The Florilegia Project #4:
Imbolc & Candlemas
A Long Road on the Raven Coast 1. In the beginning is the land and the land has no beginning. God, how did it ever come to you to invent Time—that enticing world of suspended disbelief? Hurry ruins saints as well as artists: the constant din, empty words and machine noises. I want silence again, and vast blue skies; flowers that will echo the sunrise, patterns of stunning weather on the holy mountain. And some floating bits of emotional thistledown. Life is a blue coal. A sliver of orange in the mouth. Cut hay in the nostrils, a shimmer of terns, the pale scent of wild garlic. The solution to gravity and a single shape. 2. In my heart: the road, and the wild hawk of the mind. The wilderness of being human, and the silence we call God, who does not know how to be absent. I'm letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep. I send them out into this daily silent rhythm of the tide, blessed beyond reach of language. For that which is soundless within you remains a mystery. And mysteries break the patterns we impose upon the world. 3. I know the night lives inside you, seedbed of the self. Infinity comes in different sizes, canonized by their beauty and their strength. Each one could be set in gold. What seems to you lastingly delightful? How valuable it is, in these short days. So express yourself by what you choose to admire and support. Let God and the world know that you are grateful. So that how can you not move over, to leave a little space for them? 4. Nuance is a dare, a dialogue of love and of choice. The wisdom of God in its rich variety. Fortunately there's no magic spell. I am learning now to see in the dark. And how to gather morning. And that music mediates between silence and language. And this: I've got the good sense at last not to come in from the rain.
Imbolc and Candlemas are two different holidays, but there’s overlap.
Imbolc, also (St.) Brigid’s Day, is a Gaelic celebration of spring that carries both Christian and ancient pagan significance, and is also broadly embraced by the modern pagan community.
Candlemas is a kind-of-obscure Christian festival that (I had to look this one up) commemorates the day his parents presented the infant Jesus at the Temple. More familiarly (to me, anyway) it’s the end of the liturgical season of Epiphany.
The two holidays co-occur; this year Imbolg is Saturday the 1st of February, and Candlemas is Sunday the 2nd.
In sparkling celebration, my found poem is…still pretty wintry, both in imagery and in theme. Which is fine; the seeds of everything are contained in their opposites anyway. The title comes from a poem by David Whyte, and every other word from an essay, song, poem, or story by someone else who isn’t me.* With an exception this time: for clarity and flow, I’ve added a few joining words like “and,” switched one singular for plural, and occasionally changed “this” to “the” or vice versa.