sanctified

there is a largeness to this

difficult journey

that you will not read about

in a newspaper

that will remain

forever obscured

behind the mirrors

some people choose to use

as reflectors

of their own splintered insides

so if sometimes

the world breaks your heart

apart

with its misunderstanding

travel deep

to find your own reality

for you were never mean to be

reduced to a vacancy

your soul

was born to be

sanctified

Surfacing

Here under the weight of air

You feel the pressure of the past

Holding your heart tight

Within the embrace of silence

Surrounding your vision

Obscuring the surface of your prism

Here within the refracted place of grace

You search your soul

For every lasting trace of innocence

How to come up for air

Release the burden of longing and despair

While life on the other side of suffering

Beckons to you

Glimpses of sunlight fall

Refracted beneath the surface

Of the wave

As you feel the oceans roar

Giving you a sense of what you lost

And what you were living for

And now that the wave breaks

And you surrender to the swell

Have you finally learned the lessons

Of living well

No longer surrendering to the fear

Of losing your breath

Finding the way to surface

From the tumultuous depths

Of your surrendered self

The peace I am seeking

I am learning that the peace I am seeking has to come from within. So many idols seem to be being smashed with me right now. I am beginning to see how I looked to my relationships for love and unconditional acceptance and how often that failed. Now I am feeling more and more that I must rely on myself and prayer. I am not even really feeling like socialising any more. I see the world going through so much darkness. Where I find light and tenderness is basically with my dog and nature and poetry and some writing or music. I am thinking more and more of Jesus lately and what he endured and how he was misrepresented and put to death. It seems that the true gnostic teaching that we have to find the way to God within got lost in much of Christianity.

Drawing close to peace and serenity for me now is all I wish for in my life. I see that the things of this world do not bring true lasting happiness, only peace and love in our hearts and minds and spirits and souls does that. It is something that cannot be bought and is conditional upon a spiritual experience of every day praying for love to overcome fear and petty selfish small mindedness. I am wanting to simplify my life more and more and I am sure 2020 will be the year to do it. I am also going to draw close to the silence more. Its where I find my recharge. Plugging into my own peace and happiness is my responsibility. No one else can give it to me.

Thank you, poetry

Poetry breathes

Poetry

You are my refuge

The one place I can go to

To have my soul fed

The luminous place where I can dive so deep down

Or be born aloft on the wings of words

That others write

Which speak exactly of how it is to live

In world so overpowering

In its beauty, agony, ecstasy and terror

 

Poetry you are also my rock

One I know will never desert me

Even in the darkest of nights

Even when every other soul has left

And it is such comfort to my heart

That I can rest secure in the knowing

That whether I turn to you my weeping or smiling self

You will answer in a way

That always fulfils the empty spaces

And helps me more deeply

Know myself

On creativity, poetry and the journey to The Abyss via The Dark Night of the Soul

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The following is an excerpt from Linda Schirese Leonards book Witness to the Fire : Creativity and the Veil of Addiction.  

The necessity of facing death and going into a dark night of the soul is, according to Jung, essential to human development.  This dark night may be forced upon one (in the case of addiction or neglect) or it may be freely chosen, as in the case of the creator.  But, in any case, it is the way of the transformation process.  And as is the paradoxical nature of human kind…

When libido leaves the bright upper world, whether from choice, or from inertia, or from fate, it sinks back down into its own depths, into the source from which it originally flowed, and returns to the point of cleavage, the navel where it first entered the body.  The point of cleavage is called the mother, because from her the current of life reached us.  Whenever some great work is to be accomplished, before which a man recoils, doubtful of his strength, his libido streams back to the fountainhead – and this is the dangerous moment when the issue hangs between annihilation and new life.  For if the libido gets stuck in the wonderland of this inner world, then for the upper world man is nothing but a shadow, he is already moribund or at least seriously ill.  But if the libido manages to tear itself loose and force its way up again, something like a miracle happens :  the journey to the underworld was a plunge into the fountain of youth, and the libido, apparently dead, wakes to renewed fruitfulness.

(Carl Jung)

This describes the challenge for the addict (or depressive) who has fallen into The Abyss – to turn that addictive underworld journey into the fruitful return to life and creativity.

The poet takes the turn of transformation in The Abyss by giving expression to what he finds there.  In this respect, poetry, is a call to all of us to embark upon the nightsea journey.  It calls us forth, if we respond, into the dark unknown by jolting us from the ordinary with its unusual and powerful images.  Yet it is also an attempt, while in the depths, to articulate the numinous unknown – a primordial beginning to name that which emerges towards us from the depths.  Poetry invites us to accept momentarily the death of our ordinary ego world so that we may enter into a strange, often terrifying new vision, and from this extraordinary experience to return renewed  .. to a more differentiated level of human existence – one that can accept and dwell more consciously in mystery… revolting against the one-sidedness that has far too long rationalised existence.. (the artist must) confront those opposite unconscious chaotic forces that have too long been repressed.

Only if we confront the chaotic irrational power at the very depths of our being will we be able to transform them into something more meaningful.  ..

The readiness for the creative journey requires giving up possessiveness and expectation, dying to old ways of perceiving, daring to leap into the unknown, and being ready to open and receive what comes, be it something or nothing.

Perhaps everything terrible is its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.  

Rilke, Letter to a Young Poet

 

Psychologically, then, the “Dark Night of the Soul” is due to the double fact of the exhaustion of an old state, and the growth towards a new state of consciousness.  It is a “growing pain” in the organic process of the self’s attainment of the Absolute.  The great mystics, creative geniuses in the realm of character,have known instinctively how to turn these psychic disturbances to spiritual profit. 

Evelyn Underhill

 

In the act of creation, we wrestle with the elements.  To bring the new creation into being requires our standing in the struggle between that which shelters and conceals and self disclosing openness.  The artist is a gentle warrior who must stand between these opposing elements to allow and bring forth the new.

A field of sorrow

Fields.png

There is so much beauty in life

When you open your heart

Sometimes it takes me completely off guard

Knocking me sideways

Stealing my breath

Making tears to flow

Most especially that found in nature

Or poetry

Today these lines from Sheenagh Pugh

‘The sun will sometimes melt

A field of sorrow

That seemed hard frozen’

Yes, oh yes my heart

Causing tears to fall

Bringing new life

Again

Sunshine

From out of the dark

Or a heart

Of sorrows

Wracked by storms

Wild Geese : Mary Oliver

Geese.jpg

I love sharing poems on my blog by published poets, most especially the ones that speak to my heart and soul (and body).    The following is such a poem that forms part of William Seighart’s collection The Poetry Pharmacy which I have shared from before.  In his introduction to this poem by Mary Oliver which he prescribes as an antidote for self recrimination, Sieghart writes :

There is a small, wide eyed animal in each of us that doesn’t understand why we keep kicking it.  All we need do to overcome is to treat ourselves like a loyal pet with love, forgiveness and understanding.

Wild Geese

 

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies

and the deep trees and the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely.

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

 

Mary Oliver

Young poets : Nikita Gill : Miracle

Embers

I get so excited happening across new poets (new to me, that is!).  I used part of a gift voucher this afternoon to buy Nikita Gill’s collection wild embers : poems of rebellion fire and beauty which I had discovered about six weeks ago.  Check her work out if you can.  I would like to share a few of her poems on my blog…. this one really touched me.

Miracle 

it took 3.8 billion years

of triumphant evolution,

remarkable collision,

an unbelieveable confluence

made by sheer will and influence

of this infinite universe

and all of the stars

to get you here

 

I hope you never doubt again

that even when you are in pain,

that you are a miracle,

that every part of you is incredible.

 

Ghosts

Some Rilke medicine

Hours.jpg

I love the poetry of Rilke.   I have been nourished and soothed by it for years, so I was so happy when yesterday a copy of Rilke’s Book of Hours that I put a request in for, turned up at my library.   I already have several favourite poems from it.   None of them have titles so I will just share this one from page 51 that spoke to my heart and soul.

I love the dark hours of my being.

My mind deepens into them.

There I can find, as in old letters,

the days of my life, already lived,

and held like a legend and understood.

 

Then the knowing comes: I can open

to another life that’s wide and timeless.

 

So I am sometimes like a tree

rustling over a gravesite

and making real the dream

of the one its living roots

embrace.

 

A dream once lost

among sorrows and songs.