No.15: ‘Postscript’ (Seamus Heaney)
And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you’ll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.
– Seamus Heaney, ‘Postscript’ (1996)
And here are some links.
It is direct, sudden, flooding the mind with light. It is, of course, the hit – and it reveals a world. It’s THIS IS IT! and WHAT IS IT REALLY? all over again.
And before we know it, we’re sweeping into a vast ocean of shifting currents.
This is a transmission. It’s deep and it can be a bit wild. It can be approached from any direction – and it has a place for us.
THE WHITE GODDESS
According to Robert Graves in his book of this name (1948), true poetry is magical language, an invocation of the Muse, Mother of All living things, the ancient power of exaltation that makes our hair stand on end: both empowering and overpowering. Her colour encompasses milk and snow as well as the ghost and the corpse, just as she herself takes on the form of girl (old Moon, Spring), woman (full Moon, Summer) and hag (old Moon, Winter).
‘getting’ reality is a freedom that is also a kind of capture
Of course, we are possessed, caught. Out of this come all the charms and spells, the riddles and the cyphers. This is the transmission of the ‘work’ (an alchemical term) – the embodied gift. Embodiment isn’t representation, it’s capture: you, me, everybody.
When we’re caught up, flying, things are not what they seem, neither as far nor as near, this colour or that. The light is constantly changing and the shadows shifting. We’ve found something with its own life.
Once we’re hit, we’re all rather strange and wonderful.
light and loneliness
love and failure
serving the gods and the overall strangeness of being
heart and soul
dream and no mind
collision and vanishment
everything and just a little thing
Something moves in the heart, opening it so that it can enter the heart of another. And when we’re in the heart of the Tao, of creation, we could hit a swallow in flight.
It is the loving who are the daring. Why? Because they enter the whole show – the whole cosmic show – with only the heart to guide them back home.
It is the Heart that delivers the hit. It always has been.