My power went off this morning, and so it did all sorts of odd things to my computer, and my sent mail is now in a unique order, so that when I opened it, this is what popped up, an email I sent in 2004. I place it here.
From John O’Donohue's book Beauty, The Invisible Embrace - Rediscovering the true sources of compassion, serenity, and hope.
W. S. Graham -
Listen. Put on morning.
Waken into falling light.
Rilke in the ninth Duino Elegy -
Perhaps we are here in order to say: house,
bridge, fountain, gate, pitcher, fruit-tree, window …..
To say them more intensely that the Things themselves
Ever dreamed of existing.
O’Donohue’s words -
“How can we ever know the difference we make to the soul of the earth? Where the infinite stillness of the earth meets the passion of the human eye, the invisible depths strain towards the mirror of the name. In the word, the earth breaks silence. It has waited a long time for the word. Concealed beneath familiarity and silence, the earth holds back and it never occurs to us to wonder how the earth sees us. Is it not possible that a place could have huge affection for those who dwell there? Perhaps your place loves having you there. It misses you when you are away and in its secret way rejoices when you return. Could it be possible that a landscape might have a deep friendship with you? That it could sense your presence and feel the care you extend towards it? Perhaps your favorite place feels proud of you. We tend to think of death as a return to clay, a victory for nature. But maybe it is the converse: that when you die, your native place will fill with sorrow. It will miss your voice, your breath and the bright waves of your thought, how you walked through the light and brought news of other places. When the funeral cortege passes the home of the departed person, is that the home that is getting one last chance to say farewell to its beloved resident or is it the deceased getting one last look at the home? Or is it both? Perhaps each day our lives undertake unknown tasks on behalf of the silent mind and vast soul of nature. During its millions of years of presence perhaps it was also waiting for us, for our eyes and our words. Each of us is a secret envoi of the earth.