A Dandelion Scatters in the Wind

All Souls Day •  Someone’s Birthday • Sufi Poetry • After One Week in Africa

In which Jet-Lag and Language Learning make for a Very Scrambled Blog Post

All the following poems are taken from Daniel Ladinsky’s The Gift, inspired by Hafiz and the Sufi mystic tradition.

It’s funny now, but I used to think that living overseas might make holiness a little less difficult. I hoped that prayer would surge as surely and naturally as the tide once I arrived. But geography isn’t magic. Love is a choice, and I go on reluctantly choosing it here just as before.


Find A Better Job

Now

That

All your worry

Has proved such an

Unlucrative

Business,

Why

Not

Find a better

Job.

What was I afraid of? Not of anything in particular—but of everything—of the vast unknown which quickly materialized in the shape of the familiar—dusty tile flooring, rooftop balconies, laundry flapping in the breeze, the Adhan echoing across the city, ancient walls, fresh croissants, bright stars. 


Elegance

It

Is not easy

To stop thinking ill

Of others.

Usually one must enter into a friendship

With a person

Who has accomplished that great feat himself.

Then

Something

Might start to rub off on you

Of that

True

Elegance.

While the political rhetoric back home is hot with fear, I’m grateful for all of the truly elegant peace-keepers who’ve led me here. I’ve been thinking about you all—reflecting gratefully on your encouragement and example. Thanks especially to the one who taught me my first Arabic words and phrases— In’shalla, Haiwan, and Ma’a salama.


A Great Need

Out

Of a great need

We are all holding hands

And climbing.

Not loving is a letting go.

Listen,

The terrain around here

Is

Far too

Dangerous

For

That.

This morning, I listened to the familiar voices of Taizé chanting: Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est—where charity and love are, God is there. Where He is, may I also be.

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