Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Facing Midnight

©2014 by ML Monroe
A Clear Midnight
by Walt Whitman
This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee full forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death and the stars.

Sometimes I face midnight still wrapped in the book I'm reading or the blog I'm writing or writing/reading/learning social media or preparing for the next day. It's not the same approach as Walt Whitman describes. I love the concept of having that time for "free flight into the wordless." What does that even mean in today's connected electricity-bound culture? How can there be such a time as "wordless"?

My soul resonates with that concept. With letting go of all the hustle and bustle of the day. Really letting go. Being silent. That's not only being quiet. Silence is deeper. It permeates every aspect of my senses ~ it's a broader quieting, one that doesn't simply refer to a stilling of the noise. It goes beyond that, to a stillness of my entire being beginning at the center and expanding more fully.

Those themes Whitman mentions strike chords within me too. Night, the moon and the stars are all beloved by me. I am a creature drawn by and into the night. Yet until I read his poem, I never considered death a theme walking alongside the others. As the moon and the stars and the deep darkness of night continue to wane and wax and wane again, I will bring that theme out of its hiding place within me so it may stroll beside me instead. I will see what death has to say.

How do you interact with Whitman's themes? Are you a creature of the night? or do you prefer the light of day? What themes would be more suitable for daylight? What themes draw you?

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