THRESHOLD OF AWE

 

 

 

     There are exalted experiences in life that have a transcendent quality.  These moments are highly individual for they coalesce in the chamber of a person’s soul.  I am speaking of a perceptual phenomenon that is unique in every occurrence yet we collectively describe it as a sense of awe.   Poetry is one vehicle that can bring us to that threshold but we must enter its sanctuary alone.  In the poem that follows, reference is made to three poets:  Nikos Kazantzakis, Constantine Cavafy and William Blake.  I believe all three experienced this phenomenon in the course of their writing for they induce it in others.                                                                                                                                                                                                      …..Kazantzakis who appreciated the need for integrating the Apollonian cognitive and artistic aspects of the mind with the Dionysian expression of passion and instinct to form a full human being.  A seeker of meaning and pleasure with a thirsting for redemption.  Fully aware of life’s potential for depravity, he sought beauty and truth.

…..Cavafy,  the twentieth century Greek who lived most of his life in Alexandria, Egypt.  A poet who could bring to life ancient historical incidents of profound importance and, with few words, transport the reader into the moment of their unfolding.  A man who could draw from these events an awareness of the powerful universal significance that they reveal.

…..Blake, the mystical English commoner who tried to bridge the divide between the perceived world and the totality of creation.  He said famously: ” If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite”.

 

THRESHOLD OF AWE

 

We each must climb our own Golgotha  

This a wise man said 

Who looked life squarely in the eye 

Saw it for what it was

Its beauty and its horror

And still embraced this world with exuberant passion

 

There was a poet who unearthed timeless human dilemmas

Bringing back to life the long dead

Taking us to their very brink

So that we might ourselves inhabit their moment

 

And though I never met them

I believe they both had stood at the threshold of awe

Entering alone into their sacred places

Feeling connected

To the All

 

We each contain a sacred space

And we must climb to where it lies

To behold the glory of creation

Our perception cleansed through unshackled eyes

 

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