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Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Sleep of Winter


Yin and Yang (summer is yang and winter yin)

Yes another blog title that may become a poem!  I read today on a facebook status update that during this time of year the margin between Here and There wears thin and the life dreamed is blended with the life lived.  Where exactly is There you might find yourself asking?  Ah who knows but the sage or the shaman, isn't this the great mystery? 

While driving slowly into town I thought of Susan Connolly's concept of winterlight, of course I cannot find her collection of poems now that I am looking for it, maybe it's under the bed, or in the car or hiding away under some books.  The light in winter can be spectacular, the sunsets especially in December have taken my fancy in the past few years.  Now I feel the oppressing presence of winter on my mind at times but according to the Chinese winter is a time when we should slow down and nourish our inner selves, just as the animals hibernate perhaps so should we.  When we are at peace with ourselves there is nothing we cannot conquer.  Again I am amazed by nature and how everything we need to learn may already be woven within its divine tapestry for us to discover and interpret.   I feel a bit frustrated as I know I could describe these concepts better if I understood them more.  While I have always seen spring as the time to create and start anew now I can sense that these dark months can be used to plant seeds and create as roots sleep in the earth surely they must dream of the life to come?

"Water element represent the most extreme Yin state. It is the phase when the energy is stored, awaiting a time to explode outward, initiating a new life cycle. Winter is the season associated with Water. If the energy of water can be retained, it will provide strength through the life cycle. If the energy is wanted, the remainder of the cycle will be weakened. Deficiency of water manifests in fear, paranoia, poor resistance, cold, lower back and knee pain and general bodily weakness." from http://tcmonline.co.cc/wuxing/index.html

I think that if I have learned anything from today it is not to forget the beauty of poetry and to remember why I write at all, or ever wrote, which is because life is so beautiful sometimes that it cannot be contained but must find a medium of expression. 

Death of a Season

(translated by Catherine O'Brien)

All night long it rained
on the memories of summer.

We went out in the dark
between the dismal thundering of stones,
standing on the brink with outstretched lanterns
to explore the danger of the bridges.

Pale at dawn we saw the swallows
drenched and motionless on the wires
looking out for secret signals to depart -

and on the ground they were reflected
in the defeated faces of the fountains.

Antonia Pozzi





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