At all costs I must keep Love in my heart.. (or) what will become of my soul?
De Profundis From the Depths
On 30th November, it was my great literary genius hero’s commemoration. Oscar Wilde was a glorious, profoundly magnanimous spirit who suffered terribly as a society scapegoat for no crime at all.
The word “Love” or an extended form of it, is a repetend in De Profundis written about 54 times in this epistolary document; almost one for each year of his life.
The world is made by it, and yet the world cannot understand it: that is because the imagination is simply a manifestation of love, and it is love and the capacity for it that distinguishes one human being from another.
The word “suffer” appears less than half that number. Better than Wordsworth himself I know what Wordsworth meant when he said – ‘Suffering is permanent, obscure, and dark /And has the nature of infinity.’
But Oscar had no pity for himself. Nor any blame for another. He knew he had created and predicted his own destiny. I’ll be famous, and if not famous, notorious! His remarkable soul and profound love of humanity pervades De Profundis. I once had the privilege of holding these original pages in my hand in the vaults of the British Library. It was said to have been written without review as he was only permitted one page at a time. Its reflective wisdom extant in its original, is thanks only to the foresight of Wilde’s true friend Robert Ross. Ross delivered a hand-written copy to Bosie (to whom De Profundis is addressed), who predictably promptly ripped it to shreds.
It is one of the two belongings of Wilde’s (those that were not auctioned off by crude Bailiffs) that have had the most impact upon me. The other was seeing the still vividly coloured envelope containing: “My Isola’s Hair;” he’d carried with him all his life from age 12 when he lost a younger sister to fever, age 10. He was said to be inconsolable for a long time afterwards.
However, I feel joy I cannot explain in words just knowing someone such as OW has been in the world. He was courageous, protective, generous and kind. His conversations were intriguing, holding his audiences spellbound for hours. He had a photographic memory and his plays, equally profound and humorous.
When I was very young, I loved Wilde’s stories he’d written for his own children. I was a one-woman devotee for many years, visiting his address in Tite Stree in Chelsea, quaffing “Green Carnations” (Champagne and dash of Midori – melon liqueur) created by a long-since retired Sommelier at The Cadogan Hotel. Later, I was to meet some very dear and like-minded friends and, together, we became directors of the Oscar Wilde Literary Trust. Such happy and memorable occasions we held amongst which was an international Symposium and other events at Magdalen College, Oxford; Constance Wilde’s commemoration in Italy where Oscar’s family gathered at Staglieno Cemetery where she is buried; Westminster Abbey where Sir John Mortimer, Simon Callow, Vanessa Redgrave kindly came to give speeches for us. Then there was the glorious fun we had planning the celebrations at The Chelsea Arts Club over a long lunch toasting Oscar! Some of those special friends are now in the next realm but I still see them, talk to them and laugh with them.
I think they love not art
Who break the crystal of a poet’s heart
That small and sickly eyes may glare or gloat
It has been a difficult time for many of us as we experience the intense energies and events affecting our emotions or feelings of doubt where once we felt certain about what we want in life. There has been need for even more balsamaceaous, thought-free time in Nature than usual for me. “I thought the world had already ended in November!” said a very special soul friend (with reference to the 21.12.12 sensationalised “news”). Another beautiful sentient amica mia had never felt so distraught in years.
I wholly concur. November has been a month where my body and spirit wept 7 times near a rural river where I thought its banks would swell and I would dehydrate, such was the grief of loss. November has passed “crowded with incident” with its Full Moon in Gemini Penumbral Eclipse on 28 bringing some brief relief. I’d still like to be on a hot, quiet beach watching the waves roll in and out or on top of a forest covered mountain though…. and “I would be drunk, drunk with the trampled vintage of my youth!”
One’s regret is that society should be constructed on such a basis that man has been forced into a groove in which he cannot freely develop what is wonderful, and fascinating, and delightful in him – in which, in fact, he misses the true pleasure and joy of living.
With a voice, “the texture of brown velvet, and played like a cello.”
Merlin Holland, Wilde’s Grandson
Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.
Nature, and also singing, makes me whole. I love playing the dramatic High Priestess characters and I recently sang Der Hölle Rache from Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” (hear Diana Damrau’s version – superb!)
The opera seems pertinent to this World Era Completion. Two powerful forces are battling for control: Astrofiammante Blazing Star Queen of Night (the aforementioned High Priestess) representing the ruling female energies of long ago – and Sarastro, head of the Initiates Temple (embodying the masculine ruling energies for the past 5,000 years).
There is much masonic symbolism but there is a very positive ending. Pamina (daughter of Astrofiammante) and the Egyptian Prince, Tamino, who are in love, enter the Temple of Initiates at the same time, thus symbolising the merging of male and female energies. Allegorically, the two represent the merging of male and female energies bringing a New World Era!
Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of the turbulence. That’s got to be good!Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost,
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost,
Will find a harbour in some bay,
And so we may. And there is nothing left to do But to kiss once again, and part, Nay, there is nothing we should rue, I have my beauty, – you your Art, Nay, do not start, One world was not enough for two Like me and you From “Her Voice” by Oscar Wilde
Be there waiting for me when I “have shuffled off this mortal coil,” Oscar.
Yours, only ever with Love in my Heart
“I knew I should create a great sensation,” gasped the Rocket, and he went out.
from The Remarkabale Rocket, by Oscar O’Flaherty Wills Wilde