November 19, 2007

As if Dreaming

The sky becomes one with its clouds
the waves with their mist.
In Heaven's starry river, a thousand sails
As if dreaming, I return to the place
where the Highest lives,
and hear a voice from the heavens:
Where am I going?
I answer, "The road is long,"
and sigh; soon the sun will be setting.
Hard to find words in poems to carry
on its ninety-thousand-mile wind,
the huge inner bird is soaring.
O wind, do not stop--
My little boat of raspberry wood
has not yet reached the Immortal Islands.

Chinese Poet Li Qingzhao
from Admiring Lotuses

(translated by Jane Hirshfield)

November 11, 2007

On-Line at the Nameless Cafe

Siting here at the Nameless, sun streaming in the windows, chatting with God on the laptop, love wordlessly pointing out how sweet the music is, how exquisitely enchanting the light. As the sun caresses the table it brings out the deep red and gold hues in the wood. How many conversations at this table? How many cups of coffee or tea? How many stories? I watch the light move slowly across the room. The pace is slow here at the Nameless this morning. Relaxed. The atmosphere settled. Sunday morning, but really, in here, it feels like eternity - a sweet, settled eternity. Everyone here is finding their way, in their own time and season. While they patiently wait for God, they drink coffee and tea. The waitress brings plates of warm goodies. When things settle, an easy loving-kindness emerges. I look around and find nothing sacred. Then again, there is nothing ordinary here either.

God just popped up! Since I had a good connection, I took the liberty of asking that ageless question, "Who or what are you?" The Beloved's reply: "I don't know."

I wrote back, "I knew it!" and we both had a good laugh at my choice of words.

Then, silence. You know, that still, silent, warm Presence that is so...


... Beloved

November 8, 2007

And For No Reason

For no reason
I start skipping like a child.

For no reason
I turn into a leaf
That is carried so high
I kiss the sun's mouth
And dissolve.

For no reason
A thousand birds
Choose my head for a conference table,
Start passing their
Cups of wine
And their wild songbooks all around.

For every reason in existence
I begin to eternally,
To eternally laugh and love!

When I turn into a leaf
And start dancing,
I run to kiss our beautiful Friend
And I dissolve in the Truth
That I Am.

Hafiz/ Trans. Ladinsky

November 4, 2007

The Treasure

O you who've gone on pilgrimage -
where are you, where, oh where?
Here, here is the Beloved!
Oh come now, come, oh come!
Your friend, he is your neighbor,
he is next to your wall -
You, erring in the desert -
what air of love is this?
If you'd see the Beloved's
form without any form -
You are the house, the master,
You are the Kaaba, you! . . .
Where is a bunch of roses,
if you would be this garden?
Where, one soul's pearly essence
when you're the Sea of God?
That's true - and yet your troubles
may turn to treasures rich -
How sad that you yourself veil
the treasure that is yours!

~Rumi 'I Am Wind, You are Fire'
Translation by Annemarie Schimmel