Tuesday, November 17, 2015

William H. Drummond writes

Family is Forever

Family is forever
The love that never dies
The world-moving lever
The happiness that cries
The sweet, heart-squeezing sorrow
The pride that makes you burst
Memories of tomorrow
The blessing that seems cursed

Friends, they say, are chosen
Family is not
You get what you are born with
A dinghy or a yacht
But this view is mistaken
It doesn’t tell us why
We love those we are born to
Even when they make us cry

The tree of life connect us
The branches and the roots
The old and gnarled tree knot
With the green and growing shoots
We are what we have come from
We’re also something new
An intertwining spiral
And therein lies the clue

Family is forever
Because we live and die
Within a larger being
Than that which meets the eye
And when we look before us
As when we look behind
We see a thing we’re part of
The soul of all mankind


"Odin sacrificing himself upon Yggdrasil"  by Lorenz Frølich

1 comment:

  1. In the Poetic Edda, Völuspá recalls "early times" when Yggdrasil was still a seed ("glorious tree of good measure, under the ground") -- An ash I know there stands, / ... a tall tree, showered / with shining loam. / From there come the dews / that drop in the valleys. / It stands forever green over /Urðr's well.From the lake under the tree come three "maidens deep in knowledge" who "incised the slip of wood," "laid down laws" and "chose lives" for humans. As Ragbarok, the end of time, approaches, "Yggdrasill shivers, / the ash, as it stands. / The old tree groans, / and the giant slips free." In a different edda, the poem Hávamál, Odin describes how he once sacrificed himself to himself by hanging on a tree:"I know that I hung on a windy tree / nine long nights, / wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin, / myself to myself, / on that tree of which no man knows / from where its roots run." Although Yggdrasil is not specifically mentioned, the tree is almost always thought to be the one referred to. The generally accepted meaning of the Old Norse "Yggdrasill" from which the tree's name derives is "Odin's horse" (horse of the hanged). However, as usual, scholarly opinions vary, particularly on the issue of whether Yggdrasill is the name of the ash tree itself or if the full term "askr Yggdrasil" means the world tree upon which "the horse of the highest god is bound." Or perhaps it is related to the word "yggr" ("terror"), not a reference to tone of the many Odinic names, in which case Yggdrasill would mean "tree of terror, gallows."
    The gods assemble daily at Yggdrasil. Its branches extend into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots: beneath the first lives Loki's daughter Hel, the ruler of the underworld; under the second lives mankind, and under the third is the well Mímisbrunnr, "which has wisdom and intelligence contained in it" and is where the frost giants dwell. Various creatures live within and about the tree, including an eagle with much knowledge; between the eagle's eyes sits a hawk; a squirrel scurries up and down carrying "malicious messages" between the eagle and a
    dragon; four stags that consume the tree's "highest boughs;" and more serpents "than any fool can imagine" (according to Odin) -- including "the one digging under the plain" (or "the one ruling in the ditch"), "the winding one, the twisting one," and "the one who puts to sleep," l.e, death. The Norns are females who rule the destiny of gods and men; the most important of them are the three virgin giantesses mentioned above, who every day come out from a hall standing at the Well of Fate, bearing water and mud from the well, which they pour over Yggdrasill so its branches will not rot or decay..At the end of time, Odin will ride to the well Mímisbrunnr; "the ash Yggdrasil will shake and nothing will be unafraid in heaven or on earth;" and the gods will advance to do battle against the forces of evil, resulting in natural disasters and a universal flood. Afterward, a new, fertile world will surface and be repopulated by two human survivors.


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