I grew up with low self esteem as did many young women of my age born in the 50's. We were sucked up into a post war mindset that pandered to pleasing and service to a design of life that virtually omitted a woman's satisfaction. This grip has, happily been loosened by a lot of hard work by fierce women who taught a renewed understanding of liberation and autonomy for all humanity. Some of us volunteered and some of us were forced to take the long way home to comprehending this kind of freedom, however. I have been trying to define the difference between surrendering and settling lately. I have a lifetime of settling to make peace with along side an aging process to surrender to.
Accordingly, this poem of Hafiz' speaks to the precious drops within a heart that cannot be filled but, if lost, can only be renewed in the way a diamond is forged from a lengthy pressuring of carbon. This poem took a bit of a bite out of me. This precious liquid, if given too easily or if spilled, leaves a person drought stricken. One can survive and be thankful for the love that fills one up with each good rain but if the well of the self becomes drained, one needs to journey deep within to replenish what was lost. This elixir should only be shared with the most worthy who can know and value the source of what is given. When it is threatened, one must resist.
Thank you for listening.
Music: As a woman, my liberation has come to me on the backs and in the sore feet of millions of women before me. Early on in my life was the music of Janis Ian. I rediscovered her in the aughts when I could hold a greater appreciation for her work in the world. Her dignity and autonomy in a business that would consider her demise a success is alarming and a clear testament to her grace under pressure.
When Hafiz talks about the one well with a precious few cups of water to share, he is speaking of this part of a person that should never be compromised. It is sometimes difficult to understand what it is to resist within but it is not hard to see how it has come to pass to be externalized as such a struggle.
...Tell me I’m ugly so I’ll buy your crap
Tell me you want me ‘cause I don’t talk back
Tell me I carry the original sin
Tell me I’m holy when I cover up my skin...
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.