Harmony and Authentic Human Beings

On June 1st, 2007 we had another Rhwng: the Point Between event at Canolfan Ucheldre Centre, Holyhead. Jane Williams led the session on ‘Harmony and Authentic Human Beings’. Apart from being a woman with a wonderful voice – that’s how we know her – she taught Aikido for 20 years and so her session outlined some of the benefits in daily life of this practice. Asked what the single most important thing was that we could apply to our lives, from what she had shared with us, Jane said: “Learn to focus attention on your one-point,” which is about two inches below your navel. It is considered in Aikido, and other Eastern traditions, to be the body’s centre of balance.

Thanks Jane for an excellent session.

To open and close this event, poet Meredith Andrea, from Birmingham, read some of her work. Her pamphlet Grasshopper Inscriptions is available from Flarestack (www.flarestack.co.uk). Her use of language is vivid, supple and alive – wonderful! Thanks Meredith.

Here, to finish, is one of Meredith’s poems, read that evening:


He arrives with his blank marble eyes,
in a tweed jacket and a tight old-fashioned tie,
with red hands and a black bag.

Opens the polished piano-lid, props the room up reflected
on a stick. It is a dance he knows each step of.

Inside the box, that sweet balsamic smell
but dusty, dry.

She watches his ears see

and how he’s calibrated, taut.

Each interval
tenses or untenses his face; his hands
know where to go with the key exactly

climbing up and down in octaves, chord
by chord through bright-dark dominant, chromatic.

She tries to lip-read how he hears, to see it
in an eyelid’s twitch or wince.

He’ll play a bit of the Moonlight where
it fingers water, then something Ragtime,
his whole body syncopated,

and Ravel, clotted like laurel thickets
in a thunderstorm; then Rhapsody in Blue.

He breaks
the music off in chunks as if composers wrote

only to prove his tuning;

throws them all together with the wedges and the key
into his bag and snaps it closed. He’ll refuse tea,

take the notes she counts into his palm on trust.

Leave her to play on in the dark.


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