Reaching into Silence

Reaching into Silence “Words,” says T.S. Eliot in Four Quartets, “after speech, reach/ Into the silence.” No matter how imperfect, how incomplete or broken are the tools we use to get there (as Eliot states: “Words strain/ Crack and sometimes break, under the burden”), the dance between time and stillness is where we find ourselves. Words reach into the silence, into the stillness. Searching, failing, searching again. Yes, Sophia understood this. It was central to

Eight Roses

Eight Roses There were eight roses in the bouquet upon Sophia’s tomb today, eight lovely, ivory-white roses. Eight years ago today, Sophia died. She had thought about her death. In her usual clear-eyed way, she had considered the possibility of it. I know what she thought. I know too what Sophia would wish to say to us about it. She has signposted the way. In a note I found amongst her papers, Sophia specified the

Sophia’s Poem: Self-Portrait as a Reflection

Sophia’s Poem: Self-Portrait as a Reflection In lips over a waterfall, Nathan observes that: “only the photographs were left to take the difficult questions”. Since Sophia’s death, I have asked quite a few of those difficult questions. In some strange but powerful way, however, it is Sophia herself who always answers them. A few months before she died, Sophia wrote the following poem. In it, she is confronting the thought of her own death (so

November 10th, 2021|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Nathan Shepherdson: The Artist’s Order

Nathan Shepherdson: lips over a waterfall Nathan’s poem for Sophia’s Notebook, lips over a waterfall, has now been printed, packed and sent off in precious postal packs worldwide. What a labour of love this has been!  It has involved quite a journey across these Covid-haunted years to bring this beautiful thing into the world. Nathan has written a delicate, intricate and subtle series of 22 poems (one for each year of Sophia’s life)—22 densely packed,

Poem by Sophia for Gershon

Poem by Sophia for Gershon... I have been visited by owls lately (sometimes beside the road, sometimes flying overhead or in front of me, once sitting quietly on the roof spine, head cocked to one side, watching me). People in the ancient world would have seen these as visitations (and perhaps they are!), so it seems only fitting to accompany Gershon's poem for Sophia with the poem she dedicated to him when she was 14,

July 30th, 2020

July 30th, 2020 Another year, another birthday, unmade from life that should have been. Yet how grateful I am that you lived, my darling—that you lived in the world, and lived in it in such richness of inner being. You were so light in your step in life, graceful in every gesture, but deep is the impression left on those who see. The Snowflake and the Star Sometimes I feel I am akin only to the

Azure Kingfisher

Azure Kingfisher This past week I have on four occasions seen glorious azure kingfishers, singly or in a pair, in heart-leaping flight over the now-flowing waters of our local creek. No photograph can do justice to these resplendent little creatures. They truly must be experienced “momently”. It made me think of a poem I wrote a long time ago—long before Sophie died, long before she became seriously ill, when she was still a teenager. It

Love is eternal. . .

Sophia 30.07.1991---17.01.2014 Loving you always. . .   And if this was the world’s last night I should not fear to be undone. Love is the songline of the soul, A cascading radiance, linked like synapses in the brain, Rippling in one scintillant universal thought. For this is grief’s impossible truth, the paradox Lived in deepest loss. Love is eternal. Leaf XLVII by R. Nugent (from Leaves: Poems for my Daughter)    

Of Love and Light. . .

Of Love and Light. . . Sophie, age 4, with her beloved Auntie Kaye, stepping into the light, Assisi, Italy This Christmas, Sophie’s article about Christian mission has really been resonating in my mind. The article concludes with the following paragraph: “Jesus didn’t lay out a grand plan for a Christian social system. He came to speak to individual men and women to lead them to faith. By busily searching for the mote

December 25th, 2019|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
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