by Carol O'Connor
Thinking about How
Not the what, nor the when, nor even the where,
takes us inside the spaces of ourselves we long to go,
but always the mystery of how. For the how,
born in love, is timeless, holding all ways together.
In the back room of the brain’s anatomy, vision (they say),
is derived, though sight is not seen there; but here is
a deeper seeing which, through the heart’s golden centre,
can become our own particular how of way.
How is a sway, a curve, an alignment,
a current, a swerve that somehow turns
all compasses and sets the movement straight;
a glimpse of God’s soft edges.
How is a fish, bending agile smooth-silver
through the water, is the bird’s supple-slip glide,
flashing revelation of forgotten body sensation;
how is nature taking us home into warm moist earth.
How, can get us out alive; digging through rubble
to rescue those trapped, or how we wear masks,
orbit one another as delicate butterflies, though
desire longs to cling, clutch, hold on for dear life.
Language too, falls down with the when
and the where, even the who eventually succumbs,
unrestricted by myriad impressions, momentum ungoverned;
but the how is speech that pierces our vision.
The how, born in love, is timeless, taking us to the
spaces of silent skies, loosening those devices of
control, a kite dancing up high, its coloured ribbons
signing a way forward. That gaze between us in kindness.