Alexander Averin

Monday 5 December 2011

A painting, a poem, two quotations.

Light, Cuil Phail, Iona
Donald McIntyre

If one keeps loving faithfully what is really worth loving, and does not waste one's love on insignificant and unworthy and meaningless things, one will get more light by and by and grow stronger. Sometimes it is well to go into the world and converse with people, and at times one is obliged to do so, but he who would prefer to be quietly alone with his work and who wants but very few friends, will go safest through the world and among people. And even in the most refined circles and with the best surroundings and circumstances, one must keep something of the original character of an anchorite, for otherwise one has no root in oneself; one must never let the fire go out in one's soul, but keep it burning. And whoever chooses poverty for himself and loves it possesses a great treasure, and will always clearly hear the voice of his conscience; he who hears and obeys that voice, which is the best gift of God, finds at least a friend in it, and is never alone.

Vincent Van Gogh

The Bread Of Beggars, The Wine Of Christ

Dublin, Christmas 1953

In Dublin’s streets
Around the way to Christmas
Blackbirds sing.
Eire’s orphan children cluster
Stashed in alleys, lost in sidewalks, cold in vestibules
of movies
There to chant and carol through the snowing winds
In nights of rains.
Their high and weather-tossed refrains
Sound Christ and his sweet breath
His sun-birth, not his death:
His greeting forth of wisdom in the land
Sings forth down every street on every hand
Enchants your hotel room where echoes of it
Time your shaving before supper,
And as you leave the hotel door
More sparrows rise, more orioles
And blackbirds sing
From out the Christmas pies that celebrate a holy King.
The bread of beggars, the wine of Christ,
Delivered with the falling white, it manifests
A wonder, such miracles of snow that
Melting on small tongues
Become his sweetly breathing life.
You move to wife the weather
Husband winds that knife and harrow
Strike your marrow, freeze it pale.
Yet all about in storefront jails
Stunned flocks of starlings
Driven to earth in winter flood
Of fogging heaven, raining thunder, God who lids
them down
And bids them sing for their lost souls.
And so they sing in promises of love not pain
A time that was, is not, but will arrive again
To warm the land and stir our bloods.
These hearths of children know all Dublin’s neighbourhoods
In every corner, alley, shop
Where snow drifts like spun-candles:
There they hide. Would you abide their place?
Then lift your touch to every heartbeat face
The bright coals of their cheeks breathe charcoal pink
As if the bellows of their tiny starling lungs
Blew on them forcing fire and ash
And fire once more.
From every winter door they cry a last refrain
To burn downwind;
With Christ a fever in their eyes
They birth him forth in snow that melts to rain
In Dublin’s streets now once again
Hark! midnight church bells ring;
And echoing that sound of Christmas:
Blackbirds sing.

Ray Bradbury 

Imagination is everything.  It is the preview of life’s coming attractions 
Albert Einstein


e said...

Nice sentiments from Mr. Van Gogh...

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wonderfully inspiring, as always!
Thank you, Cait!

Frances said...

Well Cait, this is a very rich post, and I am glad to have seen Mr Einstein's quote at the end. xo

Dave King said...

Food for the mind and heart. Your title intrigued me in the first place, then the painting, but all the choices were perfect for each other. A gem of a post.

Mac n' Janet said...

Wonderful, I've read a lot of Ray Bradbury but I don't think I realized he wrote poetry.

bright star said...

Very inspiring post,thanks for that! lol Angela

CAMILLA said...

A wonderful post Cait, I had never come across Van Gogh's poem before, as Frances said, nice sentiments.