Monday, 16 August 2010

Peace is in awakening

The extract at the end of this post is superficially about physical sleep and necessary rest. We sleep to rest and get peace from the day's turmoil.

Yet even in dreams the chaos of our tumbling thoughts disturbs us. Dreams caricature the random thoughts we have while supposedly awake.

Heraclitus, speaking about two and a half thousand years ago, said:
They no more see how they behave broad waking than remember clearly what they did asleep.

This is our state, and much of the time there is little we can do about it. But, David's poem reminds us, we can at least listen and be glad, until we truly awaken.

Am I over-interpreting? Maybe. But I think the swords are the efforts we make to listen, replacing with the real sounds outside the ghostly sounds in our heads. William Blake wrote: I shall not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand... .

And the songs?

From David Henschel’s Quantock Hills:

Listen, be glad, but
turn and sleep again
until the swords and songs both say
'now peace is in awakening.'

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