Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nativity - James McAuley

The thin distraction of a spider's web
collects the clear cold drops of night.
Seeds falling on the water spread
a rippling target for the light.

The rumour in the ear now murmurs less,
the snail draws in its tender horn,
the heart becomes a bare attentiveness,
and in that bareness light is born.

James McAuley
A spider's web is thin and it does distract ... usually distracting insects rather than water ... but at night time in the dark it picks up droplets of moisture ... and of course these are most attractive when sunlight falls on them in the early morning ... but it is night time so we can not see the web as it picks up the drops ... just as we can not see any seeds that happen to fall on any water that is around ... they are a target for the light when it comes ... a moving target, especially if the water is a fast flowing stream ... but these are all the happenings in the night unseen.

Why the choice of seeds instead of say leaves?

The ear takes precedent at night for sight is meaningless ... the sounds that signify the coming dawn are indications of the end of night ... these sounds diminish - murmur less ... and any snails that happen to be sliding around now must draw in their horns ... and then there is that instant of attentiveness by the heart ... perhaps the heart of life in nature ... expectant, waiting for the first rays of light to break ... and light is born

... but why is the birth of light ... which happens on a daily basis ... equated to nativity - the royal birth of Christ which happened many years ago?

Well it is up to you to explore this connection and give your thoughts. Christ and light an interesting subject for discussion.

Incidently, all objects contain light on the electromagnetic spectrum (I think this is right, depending on temperature) ... and infra-red cameras are used to take images at nightime of otherwise unseen matter.

James McAuley was a stong catholic.

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