Calling for poetry, echoes in the mind…
The poetry of Lala, Rumi, and Hafiz echoed through the morning process today, weaving its way in and out of the conversation. Coleman Barks recitations from the album “I want burning” adding whispers of wisdom through the ages stewarding us through body care, dressing, and rising.
Leonard Cohen once said “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”
The hollow echo of the chimes dances with the sound of morning traffic, they flow in through the open window reminding me of both the sacredness and the busyness of life.
I woke this morning, having slept long and well through the night.
I stirred once, in the darkness, checking myself I could see that I was a little cool, though not too fully awake. “Good,” I thought, keeping my eyes closed and reaching out – knock, knock, knock – my hand searching for the switch on the little heater by my bed.
With limited sensation, I can never feel if I’m actually at the switch, and have to exercise a combination of prayer and persistence, trusting in grace and muscle memory to find the way. “Click” and “whirrr” went my little electronic companion, exhaling a breath of hot air across my body.
I smiled to myself, settling back into rest for a few minutes while I warmed. The noise is more than I like to sleep to and after a while I cracked an eye to find the glowing red button, knocked it once into silence and darkness and followed suit myself, stirring again only just before 6:30 AM to begin the morning rituals.
Courtney was running late, leaving me with the question of which aspect to pursue, the sacredness, or the busyness of life. Of course when you get either right, you have both, and for better or worse I found myself strolling through the twitter feed to see what was on the mind of that little slice of the world.
“Emptiness,” I think to myself now, reflecting back. “Realization of the habit of reification,” I think, perhaps better…
What did I find that cacophony of voices? What do I find in the voices of my head now considering?
Courtney arrived, bearing a glass of deliciously warm coconut water to start the day. Magic elixir! Time to start rising.
What if, I wonder, we measured the world not in terms of Truth, but Beauty instead?
My dear integral friends of course would point out the implicate value of measuring not just one, but each of Truth, Beauty, and Morality (I take liberties with “the good, the true, and the beautiful,” and “Art, Morals, and Science,” to which my dear friend Robin often adds Justice.) To which I invite…
It is not the priority of balance implicitly a statement of each of these perspectives and once? And yet does the one asserting so not do so as it satisfies their sense of an aesthetic justice? If we look upon the world today, aspiring for greater technology in our material, political, and social realms, are we not striving for some “True way” to achieve some approximation of peace and justice?
What if we looked, not for the “right” or even the “sound” ways of organizing, but instead sought the world through poetry itself as our primary way of enacting?
“I” awaken to this daunting experience of form that eventually I may learn to call “self,” and “other (or world)” bursting forth into existence, like a flower in spring.
We have so long thought of the importance of wrestling our existence from the cold, dark, emptiness of space, battling hunger and predation and exposure… And when I say “we” I mean of course, life itself.
From success, we draw an ever greater stream of stuff, the idea of poetry itself, toasters, spacecraft, opera, words for giraffe or moth or love, each of these another brick or tool in our timeless creation.
But what danger is there really in arising and passing away? And what of the quality of that arising? Could it matter if it were in anxiety in contrast to bliss? Certainly our study of the effects of emotion on health suggests yes. It matters very much – the nature, or felt quality of our imagined self arising.
Even the proposition that we should move towards beauty or poetry or bliss as a priority, itself verging on the assertion of some rightness, truth, or morality…
I’ll not make that case, but instead finish here with the words of Rumi:
“For hundreds and thousands of years I lived as a mineral. Then I died and was reborn a plant.
For hundreds and thousands of years I lived as a plant. Then I died and was reborn an animal.
For hundreds and thousands of years I lived as an animal. Then I was reborn as a human.
What did I ever lose in dying?”
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…