Rusty presence

rusted groyne

Facebook reminded me this morning of a memory from 2020, this rusted sentinel on the north beach at Aberaeron, Cymru. It’s especially poignant because she’s gone now, taken by the recent storms. I returned home to her absence and each time I walk past there’s a fleeting moment of loss.

rusted groyne

I’m thinking about the way we imbue things with presence, spirit – or does the presence find us? Dryads in the woods, saints and goddesses in the holy wells, the silent watcher of the waves.

I’m reminded of lines from Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil

God’s Grandeur, G.M Hopkins

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things

God’s Grandeur, G.M. Hopkins

… for Christ plays in ten thousand places, 
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Wild air, world-mothering air
    Nestling me everywhere

The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air we Breathe, G.M. Hopkins

Meanwhile, I discovered that the word imbue ‘derives from the Latin verb imbuere, meaning “to dye, wet, or moisten”‘ and can mean to soak with dye or fill with colour (Merriam-Webster and Collins).

One response to “Rusty presence”

  1. […] As I explore who else thinks about matter mattering, I come upon Matter Matters by Elina Gertsman, and pathways open out in front of me, for my mind has been full of the relics of Brigid’s mantle for some weeks now. I think that maybe we are reliquaries of breath. Then in the middle of one of those conversations about making and meaning, someone suddenly says imbue and the word catches again at my attention, since it has recently acquired some new meanings for me. […]

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