Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Light

One does not encounter grace in cozy living rooms, one discovers it – or is discovered by it – in the barren, remote, and inhospitable places – where all distractions have been removed - mental hospitals and prisons, for example. Achieving such a state, however briefly, removes as much as it provides. Having burned in the chilly spotlight you can never again subscribe to the myth that financial/professional success will ensure meaningful safety and comfort – and – conversely – that the opinion of others bears any relationship at all to what is important about you. The following poem could to be relevant.


Spare a little pity for the winter
Nature’s yearly festival of death
Vicious winds and leaden days
Salt upon the roads we slide
Sacrament of perfect nothingness

Spare a little pity for the winter
Conjure up the lost and lonely night
You looked upon a silent world
Encased by snow and ice, bathing
In the moonlight silver blue, and
Realized it was not made to love you

Spare a little pity for the winter
Recall a bitter, chilly morning when
You gazed outside to watch the sunlight
Blaze upon the fallen snow so brightly
That you had to shield your eyes
Dazzling, vivid, endless sky
Graced you with its glory

Spare a little pity for the winter
Frigid air is full of fare-thee-well
Weather beaten, naked trees
Reach down deep into the earth
Drab and dreary scenery
Bristles with activity, more
Is taking place than we can know

When the air grows marvelous mad
Dizzy in an orgy of riotous glamor
We once more find earth
To our pleasing, and eagerly forget
Faith, not time, summons spring

Spare a little pity for the winter

Alistair McHarg

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