THE ACT OF LANGUAGE IN WRITING
Writing about something does conjure it and gives it power. I see that on this blog over and over again.When I start a line of thought or memory new instances come to my mind and new avenues to explore.
Sometimes putting something into words disarms it, and it no longer has such power over me. It is out there in the world--it is separate from me. No longer just in my head or darkening my soul.
Another consequence in writing about something that happened a long time ago is that it opens up some of the old memory files in my brain. And it seems that one thing leads to another. That is why I sometimes go back to things because now that I have opened that old shut door in my memory other aspects of the day or time or place come forward. I see them as glad to come into the light of day, willing to dance again and to have their story told.
Also the nature of my dreams or night time awakenings may change. A name that I have not consciously considered for years is some how in my head again. As if asking for some attention or hoping to have his or her story told.
I saw that most dramatically in the case of BOBBY SANDS. His name came into my head after I wrote the blog entry on Patrick Pearse who was one of the Irish Revolutionary poets I wanted to feature in my Poetry Workshop on POETS WHO CHANGED THE WORLD.
I thought I was done with that, and suddenly I awoke with an accusing phrase in my head--"How can you not mention Bobby Sands?"
That lead me to research and purchase books that have been written about him since his death, and to seek out collections of his poetry that were not available while he was struggling in a British prison.
I had been active in those days of the hunger strike, and I had cared deeply about all ten who died. However, I had not pursued that interest after the Hunger Strike was over.
Reading about Bobby and growing to appreciate his work as a poet, I was able to see that he fit into the ancient Irish tradition of the Bard. Also Bobby's own favorite poet was a woman, Ethna Carberry, who died at the beginning of the 20th century. Looking into her work lead me to see how many Irish women poets have been overlooked and I explored that subject. So you see how these lines of inquiry open up one into another.
EVERYTHING THAT RISES MUST CONVERGE.
We recognize that sentence as a title of a short story by Flannery O'Connor. But there is an earlier source that makes the spiritual meaning much clearer.
That comforts me that our spiritual life is bringing us to a great convergence of souls who have made a similar ascent from all sorts of origins.