When my Beloved’s face first appeared over the rim of my world,
Hundreds of flags of praise immediately were unfurled.
When his glance shattered my heart-mirror I lost my identity.
My permanent address now is, Nobody, Somewhere-adrift-at-sea.
With fair winds and good sailing I may one day arrive at World’s End,
And the Pilot who comes out to meet me will be my Friend.
If you are content with your native place and the job in your hand,
Don’t be tempted to sea toil on the promise of a better land.
There are plenty who will urge you to travel, to ‘answer the Call’—
While they fly the ensign of Kingdom-come on their sitting-room wall.
Easy to be an Odysseus when no Trial by Circe is required,
No Cave of the Giant, no Journey to Hades—only chants rum-inspired.
For my part, I waited till the sun of love shone over the rim
Of the wineglass before I unfurled my flags of song for him.
Here is the voyage where loss is accepted, loss of all bearings of identity in time and space. Compare first and last stanzas. In both the Beloved is arising like the sun. But the last stanza conveys also a personal inspiration from the light in the wine glass.
Loss of bearings is again total but this voyager is sustained by the vision of hope; the voyage may end in the harbour of the Friend.
The voyage should not be undertaken by the comfortable at home with inspiring mottoes and delicious imaginings. This is just human imaginings, not a glimpse of the divine light that will drive one out on the trackless wastes. Winning to our real home requires the courage and resourcefulness of an Odysseus. Our journey too may include encounters with tempting and magical diversions (Circe), single eyed power and cruelty (the Cyclops Polyphemus), and wanderings among the dead.