Music is What Words Want to be When They Grow Up

2020 will be marked as the year I found the writings of the late Irish poet John O’Donohue and the impact they have had on me. I brought a book of his with me and cannot get past page 27. He writes in his introduction:

“What is nearest to the heart is often farthest from the word.”

This is the description of what I feel most of the time here in Ireland.  I can’t describe it adequately. There is a vibration deep inside me that feels like it is searching for a song to allow it to escape. It resonates when I unintentionally found the old graveyard, when I chatted with the old shepherd and when the elder Irish woman convinced me to sing a song last night in the pub. It is impossible to describe, but it is as real and tangible nonetheless.

David Whyte puts it this way:

“The language we possess is not large enough for the territory we’ve entered.”

The pathway of loss has led me into a place where I have crossed its borders a few times, but I now find myself in a region that I am fumbling to communicate, even to myself, what I am seeing, feeling and discovering.  I think that’s why O’Donahue’s poems are so critical. Poetry is a language against which I have no defenses.

Negotiating With Being Alone. Read by Kevin Shinn
Negotiating With Being Alone

The awareness of being alone
Is easily transacted
For a lesser companion
One that fills a void
But brings no color
No brushes
And no mind
To paint a pretty landscape

Reason tends
Time will not allow
The ache of longing
Adequate space
For love to satiate
Hunger that isn’t sensible

But a choice to settle
Is still a decision
To find an answer
And resolve a riddle
That has more than one solution.

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