Going with the Flow

Over this past week I really enjoyed spending time with Yeats and his beautiful and fascinating words. I particularly love how there are so many facets and ideas embedded within the poems, and I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to fully understand the entire spectrum of thoughts and nuances that are present. Many of his poems seem so deceitfully short and sweet, but as we dived into them and started to tease them apart, it was apparent that these were ideas larger than most that I’ve ever bothered to spend time thinking about. In a way it felt like being thrown into his maze of thoughts, wandering about trying to find his answer, any answer. One of his main themes is the overall search for a pattern and understanding of reality, shown with his depiction using the opposing gyres of time and space and it really did make me ponder more, or at least try to make sense of his thoughts. His questions are literally larger than life, but I think the fundamental drive is something we all possess a bit of.

I think we all search for some sort of pattern in our daily lives so that we have a sense of constancy that becomes our basis and ‘normal’, which we can then use to make sense of everything else life gives us. When this order is disrupted, maybe that creates the sort of “chaos” that Yeats describes. This balance between our order and chaos reminded me of another poem I had read:

Ebb and Flow

If woman is the moon

And man is the sea

No wonder he avoids her love

Her energy is like a magnet

That creates chaos within his tides

Until the order of his waves

No longer makes sense

Oh, but we forget happiness

Was never meant to be organized

– Allie Michelle

This poem brings back the idea of embracing this chaos and uncertainty, rather than try to make sense of it all. Some of the images, like the sea, waves, tides were seen throughout Yeats, and the ‘magnet’ reminded me of being ‘enchanted to a stone’. I think a similar idea of trying to analyze the reasons and larger patterns behind how and why things happen are shown. As someone who likes to plan every small thing to the last detail, I see it as a reminder to settle in with the unknown and the fear that comes with lack of control. Gentle reminder to go with the flow!

1 Comment

  1. First, I just want to say what a lovely image you added to your post. It definitely makes me wish I lived closer to the beach. Second, I really appreciated the poem you added, and the conflict you highlight between normal and chaos. I certainly feel as though I’ve been forced to examine the chaos in my life, now that I spend all day in my house. It’s definitely an interesting time to be examining the role of chaos in our lives in general–as there seems to be a serious disconnect between the new somewhat monotonous routine of staying in the house 24/7 (the new normal) and the chaos that describes most of our present (and future) right now. And you’re absolutely right that some things don’t need to all make sense to us all at once–even if sometimes it can be difficult to remember that.

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