Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Fire in the Head



I WENT out to the Hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
                                                      
                          
The opening two lines of W.B. Yeats' poem, The Song of the Wandering Aengus is often considered to reflect the creative soul's anguish as he/she but in this case Yeats' wrestles for the vital spark of inspiration that preludes the flow of Awen.

Celtic legend implies that hazelnuts were imbued with a concentration of wisdom and poetic inspiration, hence the relationship between the Gaelic word for these nuts, cno, and the word for wisdom, cnocach. Needless to say, this leads me fluently into a discussion regarding 'nuts' and 'inspiration', an affiliation and affliction that consistently strikes a ironically dissonant chord.

How life's trials, cruelly melding with the all too predictable repetition of mental dis-ease can so easily enervate the inherent creative spark. Ah yes, another sporadic rambling appears to punctuate that long silence. Another questioning melody from the 'Bard of the Hedgerows', another overripe fruit lifted from those which lie decaying, awaiting their subsequent return to the Mother. However, it is all to often the decay that has the overwhelming appeal to my cynical eye and subsequently the unforgiving mind. Heart and Soul don't get a look in. 

Perhaps it is the past that haunts the future... the callous, interior voice crying failure. It is that continual comparison... I couldn't..., I'm not that..., how did they...  the perpetual negativity. The more I ruminate, the more I suspect that it is not the fear of failure which fuels the flames, but the fear of success. Habitual self-destruction can offer up an exceedingly comfortable pair of shoes, ones that can be relied upon, however, that means even if they don't match the outfit we are considering wearing, we are loath to take them off and slip into ones that do.

And so a panorama of organized chaos greets a dejected stare. Teetering towers of foolscap tattooed with cyanic lines of incomplete poetry. A regiment of musical instrument cases, dressed in a one piece suit of fine dust. Brief episodes shared with tapestry, oil paint, clay. All fleeting instances of Awen, plucked from the sudden explosive release of a 'Fire in the Head', the timely liberation of unspent inspiration.

Sad thing is that for what seems like a lifetime my 'inspired' head has been riddled with inertia. Deep inside, my heart encourages me to kick-start the fertile mind, to embrace the Awen, to sup of the cauldron of Cerridwen, if She is willing to guide me on the path to quenching my creative thirst. Only by firm resolve will I literally force my negativity to 'butt out'.

And so Friday being the first day of July and the New Moon, the time felt right to announce with the guidance of my Goddess, the intent to claim my 'Bardic Chair', and to enter into the 'service of Ceridwen, Goddess of the Bards' (as the Bard Kevin Manwaring succinctly describes my journey). Though I have followed my Druid Spirituality for many years I believe that only now am I mature enough and have the smallest 'seed of knowledge' of the realms of Gaia and of my inner self to acknowledge my wish that I may truly make firm commitment and footing upon my path.

And so seated reverentially within my Grove I sought with invocation, the love, strength, wisdom and guidance not only of Cerridwen, but of Brighid as I declared my intent to begin to tread the path of the Bard. With mind, heart and voice I put forth my commitment that I may seek the inspiration, the Awen with only Peace, Love and Respect, internally and externally with equal measure. A year and a day from now, I would hope to return to the very same sacred place to reaffirm that commitment and thank the Goddesses for their Blessing upon my endeavors. 


Finally I feel that the negative conversation within is steadily being subdued. The weight lifting enough to gain the slightest momentum, the poet, musician, artist inside discovering a modicum of strength, enough to begin bending the cage bars and releasing the Awen.