Monthly Archives: November 2012

… ground of poetry …

‘Ground of Poetry’ is a poem inspired by the bagpipe playing of a Scottish friend, Colin, during a recent gathering in memory of another friend, Aranth. See an earlier post on ‘receiving.’  The sound of the bagpipe opened the sky and vast landscapes, across which the drone carried the glories tunes into a kind of homecoming. The drone of a musical instrument, I thought, is like the backdrop sound of the universe into which every manifestation dissolves, and from which every manifestation returns.

in the beginning was the word … the leaves in my garden reminded me of words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

thousand-and-one words fall to the ground

jewelling the story of seasons’ rounds

they’ll twirl anew to the drone

of each new sound arising

from beyond the ever-

open silence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

open silence

from beyond the ever

of each new sound arising

they’ll twirl anew to the drone

jewelling the story of seasons’ rounds

thousand-and-one words swell from the ground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For anyone not that familiar with bagpipes, here are a few words and tunes:

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/about/instruments/bagpipes/index.asp

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… another poignant Alice moment …

‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first – verdict afterwards.’

‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly, ‘the idea of having the sentence first.’

‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

‘I won’t!’ said Alice.

‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted on top of her voice. Nobody moved.

‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards.’

Do we ever grow to our full size, psychologically speaking? I frequently throw my pack of cards into the air – a good practice in this hilariously mad world, where a rational outlook focusses on particulars while missing the whole picture, the full proportion and variety of human experience. The turmoil of our time creates stress that becomes endemic, where hardly anybody can remain relaxed enough to really listen to their own anxieties, let alone others’ – so they can be aired.

Many dear familiar things are vanishing from our lives, including people. People we met on our path at certain times, people that moved apart again or remained close and intimate. Being reminded that nothing lasts, haunts us with a sense of futility, originating from within us as anxieties, which, depending on our sensitivity, are fed by collective anxieties. The turmoil, while a natural part of transformation, also created stress – which takes different forms in us.

I acquired skills to reduce my stress, am fortunate to be able to listen to myself, often a pre-requisite during the training of any vocation that involves listening to others who suffer stress.

This morning on the news, the poor support offered to those who suffer from periods of schizophrenia was highlighted. It most poignantly illustrates the point. Instead of non-judgemental listening to the anxieties people experience under stress, no matter what fantasy grabs a mind as a kind of metaphor – drugs are prescribed, straight away. And so distrust worsens anxieties, without giving a person under stress the opportunity to explore the relevance of their anxieties. This is how schizophrenia is sanctioned and maintained. In short – the most sensitive people become the victims of our schizophrenic society. How sad.

Are you burdened by anxieties? Don’t insult your anxieties with soothing quotes. Forced development weakens the organism. Don’t be intimidated by expert opinions. Express your anxieties creatively – write, draw, create surreal representations of your fantasies, air them and play with them. Give space to the tension. See that the burden is not all on your shoulders. You are having part in a period of transition, a culture that struggles with confusion. Find your own truth, and establish your own evidence, before you arrive at a false verdict and sentence yourself as a victim.

Don’t adjust your truth to prescribed reality, create a reality to express your truth.

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… Alice moments …

‘Who are you?’ said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation.

Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I hardly know, sir, just at present – at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’

‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar sternly. Explain yourself!’

‘I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir,’ said Alice, ‘because I’m not myself, you see.’

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

 

A character in my book is having one of those Alice moments.

When I thought about it a little, l had to admit, so do I.

Having discovered this wonderful 1907 edition of Alice in Wonderland among my books, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, I’ll outwit my writer’s block and re-read one of my favourite stories.

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