The Gathering of the Departing

“…their Covens and Fleets have rhythm and pattern. This running together and running of all to a centre and yet without loss of identity, has been prepared for by their exploration of their moral life, of its beneficiaries and its victims, and even of all its untrodden paths, and all their thoughts have moulded the vehicle and become event and circumstance.”—W. B. Yeats, Per Amica Silentia Lunae (75)

This is beautiful, isn’t it? Yeats has such a graceful pen, knows how to turn poetry to the service of spiritual truth. The image of the dead of a people, gathered up beneath the spirit that guarded their religious life, whirling through the spirit of the world…I hope for such a fate. But let us not get too caught up in the beauty to notice the center toward which they are traveling. What is that journey about?

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Orientation

Daily, I will call to the six directions. It is a simple, brief, and unadorned part of my morning prayers. There is nothing terribly symbolic about it. I haven’t any esoteric associations with the directions that I visualize or invoke. On a particularly thoughtful day, I might remind myself of what lies in those directions (work, my partner’s destination that day, my birthplace, family, etc.). It is a matter of orientation more than anything else.

The directions operate as complementary opposites, and I thought it might be amusing to do the same thing as an exercise of orientation in regards to time. I’m going to call the directions by citation, with quotes regarding time, in part because the act of citation captures something of time’s nature, too. Whimsically, I have given each a directional association from the spatial directions.

I’ll admit, some of this is an excuse to flip through some beloved and not recently read texts. Benjamin makes me nostalgic.

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