Thursday, February 17, 2011

In gratitude for peace

Yesterday's post was a little light, but it led me to write what I believe to be one of the best poems I've ever written.  (Notice I don't say one of the best poems ever written, just the best I've written). 

The reason I mention that here, with this picture, is because I wanted to say that the poem was fueled -- though it says nothing about that -- by the spirit of St. Francis.

It all started with the image you can currently see off to the right of this post, of an urn, seen through some dusty mottled glass.  I took the photo at a winery in Tuscany, and we were told the urn contained a rare and precious wine.

So I wrote a poem about that, which you can find here, and then, because I liked the poem, I created a video of it, which you can find here.  And after I loaded the video into youtube -- and then watched it, to be sure it was rendering properly -- I found I was really moved by the ending; after the words were done, the way the light lingered on the top of the urn, and then faded.

(You need to understand: I don't claim a lot of ownership of this work -- the poems, the videos -- it's more that it passes through me, so it's not like I set it up to have these effects, they just seem to sort of happen.)

And seeing the light fading on the urn, I was instantly transported back to the tomb of St. Francis, in Assisi, which lies deep within the bowels of this beautiful church, the Basilica of San Francesco, in Assisi.  What I remember is going down the stone steps, and seeing the statues that marked the tombs of his friends, and coming to the crypt where Francis himself is presumably buried.  (I did not photograph it, but you can see a picture of it here).

There was a steady stream of tourists passing through, but they would come forward in groups of five or so and stand or kneel before the candles in front of the tomb, and then move on.  And when it was my turn to move forward and stand before the tomb, this incredible sense of peace and acceptance stole over me; a very physical awareness of spirit echoing within me.

It was that awareness, those echoes, that resonated in me once again on seeing yesterday's image of the urn.  How is it, I wondered, that I could have passed over that image so many times as I wandered through my photo images, and never noticed its power?

I can't answer that question, anymore than I can explain how occasionally a poem or video of mine can seem inspired.  I can only be grateful for the sense of peace that flows through me in response; may you find that peace in your work, as well.


Maureen said...

Diane, your poem and your reading (the video you produced) are beautiful!

Diane Walker said...

Thanks, Maureen.

... I feel certain that you, too, have known that magical feeling of awe that comes when creation flows through you -- surely you must have felt that after penning Neruda's Memoirs!

Joyce Wycoff said...

Diane ... what an inspiring treasure it is to see you transform your poems into multi-media confections of image and words and voice. Each adds to the other to make a truly beautiful offering.