Saturday, March 19, 2011

I might as well try and Catch the Wind

Waterhouse - Windflowers

I sit by the fire and pick up the white guitar and start to pick out a melody. The chord is an F Minor 7th cord that gives the intro of the song a kind of haunting refrain. I begin to sing this song about the impossibility of Love as reflected in the lines: -
“I might as well try and catch the wind.”

In this song the singer songwriter expresses the hearts longing – it is my longing – it is the longing expressed in the words

“Standing in your heart is where I want to be and long to be.”

This longing is the longing of the mystic heart to be the knowing and presence of Love. All mystics and all seekers are longing to be at one with the heart of creation that the heart knows is the only placeless place of real contentment and joy. It takes courage to long for what is formless, invisible, and immortal. That is why courage as a word means, “to enter the heart.”

Longing is a very Irish sentiment. It appears in our music and in the landscape, particularly the landscape of the West of Ireland. People come to Ireland for many reasons but those who connect deeply with the landscape connect to what the great Irish poet W. B. Yeats called “the deep hearts core.”

In Irish mythology there are stories of the timeless land of Tir Na Nog. This is an understanding of your timeless nature – your forever young nature. In Christian terms this is the experience of eternal life which paradoxically speaking you know when you are not. This is the riddle of existence and is as difficult to attain as trying to catch the wind yet it is what the heart longs for.

Sitting by the fire I continue singing and play a chord that is a drone chord. Its sound invites the hearts longing into its direct awareness of our timeless nature. The song, Catch the Wind by Donovan could be considered an unrequited love song but for this singer, sitting by the fire, the invitation goes so much deeper. Although it is a kind of sad lament there is a beauty in expressing this longing for the paradox of existence that once known it is never forgotten.

This is the opening song of a long night of heartsongs that takes me, and takes the listeners deeper, into the fire that burns no wood. Then as the night progresses we might, as told in a line from another song by the same singer songwriter find ourselves experiencing: -

And at the midnight hour they jumped into the fire.
And in that fire they will stay forever and a day.
For the fire O Lord is the fire of Love
Just like the peaceful dove.

So we do what we have done for thousands of years. We gather around the fire to listen to stories and songs that give us a sense of meaning and empower us for the difficult work of living life in form. This allows us to feel a real sense of community gathered together around the hearth and the heart and to connect to our Ruách rhythm – the rhythm of our spirit and of our inspiration.

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