Always the challenges for me as a creative person:
Not to resist the Awen’s insistent bidding.
Not to let the inspired thought slip away.
Not to assume if I wait a few moments, hours or days it will still be there.
The Awen’s spark of inspiration is just that, a spark, an ember of an idea flying through the air. If I’m not the tinder waiting, if I’m not the patch of ground so long dry, ready to explode with the intensity of the vision or idea and be engulfed by its wild ferocity then what might have been will never be. I will never know where the journey through the flame of creation would have led. I would have denied the git of Awen its due.
That is what I find hardest in dealing with the Awen, with the flow and fire of creative inspiration. It is a sacred moment and a sacred process. A moment and process I yearn for, one I seek and at times shy away from; but, it is what offers me the opportunity to be my truest self, most fulfilled and most at one with all creation and every creature, all Knowing and the Knowers.
I have too often in the past let the ember die. Not allowed the winds of desire to create something fan the tiny flame into an all consuming, passionate expression of what I felt in the heat of dancing embers all around me. This has left me frustrated and separated from the Divine Energy of Being. I try now harder not to let the ember die, though it is not always easy to do despite my best intentions.
When I wait too long I am left with a burn mark in my being where the ember landed and faded. It feels like the way a fleecy top looks if a spark from a campfire lands on it – a hole with a melted edge. Sometimes if I just stop long enough to make a note, jot the gist, draw a quick sketch, then I can come back and tend the low burning fire in the hearth of my being.
This morning walking to the bus and watching the sky, as I do, the ember flew and caught the tinder. Fanning the words gently to keep them alive until I got where the bus would arrive in its time I hurried on, still gazing at the sky. Rehearsing the words as I walked, getting to the bus stop I tore out the notebook I am never without. And I wrote. What I wrote is not great poetry; it will win no prizes. What it is though is taking something I saw, that I experienced and was able to record to share. The image was clear, the words flashing quickly, no slow burning fire this one. Flaring, searing the mind, and once recorded the fire burns on through the words and images, but it no longer burns me. It was made of the tinder, the small twigs not the giant logs great halls require for warmth and feeding — those are the fires required for longer works, prolonged explorations and creative projects. This small fire has burned and warmed me and here I offer it that it might warm you a bit as well. Even if not, in this poem, as in every creative work, the fire still burns and will never cease.
Sky scrawled oghams
vapour trail gibberish
even as the clouds approach.
To discern such is not possible,
lines hither and thither
crisscrossing the pale sky
a bit of Phagos,
perhaps that was Furze
or maybe Ailim,
There was no real way
to hold the atmospherically drawn
messages whose messengers
do not realise
they send and carry
forth mysterious meanings
thrust before the clouds.
Frustration at insufficient clarity
through my intuitive senses,
or perhaps because the sharing
and the wisdom is meant for another –
straight lines traced
back and forth crisply
only to diffuse,
scattering upon the currents
the earthbound cannot feel,
do not perceive.
Quickly the dispersal begins
lines smudge smearing into patterns
reminiscent of pictures
a child’s chubby crayon
draws but unlike
those images this one
cannot be saved and cherished.
Lasting only moments,
a moving message
written in shifting vapour
upon the sky.
I often find moments and poems like that, demanding to be written although not making complete sense are revelations in themselves, and often lead elsewhere when they’re ready…
It is the reason I always have a notebook with me. One never knows when the ember will materialise out of nowhere. I just can’t hold the first words of a poem longer than five or ten minutes. The working with the images of a seed-poem and making sense of them in a creative context is a lot like discernment in one’s spiritual practise or dreamwork.