Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Believe in miracles and cures and healing wells

I'm too inspired at the moment to write about it.  It bursts out of me and needs alone-in-my-livingroom-dancing time.  It needs waking-up-in-the-morning-and-starring-at-the-wall-time.  It needs walking-deep-into-the-woods time.  Then I'll be ready to share it.

I once needed permission to do those things, to require those things.  So, just in case someone reading this needs permission to stare at the wall or dive naked into a waterfall or cut their hair or go on a walkabout as part of their artistic process-- I humbly grant it, as a person who has struggled with my requirements and come to accept them. 

This poem is from the chorus of the play The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney about the story of the redemption of Philotetes, one of Odysseus' soldiers, who was abandoned on an uninhabited island because his wound, a symbol of his inner pain and separation from the Gods, stunk too much for the other soldiers on the warship to handle.

Human beings suffer,
they torture one another,
they get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
can fully right a wrong
inflicted or endured.

The innocent in gaols
beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker's father
stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
faints at the funeral home.

History says, Don't hope
on this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
the longed for tidal wave
of justice can rise up,
and hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
on the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells.

Call the miracle self-healing:
The utter self-revealing
double-take of feeling.
If there's fire on the mountain
Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing
the outcry and the birth-cry
of new life at its term.

What are some of your artistic requirements?  Do you accept them?  Do you honor them?

1 comment:

Irene S said...

Thanks for sharing this poem. It speaks from new mexico, irene