembled the tribes and looked carefully at each leader. Let one of you live on the sea, be near it. Only then will the rains end, and the floods subside. And our leader assented, and our ancestors followed him and and built along the sea, until the rain stopped and the waves calmed. They fashioned longboats and rafts, and threw out their nets. Blessed by the sea, they never came back to land.
Now she wondered aloud. Had the sea changed its mind?