Friday, January 27, 2012

In all things, balance

It might have been just the up-and-down weather, or maybe the approaching end-of-month (already?). Whatever the cause, it’s felt like a very mixed week.

Despite almost utter failure at making fortune cookies the other day (they turned out soggy and limp, hardly an inspiration for good fortune) and miserable news from nearly every part of the world, last night’s literary event in White Rock made up for a bunch of disappointments.

Cynthia Woodman Kerkham was the guest poet, reading from her wonderful new book, Good Holding Ground. For a few of those poems she was joined by local musician, Ron Bull.

I took this picture during their performance of a poem called “Ritual for the Winter Solstice.” The piece held special resonance for me as it focuses on a labyrinth that was built by men from William Head Institute on Vancouver Island.

The labyrinth is an image that works well to describe the way “We spiral into winter…”. And then consider then the fact that labyrinth walkers also turn around and retrace their steps round and round to make their exit. There it is, the hope of escape and movement again to the light. And yes, I love the fact that it was a group of prisoners who built the particular labyrinth she wrote about, the one at Victoria's First Unitarian Church.

Kerkham’s poems took us sailing off to thoughts of hope, of springtime and light. And Ron’s flute playing contributed so much, dancing around the words in a sparkling kind of counterpoint.

This morning, I didn’t attempt any complex recipes, but was delighted to find a poem pouring itself out onto the page. If only all readings could bring so much inspiration.

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