Sunday, December 28, 2008

Without fail every year I go to post on my blog an image of a Christmas tree on fire and every year it is a surprise to me that I feel this way. I am a girl with strong desires. I want the bread baking, the children running hither and yond but what happens is reality and it stings me every time.

I am a girl with strong desires and no memory.

I just finished a non-fiction piece by Harrison Solow about Wales, a tenor, the inner eye lid of the Welsh and the word hiraeth. The word speaks more about what it does not mean than what it does. I love words like that. Hiraeth is not longing or emptiness but the heart that surrounds longing, a hungering vessel that without its existence emptiness would not exist.

I am chuck full of hiraeth! (hear-eye-th)

Wales reminded me so much of Novy (nova scotia) when I was a girl. Today I have no idea why I am living in this cold tundra of Minnesota. I have no idea why I am doing the things I do or living the life I live. I hunger for this “true life” in a way I can’t describe to anyone. I constantly feel as if I am in a room of appetizers while the main dish is being served elsewhere.

That said, I am not unhappy…it should be clear that I am not trying to say that. Just that I am missing something vital to the puzzle of existence and I’m not sure where I fit in it. Yet I want to understand everything.

Every single damn thing.


Lyle Daggett said...

Someplace or other, years ago, I heard or read a joke:

A spiritual seeker decided to go on a pilgrimage across the wide surface of the earth, to find out once and for all what was the true meaning of life.

The seeker sought out teachers and sages and philosophers of all kinds, in every place high and low on the earth -- sailing the seas, roaming vast deserts, climbing the highest mountain ranges.

All of the people the seeker talked to kept mentioning one particular teacher, of surpassing wisdom, who lived a hermit's existence on a nearly inaccessible mountaintop in a remote region of the world.

So the seeker set off, across streams and rivers and great plains, through snow and wind and rain and blazing sun, finally reaching the fabled mountain. Then up the perilous mountain slope, battling the ferocious elements, finally reaching the top of the mountain. And there, in blissful contemplation, sat the great wise teacher.

"Teacher, teacher," said the seeker. "I've traveled the world over, crossed oceans and deserts and mountain ranges, to come here and ask you one question. Please, I must know the answer."

"So ask," said the teacher.

Summoning up courage, the seeker said, "What is the meaning of life?"

The teacher reflected for a few moments, in which the only sound to be heard was the whistling of the mountain wind off the step slopes and high ridges. Then the teacher answered:

"Life... is a river without end."

The seeker sat dumbfounded. "What?! I travel all over the world, through every kind of weather, enduring every kind of hardship, and all I get from you is this -- life is a river without end?!"

And the teacher gave a surprised look, and said, "You mean it's not?"

early hours of sky said...

yep Lyle that sums it up EXACTLY. said...

Your poem affected life?! Yes, you can share your lovely poem and its great "after story" with the world... Submit now on