Turning and Turning in the Widening Gyre

This weekend, Ailsa, an Irish blogger who inspires with her words and photos, wrote the following:
“No matter where you are in the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the cesspit of filth currently masquerading as a presidential election in the US. It is downright depressing to be bombarded daily with examples of how low mankind can sink, and frankly bewildering that such a base, unevolved, malignant individual has been allowed access to a world stage from which to disseminate and normalize his poisonous views. I have of late found myself drifting towards cynicism of humanity at large, guilty by association by simply belonging to a species capable of producing such monsters. To counteract this bleakness, I have resolved to actively seek out all that is enlightened, noble and beautiful about being human – and that’s what this week’s travel theme is about. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the joy of the human condition”
 Following this sensational rant about the sad state of American politics, which I share wholeheartedly, Ailsa includes many joyous photos of dance and celebration, of innocent children and messages of love, of life enlightened and invites others to add their own.
Before I add a few special photos, I must share my favourite poem with you. Many will know it. Written by W. B Yeats in 1920, these words resonate loudly in these strange times. What rough beast heads towards the presidency of the USA, and what rough times will be inflicted on the world should he succeed? Mere Anarchy?

 The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? W. B. Yeats

Children sleep, a picture of innocence and supreme love.
Children sleep, a picture of innocence, trust and love.
You can read this literally or metaphorically. I love to plant seeds of all sorts.
You can read this literally or metaphorically. I love to plant seeds of all sorts.
A sign outside of a Yoga School in Sanur, Bali
A sign outside a Yoga School in Sanur, Bali
Moving Meditation. Enlightened practicioners of Tai Chi in Chengdu, China
Moving Meditation. Enlightened practitioner of Tai Chi in Chengdu, China

17 thoughts on “Turning and Turning in the Widening Gyre”

  1. Ailsa’s well written rant inspired me too, Francesca. I’m in the middle of my own post on the topic of ‘enlightened’ and as always you have such a unique and welcome interpretation. As I looked at those two sleeping tikes, I thought, is there anything of any deeper meaning in life than children in peaceful slumber, knowing they will wake to love and safety. There is too little of it in the world, and yet at least there is still some of it. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Coming back from early lunch on a Sunday morn was not expecting to be brought to tears: warm, caring ones of understanding and agreement. Reposting to friends . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t comment on politics on my blog. I prefer to keep it light. I can’t stand watching that vile man performing tricks for his stupid audience in America. I just want it to go away.


  4. Worrying about the election is a constant in our lives here in America — at least the lives of those who fear and tremble at the thought of that boorish know-nothing despot as president. At least we each have one vote and are legally allowed to send money to Hillary Clinton.

    Though I was just in Galway, Ireland, not far from a number of William Butler Yeats places of memory, I hadn’t thought about how much his poem captured the current situation. Thank you for including it, and thank you for the comforting images.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mae. I am so pleased you can see the relevance of Yeat’s poem in this situation. No one else has commented on its inclusion here. I do hope the election goes the way it should. It is hard to imagine a country with such an uncouth pig as head of State.


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