In continuation of a series of posts on my guiding word for 2021, awe, I am celebrating the power of poetry.
For who among us was not filled with awe, listening to Amanda Gorman reading her inaugural poem?
Once again, we experience what words can do to inspire, unite, and heal.
Poems also paint a vision. Of things remembered, things hoped for things, things imagined…
Much as artists do on canvas.
Last year Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” took on a special significance for me. I wrote about it in The portal. For me, “The Starry Night” has become a symbol of looking beyond.
Van Gogh painted it while in the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole. He didn’t paint what he saw from his windows, but what he imagined, maybe what he dreamed for, hoped for, in the innermost part of his suffering heart. Perhaps it was an act of faith.
All those blues and the night remind me of “the blue hour,” loosely defined as the time when blue wavelengths of the subhorizon sun paint the landscape at dawn or dusk.
Perhaps this had a hand in my recent spontaneous sketch of my word for 2021, awe. I depicted it as a sunrise, or maybe a sunset.
So now I ask myself: How is it that I imagine a rising or setting sun as “awe” in a metaphorical way? I think of van Gogh’s starry night, the blue hour, and the imaginings, the hopes, of my heart…which have turned into a prayer for the repairing of relationships. Does love not conquer all? What inspires more awe than that?
And so I wrote a poem.
I wove some of van Gogh’s quotes into it:
A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke
There is no blue without yellow and without orange, and if you put in the blue, then you must put in the yellow and orange too, mustn’t you?
Awe (The Blue Hour)
on the blue hour
at the falling away of day
and the coming of the night
with hope of stars
givers of dreams
singers of songs
that there is no blue
without yellow and orange
like the crackling fire
in our souls
beckoning one another
to stop, come and be warm
instead of passing by
in wisps of smoke
tendrils of wrongs
in electric-blue currents of memory
by anchoring itself
to the last blade
of living grass
the color of forgiveness
in the blue hour
-F. Haley, 1/18/2021
-Walk in wellness, friends. Live and love deeply. Forgive. Keep your heart open for awe.
One of my masks
My original sketch of “Awe,” where the landscape spells it. Look for awe, and it will reveal itself.
The Starry Night version. The blue hour. How it all connects.
-shared in the Poetry Friday Roundup. Thank you, dear Laura Shovan, for hosting.
–and with the Two Writing Teachers’ weekly Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thank you all for continually illustrating the power of words, ideas, and shared stories.