the song of water, the silence of light

The sky last night broke my heart. It was sorrowful and beautiful, dark and cracked through with old light. Such a wild, mythic sky. As I looked out at it, I felt a hundred stories stirring in my heart - memories, fairytales, forest dreams, childhood wishes that never came true. That is what the sky does for me. Same as it draws water from the seas and the trees to be transformed and returned, it draws my inner stories out, and later gives them back to me through some storm or glimmering sunshower on a quiet morning, so that I better understand myself.

We live in frightening times. A great black snake is slithering about, poisoning the earth and eating the bones of the ancestors. It is breathing a heavy fumid silence to mesmerise us. Those who see it and would protect us from it, whose voices are a drumbeat of warning, are being dismembered word by wailing cry, and dragged into its false peace. Just go north to get water instead. It doesn't matter he is a filthy bullying egomaniac, he says that he hears your pain. Those people are strange to you, so you don't have to care they are dying.

And the world is turning to light.

Yes, light. Darkness, soft and wild, replenishing, the darkness of night, is being destroyed. Everywhere I look are snake teeth, rising and gleaming. They have pierced the stars, swallowed them down. Soon, they will hide the moon. What then for our poetry? For our mad womanly dreaming?

I want to give you gentle quiet today. I believe strongly in the healing wisdom of deep natural silence. But there is a season for silence, and one for singing out, and each comes at different times to all of us. Yesterday, I found comfort in peace. This morning, I must cry.

All over the world, men are wringing the necks of trees and ancient animals. They are giving us mathematical definitions for what our sacred tales should mean to us. And the new missionaries have come - this way to heaven : buy a leather lounge suit, a new car, a tropical holiday.

These things are rising, drawn into the sky. They are falling, polluting our cities and the stories we tell ourselves about what is right, normal, wise. When we befoul our waters - our rivers, seas, cells - we are killing not only our planet but our own hearts.

| a little peace, if you need it |


  1. yes, all that you say with such sad poetry is true. it's how i've been feeling lately---drawn tight, stretched to breaking point with sorrow. my desperate prayer, to which i cling like an orphan to a shredded blanket, is that change must come now. change of hearts, change of policies, change of priorities. i hope that we are in the place that comes in all the fairy tales, the dark night before the dawn part...and then i read a critique of 'magical thinking', and despair washes over me again. but surely, an absence of magical thinking is part of what has gone so terribly wrong in our world...

  2. well i believe magical thinking is the right way of thinking, or at least an essential element of the complex ways we can be thinking ... i believe without it we miss so much of the truth of the world.

    i am one of those weird people who believes the cailleach is real, there actually is a dragon in the river, the moon is the earth's true sister, the sky is our trickster god. people may call me crazy but it seems saner than some of the things others are thinking these days (mexican wall, anyone?) and i've seen magical thinking so often supported by scientific evidence.