from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Friday, 23 September 2011

the problem with time, and the equilux

The dog and I lie side-by-side in the courtyard (though I'm on the bench) in weak sun. We're toughing out the hornets buzzing us from their nest two yards away (I am; she's cowering behind my bench); this is an exercise in not knee-jerk killing. Two seasons they've shared our space; so far so good, no one's been stung, and they've eaten our blackfly.
    I've got some viral vertigo thing: today the world's spinning a great deal faster than it ought to be by rights (and I don't think it's just because I'm a year older tomorrow); and in the opposite direction from the way I'd like it to go, so that when I walk against its gravitational pull I fall over or throw up. Solution? Stay lying down.
   So that's the space dimension. The time one seems a bit problematic, too (though not to a poet), for physicists now that they've found some neutrinos that travel faster than the speed of light – what does that do to time's arrow, then, hey? And a Prof from Oxford says it means that all the foundations of science that we base our comtemporary worldview on (at least in terms of relativity) will crumble. (The way TM reported it to me was that the Prof said 'that ****ers up causality', but that might have been TM being unusually loose with the info.)
   I could've told them that linear time is an illusion anyway (but they might not have believed my credentials I suppose).
   So that really might make a mockery of our notion of ageing... 


That was yesterday; the day after they also put Troy Davis to death in Georgia USA, despite the overwhelming likelihood that he was innocent (and 7 of 9 witnesses recanted). Imagine being for 20 years on death row, and so close to possible reprieve.

Last night I lit candles for him and all like him. A poor pathetic gesture, but what else is there to do, other of course than keeping on shouting for justice, and fairness, and compassion, rather than simply taking it without protest?


And yesterday, too, we lit the first fire of the season, the autumn equinox fire, with the oak that came down last winter: the oak king's final blaze. The Dreamtime's approaching now with its inwardness and reflection; its gathering-in of all the harvests of this summer and the turning solar twelvemonths, or thirteen moon-months.

On Sunday I shall walk out on the moor with others who want to share this equinoctial turning time with me with words and silence in an ancient place; the time of balance, of the creative tension of complementary poles where sun and moon hold steady, symbolically, as day and night are of equal length. ('Equilux', I'm told it should be called; though whether you emphasise equal night ('nox') or equal light you're still buying in to one or the other, surely, when at this time of equipoise maybe neither should be the 'default' title.)


I find myself writing poems in a voice quite unlike my usual voice at the moment, inspired in some way by my visit to the Witchcraft Museum, and mythic in focus – I write a lot about myth and archetype in prose but it doesn't find my poetry often. What's more, I'm writing in rhyme some of the time. This is a worrying turnabout – is it my age?? (Oh er I forgot, there's that little hitch in our notions of time so I can't blame it on that.)


More soon. I wish you a fruitful equinox and a rich harvest.

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