Two of my favourite poets, Yeats and RS Thomas. It’s not known whether this was a real or imagined event. Thomas often travelled on the Holyhead train, as did Yeats. They were contemporary, both passionate about their Celtic culture. Both, in my humble opinion, shared the same muse.
The rail rhythm of the first two lines is simple and stunning. And ‘In mutual silence closer than lover knit’ my favourite line in poetry… and life. This is not necessarily, however, the view of my own muse… the missus.
Memories of Yeats while Travelling to Holyhead
How often he went on this journey, think of it, think of it:
The metrical train, the monosyllabic sea,
The listening hilltops, aloof and resentful of strangers.
Who would have refrained from addressing him here, not discerning
The embryonic poem still coiled in the ivory skull?
Boredom or closeness of age might have prompted, his learning
Concealed by his tweed and the azure, ecstatic tie;
But who would have sensed the disdain of his slow reply
Of polite acquiescence in their talk of the beautiful?
Who would have guessed the futility even of praising
Mountain and marsh and the delicate, flickering tree
To one long impervious and cold to the outward scene,
Heedless of nature’s baubles, lost in the amazing
And labyrinth paths of his own impenetrable mind?
But something in the hair’s fine silver, the breadth of brow,
Had kept me dumb, too shy of his scornful anger
To presume to pierce the dark, inscrutable glasses,
His first defence against a material world.
Yet alone with him in the indifferent compartment, hurled
Between the waves’ white audience, the earth’s dim screen,
In mutual silence closer than lover knit
I had known reality dwindle, the dream begin.
Asking the right questions
Seeking the telling conversation
Exploring the apt environment
We evolve to awareness of self
A new engagement with our other
Seeing relationships that hold us in our place
Feeling influences that stabilise our path
Shedding our distractions, we clear the way
To optimise love, to make love
We travail, fully engaged, harmonised
We move and are moved as one
fallen headlong a gain
Enjoying a holiday in the med, watching serene Santorini sunsets. Enjoying all those beautiful sensations of the Mediterranean; sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers, bougainvillea, fig trees, pistachios, worldwide scents and suntan lotion floating on the warm breeze. Not having to write much as this is a living meditation but enjoying some great reading on WP, and this poem by Nicole Lyons in particular:
“This is the place where I have come undone,
and I walk softly around the edge of it.”
It sums up human life on Earth, well mine at least.
A concise summary of a vast subject. James Gleick’s coverage of symbolism is an apt, strong theme throughout. The summary of the scientific viewpoint also covers well the current confusion about the fundamentality of Information, the bit, the byte, 4 dimensionsal digital reality, on or off? – the biter bit!
Finally, Wikipedia gets due coverage for being perhaps the greatest real social democratic project on the planet, warts and all mirror of the human condition:
Stars the bit players
Cast a universe in mind
Art thou creator?
We inhabit a matrix of digital information
We make of it what we will
Consciousness just another production
Of the director over the hill
Just in the mind?
It is just, it is justice, no shame
What a magnificent thing to find
A universe inside us
I’m not religious in any accepted sense
I cannot paraphrase the universe
But yours is the crudest interpretation
I’ve come across for something that persists
As long as humanity
And has changed it and you and me irrevocably
You charge it with man’s folly?
Its own state and purpose,
Its raison d’etre!
What am I to make of your opposition,