Thursday, 11 October 2012

Hair is grey and the fires are burning

11:30:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , , , 3 comments

We are separated, finally, not by death but life.
We cling to the dead, but the living break away.
From Winter Song by Carolyn Kizer

Winter has a reputation for harshness.  It brings with it a dose of reality, or mortality.  We are ill equipped to face this season and the sense of endings which it drags in its cold, grey wake.  No matter how many winters we witness, how many deaths we endure, the finality maintains its capacity to horrify us.

What of the separation of which Carolyn Kizer speaks?  What of the endings which are inevitable in the tumult of living?  Disagreement, incompatibility, impracticality?  Some places we have tended, carefully, become barren.  They no longer provide the sustenance essential to life.  The ground turns hard, the landscape unwelcoming.  Do we stubbornly plough the frozen ground, thinking Spring to be on the horizon?  Or do we walk away from that place?  Can we leave it behind, knowing that not only can we never return but that some other might find that sacred place, knowing a way to tend that land which we hadn't imagined, and yield the sweet harvest which we imagined in the beginning?

Some things must end.  This is the fact.  Endings feed beginnings.  Old matter nourishes the ground, feeding the seedlings.  It is right to cling to the dead, to remember what has passed.  It is equally right that we let them go, with love, and acknowledge the elegance of the cycle.  More difficult is it to walk away from the living.  Even when the leaves have fallen, the stems become brown and brittle, we remember how the meadow looked in the height of summer, brazen and dazzling - teeming with life and possibility.

When the living break away what can we do, but trust in Winter's necessity, think on the lost loves of the dead, and rest a while, nourishing ourselves in the dark.



Ashley R Lister said...

Endings are never such bad things. As I recall, the ending was the best part of those Lord of the Ring stories. (Well - it certainly wasn't the beginning or the middle).

Great post,


Lindsay said...

Beautiful. Very true.

Adele said...


This blog has really touched me because my youngest has just moved into her own home. I walked into her empty room on Monday and cried my heart out. She was my focus and my joy for so long.

My inward sense of loss is appropriate to the Winter months. perhaps the sring will bring a new outlook.

Thank you

I have to fill my life with something else now. New beginnings. I look How exciti