Spiritual autobiography can take many forms. It does not always choose prose, or even a linear narrative. It can be about as slippery as that piece of tofu that is dodging around your plate. You can get the sauce into a spoon, or lick a chopstick, but that chunk of tofu can disintegrate right back onto your plate if you are not dexterous and quick. And then you go chasing it all over again. Such it is when it comes to writing about, not so much spiritual matters, but Spirit.
Put another way, spirit is Spirit, one of those words regarding divinity that is likely to offend the least. Or it could refer to the fifth element in the medieval alchemists, who also called it quintessence (LOVELY word!). In the Chinese world view they thought of metal being the fifth essential element after fire, water, air and earth. So take your pick!
Quietly, in a closed group of trusted friends, we have been writing our way through the elements with respect to our spiritual autobiographies. This week the vote went to add the fifth element – ether (not in either the anaesthetic or alcoholic sense of the word). Or spirit. Or Spirit. Or metal.
Given that I have three workshops to run this week and a Risk Assessment walk to vet a walking route for Cavan Youth Arts Lab, I am a bit time famished. But I am also committed to writing a new poem each week to get in training for NaPoWriMo2018 from 1st of April. To learn more about the thirty poems in thirty days challenge, check out NaPoWriMo2018. So I am ‘doing the double’, using one exercise to fulfill two committments.
I am curious about word origins. During the doodle that is often the shitty first draft, I got hooked on the origin of ‘scape’, as in landscape or seascape. And that opened all sorts of thematic horizons.
Somewhere else entirely
with completely porous boundaries
where the indoor and the outdoor escape
the doors slide free into another kind of scape
one without bleating goat,
the sort to have a stake for the Puck King
Watching now from my window I see
trees. There are also weeds.
A blue tit taps at the glass and then…
There. It opens. I step out.
The edges have all dissolved
The outside me
matters not at all. To be sure,
I have been swallowed whole
like a communion host
that does not linger
sticking to the roof of the mouth
The scape always hands you
your royal prerogative
Jewelled tide into the timeless
As slim as a feather’s shaft
As fine as an insect’s antenna
© Bee Smith 2018