In his book, The Unsettling of America, Agrarian philosopher and poet Wendell Berry discusses at length the virtue of “the Fall” as an initiating device. He has a marvelous interpretation of a scene in Shakespeare’s King Lear wherein the blinded Earl of Gloucester is led to the edge of a cliff by Edgar, his estranged son who has gone into hiding. Gloucester wishes to die, but Edgar brings him not to a fatal plummet as he requests but to a short ledge (it can’t be more than 10 feet high). Gloucester jumps off, and crashes to the ground. Edgar then poses as another passerby, who exclaims that he witnessed the old man plunge from a terrifying height and miraculously survive! Gloucester, rattled and bruised but alive, is restored to his senses; through this simulated death he gains a new resolve to live with purpose.
The Cliff has become a powerful symbol of risk – we approach the metaphorical precipice, and take a leap of faith. As we enter this season, may we have courage to step out into the unknown, whether it be a new school year, a new job opportunity, a new relationship, or a new season of self-care in the face of a potential second wave in the pandemic.
I am working on several exciting new projects, including an upcoming EP. First single should be released within the next two months. Additionally, I am endeavouring to add a new poem to the site every week! Stay tuned 🙂
Welcome to the Fall.
~ Just a single step that separates the Poet from the Precipice ~
[Image: ‘The Cliff of Aval, Etrétat’ by Claude Monet]