06 Jan

When the day has careened off course and I feel the hiraeth (a lovely term for ‘all-encompassing self destructive black mood’, nabbed from a Katherine Kerr novel) descending upon me again, I used to go down to the sea. But such luxuries of contemplation are defied by a tumultuous mind, where the need to do something strikes sparks of frustration from the anvil of having to wait.
So, one spends valuable funds on medicine for the soul: a large coffee from Caffe Nero. Pint cup in hand it is time for the second stage of the cure, to consume the potion at the most salubrious time.
Thus a peregrination around the back alleys of Worthing town, where the past has not been painted over, streetlamps jostle with verdant overgrowth and the murmurs from pedestrian streets could be from any era blends a perfect tonic.
I am fortified by the momentary solitude of the wanderer, that rare calm and self-depreciating, rueful ‘smile within’ that restores perspective and heals without reserve.

May your fears never paralyse you into inaction. Blessed Be.

1 Comment

Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Daybook


One response to “Antidote

  1. thesilentjudge

    January 8, 2012 at 01:08

    Upon enquiring further, it transpires that ‘hiraeth’ is actually a Welsh word that while difficult to translate into English, has been termed as “homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, and earnest desire”.

    There is a poem by Tim Davis that conveys the feeling rather well. I reproduce it here for continuity and follow with the link to the page on his site at his request.

    Hiraeth beckons with wordless call,
    Hear, my soul, with heart enthrall’d.
    Hiraeth whispers while earth I roam;
    Here I wait the call “come home.”

    Like seagull cry, like sea borne wind,
    That speak with words beyond my ken,
    A longing deep with words unsaid,
    Calls a wanderer home instead.

    I heed your call, Hiraeth, I come
    On westward path to hearth and home.
    My path leads on to western shore,
    My heart tells me there is yet more.

    Within my ears the sea air sighs;
    The sunset glow, it fills my eyes.
    I stand at edge of sea and earth,
    My bare feet washed in gentle surf.

    Hiraeth’s longing to call me on,
    Here, on shore, in setting sun.
    Hiraeth calls past sunset fire,
    “Look beyond, come far higher!”


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