Hiraeth

03:17
Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

The longing for that which the soul once knew

Every once in awhile I will read something that just speaks to the plaster that holds my heart together. I will roll the word or phrase around in my mind feeling the contours of its meaning, searching out the nooks and crannies of its presence. I enjoy such ruminations, the way the word sits at the edge of me, amalgamating itself through the filmy bubble of consciousness. Last week I read this Gaelic word: Hiraeth, which was at first reading defined as: "the longing for something the soul once knew". The longing for something the soul once knew. That such a thought could even have a word to define it is beauty pure and simple. How often have I stood in the wind and felt as if there was some kind of nostalgia that is beyond this body, this place, hovering just outside the ability to thread it through memory. How often I have felt the stirrings of something that perhaps I once knew, but cannot seem to find the map to in my mind; lost in the fragments of time. A feeling deeply within that is as easy to grasp as water, slipping through the fingers, resisting all thoughts of containment. In researching I find that there is no English equivalent to the word, which I knew of course, but which makes translation very difficult. Another translation of the meaning was the "longing, or yearning for home". I like to think of it as a combination of the two, where home is not so much a place, but an ill-defined feeling at the edge of restlessness and wanderlust. A remembrance of that which we cannot remember. Already notes are starting to push their way past the songs I had been working on, singing into my waking dreams. Hiraeth makes me want to speak Gaelic.

Written in October of 2009

Scorpion Moon - Sora

Lyrics

When home is a fragment of parchment
When home is a wisp on the wind
When all that anchors is a banner inside
Words without a place

Everything changes
Leaves kiss the ground
Everything wears down
The decay of sound
That longing so desperate
It tears you in two
Hiraeth, the songing
My memory once knew

The branched paths lie twisted and broken
Roots clutch our forsaken time
When blood calls to wander unsated
Twining soul to find

Everything changes
Leaves kiss the ground
Everything wears down
The decay of sound
That longing so desperate
Your bones torn in two
Hiraeth, the songing
My memory once knew

Remember the call
Remember the scent of the loam dark soil
Remember, remember, remember it all

As everything changes
Leaves kiss the ground
Everything wears down
The decay of sound
That longing so desperate
Your bones torn in two
Hiraeth’s the songing
My memory once knew

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