Circles

by joelmckerrow

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We have been making a lot of circles recently.

“Circles?” you ask.

“Circles!” I say.

If you did not know my wife and I are a little obsessed with the author John Odonahue. He says that when two people connect and a deep friendship is formed that a circle of belonging wraps itself around the relationship. Both parties feel connected, safe, secure, inspired…home.

When you are travelling home becomes an interesting concept. Can the nomadic lifestyle foster a sense of HOME and belonging? Many would say that it is impossible. That true connection only occurs through embedded roots within a place and with a people, through long-term relationship building and commitment.

I am not sure that I agree with such a distinction.

As we have travelled around the US on holiday and as we are now in Ontario, Canada touring poetry with the fabulous Michelle Dabrowski we have been blessed beyond belief with the new friendships that we have found. Just a handful of these being…Amy Leigh Cutler the stunning poet from NYC, Helen Brownell and Stephane our new friends that we spent the week with in Cape Cod, Whitney Johnson and Phillip Keller a young musical couple soon to be married from North Carolina and my Scottish brother photographer Colin Wishart from the Wildgoose festival and then in Canada Danielle K.L. Gregoire the amazing mother and poet from Almonte, ON and Veronika the teacher from Kingston, ON and Greg Frankson and Alyssa Ginsburg, Alyssa Comstock and Brooke and Julian. All of these and more.

These are the people who we have made circles with since our trip began. These are people we feel a sense of belonging with. The circle that is Heidi and myself has interlinked with the circles that are Michelle Dabrowski and her delightful friends that we are meeting throughout Canada. Your own circles interlink in some sense with our circles. There are indeed many circles that have formed around myself and many of you who are reading this. Circles interlinked with circles within circles within circles. Everything is connected. We are all creatures of longing and belonging. The creator certainly liked circles when s/he made this world. Maybe the very point of life is circle making? No wonder the Celtic Christian symbol for God is three interlinking circles.

So I think that belonging and depth of relationship can abound for both the wanderer and also those who STAY. For the nomad and the stationary. Home looks different for both and there are different seasons for both. There are times for making new circles and there are times for deepening the old (I am actually, at present, writing a short-story fable about exactly this. So keep a look out for it in a few months).

Poetry is a circle builder. Poetry is not about the poet or even their words. In the end it is about the poetic community, both near and far. It is about those who gather to hear story and in doing so live a different way. Michelle and I are making circles that stretch all the way from Canada back to Australia. Poetry is about circles. Life is about circles.

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