Rays of an Ancient Light Driving You Home
by Steven McCabe
Did you possibly imagine (you couldn’t have)
On that youthful, sun-dappled afternoon,
The rays of an ancient light caressing your skin & inspiration, when you were
A skipping stone striking at the perfect angles & gaining your balance,
Amusedly & perfectly crossing a warm stream at the edge of town,
The water fresh and the fences down,
Driving home after closing time…
The years marking your skin in ways the Great Depression & the
Enemy marked your psyche, past an abandoned brewery,
Seeing the quiet streets coming up fast like a flood, silent as a submarine,
Balancing on wet stones, laughing as you splashed & driving home
After closing time, to a lonely house, impervious to depth charges,
Past the dislodged bricks of the abandoned brewery,
Imagining that sun-splashed afternoon & shallow, sparkling water,
Your children crossing streams within darkened rooms,
Finding their balance, in ways the enemy
Marked your psyche & warm afternoons caressed your inspiration,
An ancient star illuminating quiet streets, starlight splashing,
Streaming into and beyond abandoned spaces,
Rays of an ancient light driving you home.
Oh, my. This is exquisite. The light in the eye…”His eye is on the sparrow”…the light of cosmic consciousness watching a beloved father in the innocence of youth and still there, still watching in jaded old age. This is deeply resonant and feels like a gift. Thank you.
Thank you Jean. I’m glad to hear this resonates & feels like a gift. it felt like a gift coming to me, from wherever it came from: that line composing the title reminds me of a poem I particularly love by Dylan Thomas: The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower.
At some point, or after a series of points of contact, I began experiencing personal ‘history’ in the light of ‘primarily’ compassion…perhaps an influential, glancing blow of, at least, peripheal cosmic vision. Perhaps catharsis occurs when the cosmic eye is seeing through us? I like how you say ‘in the light of cosmic consciousness…’
Thank you for your thoughts and response to the post.
Your work is wonderful, this poem carried me along your trails, beautifully.
Thank you mn. I appreciate your thoughts and glad to see you on the trail.
I think at the fourth frame, Steven, my heart stopped and changed its rhythm. There was a wave that took its course, snaking from this heart, vibrating up to this face flushing out tears. And I read on, read the images and the words, breath slower not even there…over whelmed and once again experiencing grief.
A beautiful tribute Steven. Your sharing this is full of grace.
Thank you Jana. Very much for this emotionally direct experience. I looked at the fourth image to see what you interpreted in such a sensitive manner… I created this collection of images and words in a neutral space, less emotional than directly experiencing memory, perhaps it’s all distanced now…
The old brewery (which was actually there) seemed such an apt metaphor for stilted alchemy or even rich, dark liquids fading. This is my neutral view about the grief and what the experience seemed to be about.
Perhaps ‘neutral’ is not the word. Perhaps ‘benign’ is the word. And as you say, ‘grace.’
I’m glad this affected you. You must have completely twigged into the background story. Thank you for sharing these feelings.
Well Steven…I’ve been wondering about this and now think that your visual timing in this piece, impeccably matched your intended poetic expression in telling this ‘story’.
By the fourth frame I wasn’t aware of what this piece might be about. My first thought was that the boy in the first frame might be you.
The shattered prismatic color in the fourth frame triggered an intensifying physical response, a roller coaster I rode out, experiencing the rest of your piece. I actually looked in your tags to give a name to this real physical emotion.
Maybe this frame reminded me of migraine auras to have provoked such a visceral response. But aside from wondering about my own response, more importantly I have to say, Steven, that whatever you’re developing here is potent stuff, both visually and poetically. Ingmar Bergman had this touch. I’m gladly a tuning fork in your discovery.
Wow Jana, Roller coasters and migraine auras and tuning forks and shattered prismatic colours! This is indeed an imagistic series of thoughts! I wonder what the emotional equivalent is. Maybe you’ve already told me!
The boy in the first frame ‘might’ be me in the sense that DNA from our parents/ancestors is lodged/active within our memory. But other than that it’s a photo my aunt was kind enough to send me.
I think you might have ‘tuning fork/divining rod’ qualities to your perceptions as you seem highly attuned to what you are encountering.
Thanks for the kind words about potency. Very much appreciated. Seeing as how I was in a major de-cluttering mode prior to breaking my ankle I think it’s possible I’ve cleared away a lot of interference from whatever is inscribed on the ‘copper plate.’ So these messages are coming in a bit clearer.
I appreciate your thoughts: both emotional and imagistic feedback. Thank you.
Overwhelmed by your deep and nostalgic expressions Steven. As for Jana, the fourth frame held me for a very long time. An exceptional and evocative image…a handsome and surreal work of art. The whole, dancing together, evoking feelings I have no name for…a masterpiece my friend…
Hi John, thank you for this response. Perhaps it is something you yourself experience. I love this pairing of the words ‘handsome’ and ‘surreal.’ It feels like one should be wearing a tux and answering a
lobster telephone just reading those words!
I do appreciate how you see this work and, again, thank you. What is that Beatles’ lyric: ‘You and I have memories, longer than the road that stretches out ahead…’ Perhaps we do John.
Your imagery here is of a different atmosphere than normal- not that your “normal” is that at all. They have a heavy light piercing a ghosty fog. But I am fascinated by the interchanges or interactions- between light and stones, years and skin, voices and memories. Maybe it is the level of intimacy between these things that you have heightened, or noticed. You’re witnessing again! And of course though from a different time- I maybe have memories of the same place. Thanks, Steven.
Hi Jack, Another friend said it was a ‘new direction. You might be saying something similar. Perhaps a resonance lingers even decades after encountering looming, derelict buildings…I began (in the process of reworking images of the old brewery) to see it as something calling to my father: a haunting mystery, a metaphor. I’m not aware it spoke to him at all but it seemed to be a way for me to say, ‘I understand.’ Yes, it seems another witness document has emerged! Thanks for noticing and referencing this – and for your thoughts about the interactions between objects, levels of being, life forms, time-frames, etc… I’m wondering now if it might be a good idea, on a very conscious level, to write about the ‘triangulations’ or levels of communication going on…I think you’ve given me the impetus to do this. Thank you again.
Gorgeous series of images, interlaced with oh so memorable phrases, starting right from the beginning, the title: “rays of an ancient light driving you home”.
Thanks a lot Mrs. D. & That phrase came to me after sleeping on the initial words…sort of enlarged the idea. Thanks for your visit, I’m glad you have found something memorable.
Those ancient rays caressing the moments in different ways. The light changing our perceptions, your words dancing ‘through’ like a skipping stone. Art within art…
Thank you Karen. Truly as you sway, Light does change our perception. Our perception becoming light-filled? Maybe a skipping stone across light too.
Such beautiful, evocative use of “light” – “The rays of an ancient light caressing your skin & inspiration” and many more throughout.
Thank you Judith, Light suggesting itself…..put me here….I was there….say it please: there was light. :- ) I’m glad this spoke to you.