Posts Tagged ‘blindness’


it happens daily —
the world turns, the sun rises
— my own blindness kills

This poem was born out of a feeling of regret. I dreamed I turned up to play French horn in an orchestra, but then realised I had no French horn. Awake, I fell to thinking of my teenage years and how lazy I was in regard to French horn practice. I now practice yoga on a daily basis, and because my body is old, I notice the stiffness immediately if I miss a day’s practice. I fell this morning into wishing I had realised the importance of practice. Who knows I might now be a professional musician. And this feeling of regret forced me to consider the totality of what we owe to this life or to ourselves by being alive. I suppose you could say I fell to regretting not having achieved enlightenment in this life. The subject of enlightenment was already fairly close the surface of my preoccupations since Friday night when a Buddhist friend used the term in a Buddhist sense and I found myself rebelling inwardly — I doubt whether it’s either helpful or meaningful, to accept enlightenment as something the Buddha achieved and the rest of us can only strive after in a futile sort of way. My poem wanted to bring back ‘enlightenment’ to the literal meaning of the literal light which fills our physical world. But of course I end up, in the poem, with a metaphorical blindness nevertheless.



love — the faculty
most like blindness — most like light
— in love I’m secure
at home — yet furthest travelled
from the shores of my known self

It’s very curious that I arrived at this poem via a dream of Rai Waddingham, and just goes to show, I suppose, that romantic love is only a tiniest fraction of one aspect of the totality of what the word love can mean. I am aware of nil romantic feelings towards Rai. But love, all the same, describes best how she figures in my world. I can say that now because she is no longer my boss at work! She went freelance nearly a year ago, but I have seen her from time to time since then in a work context. Anyone interested can check out her website here. In my dream, I was trying to get her attention, interrupting another colleague in order to do so — then apologising for interrupting — then launching into a demand for Rachel to share whether there was some book that had helped her through her darkest hour.


for all of my life —
incomprehension between
me and my father
— or does he understand me
perfectly well after all?

This captures the flavour of my dream quite well. My father had given me a birthday or Christmas present consisting of two old typewriters, both of which belonged to me anyway. As I struggled to grasp the significance of this gift, I was left with the strangest feeling as though he was deliberately trying to teach me something. The lesson itself was beyond me to grasp, but for once I felt able to recognise the painful fact that I have spent my whole life blundering like a blind man, and that my father might have clearer sight.