Author Topic: PseudoPod 718: Tara’s Mother’s Skin  (Read 449 times)


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on: August 25, 2020, 01:42:15 AM
PseudoPod 718: Tara’s Mother’s Skin

Author: Suzan Palumbo
Narrator: Arielle John
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer: Marty Perrett

PseudoPod 718: Tara’s Mother’s Skin is a PseudoPod original.

Show Notes
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Tara’s Mother’s Skin’ was inspired by my experience of speaking with older women when I visited in Trinidad as a teenager. These women awed me. They seemed to be the holders of a secret truth that could help you live a long time and, if you were lucky, they’d share it with you. As an adult I’ve come to see the story of the Soucouyant as a depiction of how we treat older woman and their knowledge. Instead of embracing their expertise they are often categorized as dangerous, horrific or unnatural for surviving this long. Soucouyants no longer scare me. In fact, I think they are the heroes in a society that can often drain you of your worth.”“You eat the rice you pick out of the dirt?” I asked Tara’s Mother. I’d found her sitting on a wooden bench in the gallery of her squat, concrete house, massaging her inflamed elbow. The heat had been a noose at our throats that day and she was enjoying the late afternoon breeze, a serene expression splayed across her brow. She swayed like a dried banana leaf, twisted and weightless, framed by her doorway as I stood on the cracked earth of her yard talking to her.

“Yes, Farrah, I cook the rice children throw when they pass on the road. It’s good food they waste when they pelt it at me.” Her voice had the texture of rust-covered velvet, gritty but soft underneath. I scribbled her responses in my notepad and drew a question mark after the words Tara’s Mother at the top of the page. When I’d returned from university, in St. Augustine, earlier that week, my inquiries about her identity and the daughter she was styled after had been met with a warning: “You looking for trouble, girl. Soucouyants don’t have first names,” Neighbourman had said. “Tara’s Mother is a leech. Only thing to do is leave rice on your window sill for her to count before sunrise so she can’t break in your room and bite you.”

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« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 12:37:58 PM by Bdoomed »

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Reply #1 on: August 25, 2020, 12:17:52 PM's another post about a pseudopod episode (that I can't wait to comment on)... :)
Now, this. This. This is one hell of a good story. And it's based on my neighbours here in Toronto. It's equal part skinwalker, vampire, shapeshifter, Caribbean woman who has to do whatever necessary to survive, and a daughter (who now lives in either Ontario or Michigan) that doesn't value the sacrifice her mother had to endure.

Dangerous elderly womyn. Yep... I've got that in my life.

Respect your elders, eh. Give them kindness, without the pity (or you'll regret it).  8)

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Reply #2 on: September 11, 2020, 01:35:17 AM
Yeah, this was a really, really good one. It had me guessing for quite a while whether there was actually something supernatural going on, or if the bitter old woman was wringing irony out of how she'd been cast as the neighborhood villain. Brought up a lot of issues about how people treat others and OTHER the aging, and what parents and children owe to each other, and what people owe to the communities where they grew up, and ... really great!