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
All your worry
Has proved such an
Find a better
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.
Is not easy
To stop thinking ill
Usually one must enter into a friendship
With a person
Who has accomplished that great feat himself.
Might start to rub off on you
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
Of a great need
We are all holding hands
Not loving is a letting go.
The terrain around here
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.