I wonder if Hafiz had regrets.
Or did he live like his poems until the very end?
Did he open his arms to the Dear One and passionately embrace his passing?
Or did his lips stiffen and pucker and his eyes fill while he tried to hold back a sob
Bargaining with the Beloved for
“Death’s not so bad”, Rumi told me
Though not exactly in those words
“And this world? Hell, after the first couple of centuries you hardly miss it.”
Easy enough for him –dead now for 735 years
Doesn’t the Beloved get boring after all that time?
I love the Dear One too
But I also want to see other people.
Rumi says “Die and be quiet
Quietness is the surest sign that you have died”
But there are symphonies inside me
Trombones and French horns
And electric guitars
And unruly, bellowing “I love yous” perch on my tongue waiting to fly
to someone whose heart is waiting
Last night my son allowed me to rub his neck and shoulders
My nearly useless hands dug into the hardened places and tried to offer some release
It was a moment to savor
I longed to grab him up in my arms
I longed to whisk him back to a time when my hands and words and kisses
could heal all his wounds.
I longed to hold his hand and walk forward confidently with him into a bright future
“Didn’t I tell you?” Rumi asked me, shaking his head in mock reprisal
“Longing is the core of mystery. Longing itself brings the cure. The only rule is, Suffer the pain..
Geez, Rumi , I get it. I get it, okay?
Now you see this is why I prefer hanging out with Hafiz.
“The path will follow you if you are true”
Pretty words, Hafiz, but I’m tired of blazing this trail
There are roots and branches and fallen trees in my way
And a temptation to turn around like Orpheus in reverse
When Orpheus returned, broken hearted from his journey to the underworld
I’ll bet the beauty of his music
Was almost too much to bear.
But I travel a different path
And though I sing as I walk along
My voice shakes