Dark Matter and Seamus Heaney
I had never read Seamus Heaney's poems, put off by his popularity and his Irish problems, until a few days ago, for first time, I was reading extracts of Heaney's poem, 'Station Island' in a book by Guite and that same night a travel program about Ireland included a visit to Station Island.
(The poem parallels Dante's, 'Divine Comedy', a book I'd bought in search of Beatrice and when she didn't appear I realised I had only bought the first volume, 'Inferno and Purgatory', paralleling the night's next program, the persecution of Christians by ISIS; ritual beheadings and a sea literally red with blood.)
I used to dive in 100ft dark waters alongside the Weaver's Castle. Sinking through the sea dark with plankton, seeing nothing, suddenly the sea bed of another world approached. Sometimes my air ran out unexpectedly and surfacing fast have learnt to appreciate the joy of being on land and breathing freely and deeply.
In the poem the spirit of an IRA soldier and bomber describes his own death:
"When the police yielded my coffin, I was light
As my head was when I took aim."
There is much more on "the night waters"
"And I cried among night waters, 'I repent
My unweaned life that kept me competent
To sleepwalk with connivance and mistrust.'"
He has a vision rising out of the dark water:
"...A lighted candle rose and steadied up
Until the whole bright masted thing retrieved
A course and the currents it had gone with
Were what it rode and showed. No more adrift,
My feet touched bottom and my heart revived......"
Now I am thinking of the drowned lives of those in the Mediterranean, some clinging to the dead to survive.
There are few happy endings, at best we glimpse with imagination, finding "the visible alive with what's invisible"
(The Image is of a Dark Matter simulation by the San Diego supercomputer. Dark matter is the invisible 85% of universe and all around us)