On this – the feast of the Epiphany, held in the West to be the end of the Christmas festivities, I drive around Sheffield doing chores and peering through the ubiquitous fog. The word epiphany comes from the Greek, to show, to reveal, to manifest, the feast recalls the visit of the Magi, as the carol has it; three kings from the orient. In the Christian narrative, these kingly and magical figures receive the revelation that a king greater than their regal, star following selves is before them, born into poverty, refugee status and humility.

I have to say given the constant grey weather in Sheffield, days and days without sun or even the crisp winter cold, I have little sense of being shone upon. This poem that I wrote six or seven years ago reminds me that somewhere hidden in this dismal new year is a renewed calling. At that time I had allowed it to be swamped by running after other people, from guru’s to the needy. Do not read me wrong here, I don’t mean we ought to ignore the needs of others or the wisdom of sagacious voices. I believe we all have an inner voice drawing us inward so that when we move out into the world our work stems from an authentic and courageous gambling on who we deeply are. This year I have felt the breath of anxiety on my neck, sometimes literally, I think once you have experienced some kind of breakdown you never completely shake the fear that it will happen again. It makes me feel a fraud to even put fingers to keyboard and record my thoughts as if I was worth reading. But that’s what anxiety and depression do, they undermine and lie to you about who you ultimately are. So this year I am listening for the inner voice again -this time to be found in sailing forth into a new term under the steerage of a gentler voice. As Walt Whitman has it in his poem The Untold Want:-

The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted,
Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.

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After Christmas

Holiday keeps the world at bay,

cossets, comforts each quiet day.

A safe house, Yule log warming,

the easy Christmas yawning.

Now a new year, waking under dawn,

hearing the dark morning’s scorn.

‘Calling, please, what is my calling

and whose burdens am I hauling?’

Time to look at the faded year

to be candid, direct, and clear.

I have been trading myself,

my precious animating health,

for a work of worthy deeds

in the name of other’s needs.

If I am to serve the tender fire

and rouse my dormant desire,

I need to live from the inside,

to serenely, firmly brush aside

the tyrannical phone’s demand,

to be the work of a gentler hand.

Not swirl the whirl of other’s schemes,

but rather live my given dreams.

Written by Adrian G R Scott

Adrian G R Scott lives in the Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, he is a poet , writer and amateur photographer. For more www.adriangrscott.com He has studied theology, organisation development and is now working on a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Sheffield University. He has written two books of poetry, one of prose and edited a collection of Poetry by the two writing groups he facilitates. After suffering a breakdown in 2014 he has undergone Jungian Analysis for the last two years. He also facilitates Rites of Passage for men and is fascinated by the stories and poetry that come from holy scriptures, fairy tales and other major world religions. He is especially interested in how we find our way through the world with the help of such stories and poems. ​ His books are available at Buy Books

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