To weave words on a weft that is wordless
Is the way of the awenydd:
To give breath to the breathless,
Gifts to the gods that gifted
The love of the land, shaping
Indeed what is shapeless, divining
A name for the nameless, words
That are deeds of endeavour – no less!
The path of the awenydd is the path of the seeker who follows the lure of hidden paths. These ways are elusive as is the source of inspiration. Why is it that the bardic role is particularly prominent? If the awen is the source, it is in the inspiration (that which is ‘breathed into’ the bard) that opens the vistas of the seer. Those who make a place in their hearts, in their thoughts and in the way they live open themselves to inspiration. Of the nine songs that are sung to shape words skilfully in the craft, to speak of the wonder of life or to profess wisdom, these are but preparation for the tenth song sung where the silent harp is strung. So there is skill that must be cultivated; so there is a gift which may be bestowed; so there is learning that may be gained. These are needed though even together are not quite enough. But to remain ever prepared, never forcing the song that will not come, always treading the path lightly in anticipation, but always ready and practised in the necessary arts to take the chance that may come, the path that may be opened. When deep waters well up into the shallow world of sense, then the awenydd is prepared to go with the flow. It is a vocation shared with legendary bards of the past like Taliesin, Myrddin and True Thomas. The works attributed to these poets, prophets and path walkers may or may not have all been written by the original bearers of those names, for they became the personae for those who would follow in their footsteps, who would take on their mantle and inhabit their world. Though it is a lonely path, it is one for which there are waymarks for those who can see them, left by those who have gone before.