Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Chance to Paint Each Other Gold

A Chance to Paint Each Other Gold

What would make a lover value you
over other lovers they have known?

There is something in a caring touch
that your memory has recorded
and holds dear
because it nourishes as few things can.

A sincere wanting and need to artfully give
is inherent in Love.

And Love will always get its way;
for patience it knows,
and what a strength that is.

We add or subtract to our beauty
with each movement and sound.

Look, we have a chance to help
paint each other gold.

The closest thing to amorous play
with God in any form
should be the goal
of any intimacy between us.

Us are those who seek that sacred friendship,
and can gaze at each other in appreciation,
For Love welcomes the Lover
to places we allow few to ever see.

          As the month’s topic of Love ends today (but will of course be revisited in another month this year), I wanted to conclude with a poem that most illuminates what romantic love means to me. I think this poem does a great job of exactly that, to me romantic love is a sacred friendship, a tender memory recorded, and an invitation to our soul (that place we allow few to ever see).

        When I think about marriage, that penultimate expression of romantic love, I hope to one day marry a person whose hopes, dreams, and vision of the future I value. I hope we’re cute enough to write silly little love notes and weird enough to try out Naked Twister. I hope we’re childlike enough to jump on the bed and romantic enough to dance under the stars.

         I hope we make tender memories and share our souls. I hope that we still have enough love leftover to believe in Santa, and magic, and miracles. And even though we might not undertake every journey together, I want us to be united at every starting point, and finish line, and each new beginning in between. I hope we still kiss each other every day, not out of habit, but because we really want to. And that even after fifty years of being married, we still know what butterflies feel like and that laughter is easy to find. And even if our lives do not go according to plan, I hope we believe that living it by each other’s sides was one of the best parts.

         When I marry a guy I do believe it will be because I value him over every other love, because I’ve invited him into my soul, given him a key, and asked him to take up residence there. Yes, that is akin to finding gold. I want to remember one thing for my future husband, after everything is said and done, I want to swear that I still get a high off of just holding his hand.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Saints Bowing In The Mountains

Saints Bowing In The Mountains

Do you know how beautiful you are?
I think not, my dear. For as you talk,

I see great parades with colorful bands streaming
from your mind and heart,

carrying wonderful and secret messages
to every corner of this world.

I see saints bowing in the mountains,
hundreds of miles away,

to the wonder of sounds that break into light
from your most common words.

Speak to me of your mother, your father,
your cousins, your friends.

Tell me of animals and how the wind blows.
Awaken your legion of wings –

let them soar wild and free in the sky
and begin to sing to God.

Do you know how beautiful you are?
I think not, my dear.

            I think woman need to be reminded of this, how beautiful they are. Believing that you’re good-looking doesn’t make you a great candidate for love, but the confidence that comes from believing that you’re a charming, pleasant, and enchanting person with lots to offer does. Understanding the overwhelming magnitude of your own worth, what Hafiz describes as an inner light that can be worshipped hundreds of miles away, makes you beautiful. Yes, attractive and lovable. Women need to be told this more, men too. In fact, everyone should exalt the unique aura they bring to this world. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mastery in Servitude

Mastery in Servitude

There is really no place for
I can’t
in Love.

A thought like that goes against
the grain of light’s astounding ability.

Once I saw Caring’s beauty in action;
there was a splendor there
I needed to imbibe

But such a force,
it tears you from your moorings,

it brings you into an arena where a
gladiator you will need to become,
but one that may never get cheered.

Heroic deeds you will do in silence,
for that is Greatness’s preference – no fame.

But if the world should come to know you,
be a good host to the attention you get.

Use it as a tool to build
a shelter
for your mind and others in need.

                  Happy Thanksgiving! I thought this was the perfect poem for the holiday! Remember that character is defined by what you do or say when no one is watching. Hafiz takes it one step futher and asks us to remember that people may watch, they may see it all, but not ever thank us. I think he is saying that this too, is a gift, learning that service to others should be for the heart's own delight. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Still Wrapped

Still Wrapped

“But I don’t look like a sun,”

a young star still wrapped in swaddling
veils said.

To which I replied,

“But you will, my dear.
You will, my sweetheart.
So don’t worry. Don’t fret.”

            Love often includes belief in another – their goals, passions, and dreams for their life. I think girls often fret about if their love is real, or real enough. They want to feel secure and this translates into worrying because a man might express his love differently than a woman would. I am not a skilled authority on what makes a relationship meaningful, or when it is appropriate to worry. I would, however, like to impart a lesson from the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta. This school of thought believes that there are only two “symptoms” of enlightenment, indications that you are transforming towards a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying, things other people say don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. This accelerates to the point where you believe in the miraculous. So stop worrying, begin to believe that you are a sun. Now go and let others come to you for light.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Is Not The Treasure?

Is Not The Treasure? 

When Love is there, 
is not the treasure? 

                    As it nears the end of the semester, I'm swamped studying, so it's fitting that I came across this very short, but oh-so-true Hafiz poem. Enjoy the succinctness of his words, but understand that meaning - love is the only jewel you need own.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tell Me Of Another World

Tell Me Of Another World

“Tell me of another world,” the broken heart
says, “one where love is never sad it loved,
and the word sorry never comes to mind.”

“Show me dear God, that anything I have ever
wept for will return, will reside, in my arms.”

          As this month and its theme of Love draws to a close, it would seem incomplete to not discuss when Love is not reciprocated. Or worse, when another ends the love you’ve always known. The days seem dark and gray, finding your way seems trying. It is difficult to press on, but there are mountains, and forests, and oceans beyond the place that you now call home. Love is waiting, and we must go on, but that doesn’t mean that heartache isn’t as real and universal as true love. It is.
         When I was suffering from a broken heart, I turned towards poetry. Although, I have not read any of his works, Tony Hoagland may have summed up why I read poems when I did not seem to be able to gravitate towards anything else. "So much of what I love about poetry lies in the vast possibilities of voice, the spectacular range of idiosyncratic flavors that can be embedded in a particular human voice reporting from the field. One beautiful axis of voice is the one that runs between vulnerability and detachment, between 'It hurts to be alive' and 'I can see a million miles from here.' A good poetic voice can do both at once.”
          Love involves a certain degree of vulnerability, because believe me, you can be hurt. Then again, I believe with such strong conviction that Love, in any form, will be the greatest adventure you take and grandest legacy you leave.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making The Rounds

Making The Rounds

Some newlyweds came to me
They looked at me with serious faces
and sincerely asked,

“Does God want us to renounce the sweet pleasures
our bodies and the earth may give
and practice discipline?”

And I replied, “Do what most enables you to fly,
and brings a feeling to the heart that makes you
glad to be alive.”

My guests then said, “Is it really that simple?”

And I said, “Yes, why not?”

            Those with an affinity for service, and perhaps maybe anyone with a conscious, may at times question if they are doing enough. Volunteering enough. Giving to others enough. How do we strike a balance between rewarding ourselves for our hard work and giving of ourselves to others? If we make X, should we give 5% to charity? If at one point in our lives X becomes larger, should we give away 50%? I think these newlyweds have a similar question, concerning how much we should indulge in pleasure, even the selfish pleasure of physical desire and earthly goods. I love the answer Hafiz gives, “Do what most enables you to fly…and makes you glad to be alive.” What could be clearer than that? For many, service to others will be included in the joys of life that give us wings, so we need not worry.

         Below is a picture that has been interpretted/objectively stated in two ways on the internet. Some believe the soldier is giving the flowers to an orphan girl. Some believed the oprhan girl is giving the flowers to the soldier. What do you think is happening? Moreover, does it matter? 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Becoming Your Face

Becoming Your Face

Picture the face of your Beloved becoming your
face. And His body fitting on you like a coat
you won’t take off again.

Don’t move so fast now, when such a rare kiss
is being offered. For what lips can really connect
with a body wired to a mind that is darting about
in a manic hurry?

From this new perspective, look inside the Heart
you have sought so long to be near. Try and go
deep into it. Is it not your own, and mine too?

          In ten years time are you rooted into someone's soul? Or does it happen much sooner, like in the spaces between moments? I believe it can happen in ten seconds if two people are twin flames, meant to build a pyre together. And the whole thing about taking up roots, Hafiz takes it one step further. You not only grow together, but also become one. Love does that. I like this quote by Johnny Cash, when asked for his description of paradise: “This morning, with her, having coffee.” Love does that too, it slow your mind down, so you can see hear your soul.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Each Soul Completes Me

Each Soul Completes Me 

My Beloved said, "My name is not complete 
without yours." 

And I thought: How could a human's worth
ever be such? 

And God, knowing all our thoughts, and all
our thoughts are just innocent steps on the 

path, then addressed my heart, 
revealing a sublime truth to the world,

when He sang, "I am made whole by your life.
Each soul, each soul completes Me." 

            What could be more powerful than hearing these words? You are need. You matter. Your significance completes God. Everyone should check out "SoulPancake"!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Just The Way I Would

Just The Way I Would

The dreams we share of freedom.
The dreams we share of love.

There is such a unison in our every
movement, in our every desire;

we are so alike that I cannot tell the
difference anymore between us.

I could walk into any house and feel
at home,

because you have arranged everything
just the way I would.

      How do we end up finding “The One”, the person who is both our erotic lover and best friend? What is Love vs. what is desire? If you believe in soulmates you may believe a distinct Other was made especially for you. As Rumi writes: “The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.” I once heard this question proposed, “You really love him, do you?” It was meant as a psychological question, no name was mentioned, no man was intended to be the subject of the request, but suddenly someone came into my mind. That’s the point, we all harbor our Beloved within.

Dance Me to the End of Love, Jack Vettriano, 1998

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How Does It Feel To Be a Heart?

How Does It Feel To Be a Heart?

Once a young woman said to me,
“How does it feel to be a man?”

And I replied, “My dear, I am not so sure.”
Then she said, “Well, aren’t you a man?”

And this time I responded, “I view gender
as a beautiful animal that people often take
for a walk on a leash

and might enter into some odd contest
in hopes of winning a strange prize.”

My dear, a better question for Hafiz
would have been, “How does it feel to be a heart?”

For all I know is Love.
I find my heart infinite,
and everywhere.

           I thought this poem was fitting with the recent victory for Gay Marriage in my home state of New Jersey. I’ve always believed that gender is what we make of it and true love is far from categorical. The commitment to love each other is what makes our relationships real. The commitment to make two lives becomes one. The commitment to value the life of another as if it were your own, or at least to try. I enjoyed this post on the Huffington Post by Ann Voskamp, a NYTimes bestselling author. She said: “Romance isn't measured by how viral your proposal goes. Don't ever forget: the real romantics are the ones who let another heart bore a hole deep into theirs.” And it’s wise to remember that such a hole is infinite.