Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Poem - Full Circle


The end, we like to say, is also the beginning.
Charged with certainty and uncertainty 
we must each day face the page undaunted
by the endless possibilities of colour. 
This has always been the way; find the truths 
a parent cannot teach, the presence and purpose 
of chaos, the sense and nonsense of order. 
Nothing and no one is ours to own and so
to lose or keep. The blood and breath of life
ensure we go on turning, reinventing meaning 
from inside a full circle. 


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  1. Ah, yes, but sometimes I lose myself . . . there is a little death between breaths.

  2. The end in the beginning, the circle turns. Beautifully expressed, Claire. Thanks.

  3. Claire, Claire. I do swear that you are inside my head, and are giving me just the advice I need/want this morning when everything and everyone I encounter is shouting this theme:
    "The blood and breath of life ensure we go on turning, reinventing meaning from inside a full circle." I'm going to print this poem up and post it beside my calendar: a daily reminder.


  4. Dear Mim

    I hear you - I, too, lose myself en-route. Perhaps it's in that losing that we find ourselves? Perhaps the little deaths between breaths are required in order to create space for the life that wants to come in their place?

    It's so very good to have you back in blogland, Mim. Thanks.

  5. Dear Elisabeth - the circle is a powerfully capacious shape. I wonder if there's anything it cannot accommodate? I love to think in terms of life as a circle rather than as a linear continuum - it seems somehow more comforting, yielding, all-embracing than a straight line. As you suggest, the circle turns... it also pivots, rolls, spins, floats, centres, gathers, concentrates, distills.

    I've been away from home and computer for a wee while, but read on your blog this morning that you and your leg (one and the same, or two distinct parts of one whole?) are recovering well - am pleased to know this. I have a story to share that relates to yours and will post it to your comments stream today. Thanks for coming, Elisabeth.

  6. Dear T. Clear - lovely to know this poem speaks to you. It's been a treat to accompany you on your journey around Ireland and to partake in the riches and joys of your life with Paul. Seems to me a world of goodness is opening up to you both - and, too, that you and he open up worlds of goodness wherever you go. Blessings and love, Claire.

  7. I just love this poem, Claire. You have that rare quality of giving shape to my own inner feelings about things... and I'm not talking about icy places only. Life as a circle, I've always thought that too. A spiral of endless expansion. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me.

  8. Ah, but then if you've seen the film Agora, you will know that it's not the circle after all, but the sphere ... :-)

    Claire, I very much enjoyed this poem, not just because of the beauty of your poetry (as always) but because it resonated with recent throughts about how, although we seem to have to experience all new, for ourselves, there is really very little that IS new in terms of our human condition and learning life's lessons.

  9. Dear Ivette - so lovely to find you've been. Thank you for your generous words. We find our kin, don't we? Love your reference to life as an ever-expanding spiral , the way it implies movement inwards and outwards, both. I still need to send you an e-, Ivette. Sorry, sorry --- life's been unpredictable lately. I hope you know how pleased I am for the connections that have happened over these past weeks. Thank you. L, C

  10. Hi Helen - I think it's the circle AND the sphere AND the spiral! (And many other things besides... ). And yes, there's probably very little that's new in terms of what we have - or haven't - experienced before. I like to think we have more in common with each other than we have at variance with each other, at least in terms of tolerances.

    Time to turn our clocks forward... it's now officially 1.02 according to Daylight Saving...

    Take care, L, C

  11. Your fine poem seems to touch upon the themes we've been dialoguing about recently, said in such a concise and graceful way. There is a feeling of THE dance to this piece, our circling, finding and losing partnrs, it has a rhythmic quality. A treat for the spirit, thank you.

  12. Dear Marylinn - I think we are working with similar themes, yes... full engagement, full detachment; an open-handed, open-hearted 'present-to-moment/person/place' without the impulse to want then to own or possess that moment/person/place... It's not the most straightforward of processes, is it?!

    I find it helpful to think of it terms of a dance, too -even though we appreciate the music, the dance steps are intricate and learning fluency requires focus, patience and a lifetime's practice; every now and then, we are blessed with a spontaneous, joyful sweep across the dance floor, then it's back to work on the next complex sequence of steps... It helps a lot to know there are kindred spirits like you out there. Thanks, Marylinn xx