Friday, February 13, 2009
Though I'm old with wandering...
I have bits and pieces of poetry, music, images lodged in my head. They alternate between being comforting and being insistent with their presence. One is the "Dream of Wandering Aengus" by Yeats (inspired by very early Celtic stories) and made popular by Tommy Makem. Donovan also covered the poem in song form, and there is an interesting version of it on Youtube.
Song of Wandering Aengus
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
— William Butler Yeats
This was one of my Dad's favourite songs/quotes. We printed it on the commemorative bookmarks that were at the service Sunday and Monday. On the other side was a great quote from Carl Hiassen that was a perfect description of my Dad. I have no idea how my Mom had the forethought to jot it down while she was reading, but she did and it was good. Reverend Jane, who lead the service on Monday read it and her voice broke. And of course I cried like Niagara Falls (again).
"He was a fighter, a real tiger, but he had a generous heart.
He was an idealist who believed in the innate decency and honesty of everyone he met.
He faced profound sadness in his life but he never let himself be defeated by it.
He never lost his sense of humour or his optimism.
He was one of the most positive and unselfish persons.
He chose a simple, ordinary life because he believed that was the secret to true happiness.
He wasn't perfect.
He had weaknesses as all of us do.
Impulsive moments, blind spots, and lapses in judgment.
He wasn't a perfect person but he was a truly good person and we'll all miss him dearly."
-- Carl Hiassen
It has been a strange week... I feel like an empty husk, with a low wind blowing through my mind. I move, write, create, but it is like being an automaton with no independent thought or motive. The strangest thing was grocery shopping. If Clay hadn't been there, I probably would've ended up lodged at the end of an aisle with my cart ground against a row of soup or something. It was like being in a dream. I talked with my Mom Wednesday and she said Mike had felt the same way.
I get up, make coffee, put clothes on. I gaze at the lovely flowers that our friends sent and let my mind drift into daisies, roses and palm fronds. Occasionally I will go along and forget. Then forcibly, I'll be stopped mid-thought: Dad would really like this book--- Realizing that I'll never share another book with him. Or looking yesterday for images from "Slaine the Horned God" by Mills & Bisley to get a picture, and coming up in a shortened chest-tight gasp. Dad and I loved that book, and nobody else really got it within my circle but us. Other things like that cascade in my mind--small things, significant only to me. But it hurts to my bones, and it is something that can't be brushed aside or crawled over. It has to be examined, cherished, then moved through respectfully, in its own time.