Invenio – I discover (I think!).
I think. I discover.
Discovery joins old notions in new ways.
I put things together. I am a joiner
Of words. What shall I make?
The world has enough chairs, tables, timetables.
I can put myself together with this time, this place,
A quiet Thursday evening in the Old Town:
With this house full of books, I suspect, full
Of joined-up writing, for joined-up people.
I am not too joined-up, at present, and soon
I will not be joined-up at all. Sleep, meanwhile,
Unjoins me nightly. I enjoin sleep to unjoin me
Until the morning, when I will re-join
Myself anew, invent the world afresh
Drop by drop. Blade by blade. Breath by breath.
Simon Weller, November 2016
I will try to describe what went through my mind while I was writing this poem…
Taken as a whole, the workshops gave me a gradually deepening experience of the relations between poetry and faith, and gave me some insight into the language register I use in trying to write poetry.
I thought, first of all, of Evelyn Waugh’s account of the Invention of the True Cross by St Helena, a slightly dodgy discovery, and described rather tongue-in-cheek. During the workshop discussion, the notion came up, of discovery being the result of the collision of two things not hitherto brought together, or conjoined.
We were sent away to write something for a timed twenty minutes, with the given title of “Invention”.
I put myself, a rather agnostic member of the Church of Scotland, and a distinctly dodgy poet, into conjunction with the quiet space of the SPL with its awesome freight of poetry and ideas.
I find I am most open to poetic ideas on the fringes of sleep. To understand what this conjunction might yield, I would have to go properly to sleep (something not possible at that moment). When I woke up, it might be that I would see the world afresh. I was certainly confident that this was likely.
The word “join” seems to keep coming up. This was really good luck, because it seems to hold things together, whilst being sufficiently adaptable to encompass almost everything that I wanted to talk about – poetry being both a trade and an enviable skill, the search for completeness, or rather the realignment of a number of components of my self, belief and relation to the world.
I wonder what all this might have to do with a faith journey. But as Les Murray says, religions are poems, and any live poem is an exploration of faith. This was, perhaps, a journey, not to a distant land, but into myself.