This blog is in recess due to blogging fatigue. Thank you.
This blog is in recess due to blogging fatigue. Thank you.
I remembered a haibun I wrote a few years ago after reading a comment on my latest On the Road Prompt – Light on the Road
It’s about a light I found upon the road once when I was travelling:-
Travel has its highs and lows. The low point of my trip to Turkey came in Konya, the place where the Sufi mystic Rumi taught the dervishes to dance. It had been a long tiring trip to get there but in the gentle light of late afternoon I felt at peace as I wandered round the museum housed in the buildings where Rumi lived and taught. In a state of extended awe I studied a leaf etched with swirling Arabic calligraphy and marvelled at the exquisitely decorated pages of sacred books.
It was after dark when I felt the first fires of a raging sore throat and rising fever. I tried to sleep as I lay sweating in a cheap hotel room. Outside the city noise mounted to a crescendo of car horns, baring radios and sudden bursts of raucous conversation. Sleep became a memory as the hours passed.
Hot foreign city,
harsh male voices in the night
– cheap hotel room angst
Eventually the noise lessened and I feel into an uneasy sleep. Hours later I came back to consciousness. I was not dreaming but I cannot say I was awake in the usual sense of the word. I was aware of my surroundings but the room, my mind and my body were filled with a rich, almost liquid, golden light. Deep peace such I have never known before held me – suffused my being. The experience was all encompassing. Within it I had a deep feeling that the light was coming Rumi.
Sufi dancers spin
spiralling to the centre
– the still point of peace
“The moon and sun are travelers through eternity. Even the years wander on. Whether drifting through life on a boat or climbing toward old age leading a horse, each day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”
– from Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), Matsuo Basho – translation on Goodreads
Earlier this week on the night of the full moon there was a partial lunar eclipse. On August 21 there will be a total solar eclipse that will be visible from the USA. Across the internet there are posts that range from factual information about the path of the solar eclipse to speculative articles about the astrological and metaphysical significance of the eclipses.
In traditional astrology eclipses are regarded as portents of trouble and upheaval particularly when they aspect the chart of rulers. It is interesting to note that the…
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Thank you so much to those people who offered me positive feedback on my struggles with writing last week’s prompt. I realised that not only does making these prompts help me sort out my thoughts it also, apparently, inspires others. That’s really gratifying to know inspires me to keep going.
Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. The other night I was channel surfing on TV and happened to land on a subtitled version of the film, Monkey King 2* just as the Buddhist monk Tripitaka spoke to his companion, Monkey King –
“You don’t find the path, you make it step by step,” I read.
The words made me think that perhaps I could make a new path into these prompts by creating a structure I can sustain even when I’m busy or pre-occupied by my personal life.
I’ve come up with the idea…
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This will be the last “On the Road” prompts. Thank you very much to everyone who followed the site and for the wonderful poems you have written in response to prompt.
This week I’ve been really struggling to write a prompt. I’ve had lot of ideas but can’t seem to get traction on any of them. Searching for inspiration I came across the three vows of the Japanese haiku poet Tanoka –
Do not attempt the impossible.
Do not feel regret for the past.
Do not berate oneself.
I feel like I am attempting the impossible in trying to keep things going here beyond this week. The idea for the site grew out of online conversations with another haiku poet. I was under the impression she wanted to be involved and was interested in creating some prompts. What actually happened was that when I let…
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– the story of a journey
A few years ago I had the opportunity to go through some old family papers. There I came across a letter written by my great, great grandmother, Priscilla to her daughter Eliza, my great grandmother. In the letter Priscilla wrote that the family had lived in a particular part of the British Isles ‘for time out of mind’ before they came to Australia.
It is unclear why Priscilla and her common law husband John felt the need to take a three month sea voyage to the other side of the world with all of their nine children. Further on in the letter she hints at some family trouble – some problem that forced them to flee their ancestral home. The details are very sketchy.
The letter is the only written story of my ancestors I have ever found. The rest of my forebears are silent. All that remains of them are a few tattered material goods and fragments of stories – stories that speak of loss and disruption – some sudden change in fortune that sent them across the globe to start again.
As their descendant I feel I carry these imprints of disruption, exile and wandering in my DNA. No doubt many of us carry similar imprints for so many of us can trace our ancestry back to another country, another culture.
When I went to south west Ireland I felt I was venturing back through my own familial history into time out of mind – that time where my ancestral roots are lost in the mists of myth and legend.
These experiences enriched me and gave me a sense of belonging to a people, an ethnic group, even to an ancient pre-Christian belief system I can only guess at but feel spiritually connected to.
Tomb of the crone goddess, Co. Cork, Ireland
Here in south west Victoria the feeling that I am journeying back in time still comes to me when I am alone in untamed natural environments. Here though I feel as if I am travelling back into pre-history. I walk past archaeological evidence of the Aboriginal people that have lived here for 40,000 years to ancient fossilized landscapes that date back millions of years.
As I clamber over the cooled lava flows that shaped this area or pick my way along the crumbling sandstone cliffs of the coast a sense of time beyond human time envelops me. I step beyond my ancestral roots into something far older – a sense of connection with the Earth that goes back through the very first humans that walked this land to the creation myths and the cellular connection between all carbon based life forms.
Standing alone in the primal landscapes of south west Victoria I feel myself to be a part of the Earth and of the universe itself. The life force that animates all living things pulsates within my being.
FOOTNOTE: On a personal note this blog post was one of those ideas that woke in the middle of night. I couldn’t get back to sleep last night until I had turned on the light and jotted it down. When I came online to write this blog post I saw a complete stranger had visited some old blog of mine I’d completely forgotten about and found a post I wrote about Priscilla 7 years ago. It seems she too is a descendant of this indomitable woman and would like to email me. Life is stranger than fiction.