Five Words

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I’ve been feeling all kinds of things lately that I’m having trouble articulating. Things that seem best expressed in Gaelic and Scots, old words that, for me, have personal connotations far beyond their ordinary usage. Mostly though, I am just going to feel and create and go wherever my stubborn imagination plods. Or, if it is a russety drifting day then I will be still, read a book, watch the rain and listen.

These are the words that I hear…

ruadh  - a russet anger, a golden-thin point of burning, a spot of rust in my chest. Green edged and autumnal. A rusting, benign anger that decays into creativity, new ideas.

riabhach – streaked, speckled, grey. Acknowledgement that what makes me ‘me’ is that streak. Call it a soul, a colouring, a brindled inner-hide. It is an unsayable thing, at the edge of knowing. I feel it more than I know it, can’t name it but feel its texture. It bristles when I’m sad or afraid, or even when I’m peacefully content, but it seems to disappear altogether when I’m panicked or stressed.

duilich – deep to the depths of blue, a cool indifferent water-sense, pushed and rippled by wind. An indirect, floating, deep sadness. A sorriness of the soul.

agley – a child in the mist, stumbling through grey. Stars veiled by smoke. Adrift and wrong, eyes like milk-mist. Into the thickets, sfumato darkness, algey – for miles and miles. The only compass is the heart’s anxious spinning, northless and searching.

uncanny – visited by October in July, a skin of cold lies over the simmering heat. Detecting the brown leaf within the green, seeing the familiar from a new perspective that was once the only way of seeing. Altered pasts and familiar futures. I will pursue this strangeness behind the stars – a hare with a collar, the mirrored shadow – because it leads me to unusual places and to myself.

WritingOonagh Moon