The one that sings

confused-dark-1040x500.jpg

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have begun our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

Wendell Berry
Standing by Words, Essays by Wendell Berry

Friends ask ‘do you really have a poem for pretty much any occasion?’

Two answers come quickly to mind: the first, that I’m not nearly well read enough for that to be true; the second, that I’m wary of the proposition – believing as I do that thoughtlessly ‘dishing out texts’ willy-nilly can lead to some pretty unhealthy outcomes.

Yet, for all that, there’s no getting around that I do look to poetry as guide, nourishment and sustenance almost every day. Sometimes this involves taking down books from shelves, and at others going down deep and in silence into the library of the soul.

Sometimes a poet’s message is clear, read or remembered, plain as a pikestaff – and that’s good, so long as I remember that next time I come to the same poem the experience – and the message – will be, probably ought to be, quite different, or at least a little more evolved.

At other times it’s a poem’s nuance that I’m attracted to. A certain open-endedness,  invitation to an abiding, to contemplation and / or reflection.

Poetry is always a gift for those who are lost, confused, unsure, unclear and perplexed (that’s to say, all of us at different times in our lives) because it brings us to a halt for a while, even if only for seconds, reminding us that we’re never in full possession of ‘answers’ to this world’s mysteries. Never were, are not, never could be.

And yet there is an enduring melody, a cantus firmus somewhere in the depths of us. In the place where we recognise

The mind that is not baffled is not employed,
The impeded stream is the one that sings.

And in the singing come to grow, if not to know. And today’s new work becomes clear. Here.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

2 thoughts on “The one that sings

  1. Given the unease that is permeating the world, I think we are all well-served by checking out ‘the library of the soul’, hearing the music in our heartbeats (impeded perhaps by cacophony) and breathing in time.

    Liked by 1 person

Drop me a note - I'm always glad to hear from you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s