Saturday, August 30, 2008

Variations on a Theme: The Sufis and a bit of Ovid thrown in for good measure

I

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

Just

One

More

Day.


II


“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.


III

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


IV
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
But instead
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.


V
“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

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Carla,
You words mean so much to me. I am sitting in a tiny town in BC where tomorrow I will drive away and leave my oldest son to follow his passion. I wil have 7 hours or so on the trip home to Seattle to ponder where this journey began. He is a passionate, earnest and eager young man and a heckuva of hockey player. My life has been so entwined with his; his diet, his training schedule, his skating his coaching sessions. Now I turn it over to the universe to watch him. He is letting me hug him and I am sure that on the way home I will cry. I have to tell you that my connection to you is that we are mothers...not that you have ALS or that my mom had ALS but that we share an unwaivering love for our sons. And from your writings I can tell that your love for your son has been strong from the start. He is blessed to have you for a mother and the world is a better place because of that.

peace.

Maggie

Anonymous said...

I will go and scoop up my son now and smother him with kisses and I will stay in the moment for as long as I can.

I love you.
Kim

Pat H. said...

I cried today reading your message. I will call my three and tell them how much they are loved and remind them that the time to have the children home is short, the future unknown, and to not miss a chance to hug their kids every day. Life and it's complications sometimes get in the way but I hope they teach the children to love freely even if loving someone brings pain. Better to have loved and lost etc.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Carla, absolutely beautiful.

susan p.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it strange how the beauty of the world can fill your heart until it flows over and you become sad because you cannot grasp on to it and keep it tight in your arms forever. In the poem by Padriac Pearse, "The Wayfarer", he writes, - "The beauty of the world hath made me sad". So many things in this world can bring your heart to such a place, that the happiness of it all becomes overwhelming, and the love just spills over, making the feeling almost unbearable. After my Son died, everything I saw that brought me joy made me cry. There is a special bond between Mothers and Sons, just as there is between Fathers and Daughters. I don't know quite why this is - opposites I suppose. So drink all that happiness in while you can, it's the food of the soul. The Orientals say that one never dies but keeps living through others, it's like the waves on the shoreline, they just keep coming.

Alison said...

Beautiful, Carla, so wonderful...you are such a poet (I really mean that, in the most literary and human and spiritual way.) Whatever "it" is, you got it.

Love,
Ali

Gail Hildebrandt said...

Gail Hildebrandt

Sorry my name got missed with my last blog - concerning the Wayfarer poem - my mistake I don't like to go by Anonymous, but perhaps you get the name anyway.

Anonymous said...

You are on a party line with God(s) and Sufis and a million sentient beings. Your calls are so wonderful that if you ask God(s), sufis, and sentients to accept the calls collect, they would. They do.
I love you!