A big part of being human seems to involve trying to remember who we are. There is a lot of fumbling and tripping involved in the operation. Our guidance becomes blocked by us or events and it can get very, very dark for some individuals. Some can't take it and choose to bail and reboot. I guess if you're reading this and you've lived through some things and you maybe should congratulate yourself because little of thriving in this life is a walk in the park.
While I believe everyone is headed in a certain evolutionary direction, we are all at a different pace with it. Hafiz, who has experienced the divine in the flesh, obviously, wants us to not give in to despair in this poem. We are not to forget that we are made of celestial stuff and though we be drunk on the temporal and the sexy bits, the spiritual never abandons us. It must, however, be asked for. If we cannot ask, then we will live dissatisfied. Which is, by choice, one way to live and die again...
Thank you for Listening.
Music: I thought of this tune as Hafiz made reference to rubies but this song written by Keith Richards has a special resonance for me personally and I can associate it with this composition. In this excerpt from the film The Story of the Rolling Stones, the band has just received word that an original member of the band who is no longer with them, Brian Jones, is dead. Ruby Tuesday is playing behind the clip. I'm struck by how young everyone looks and how ill equipped to handle so much grief on the fly.
There was a time when I was very young that I was enshrouded in more despair than I could even conceive that I had the capacity to embody. I was living my best life on the edge of every possibility and all of them were way beyond my reach. I was frightened all the time by my experiences and I interpreted this fear as excitement. Being afraid was all I knew of a real life. I briefly identified myself as Ruby Tuesday and, in this way, kept this song for myself. Later this tune would help me understand there could be alternative ways to live where I was not a torn between being a captive and a person in a dangerous free fall. I didn't want that kind of independence, originally, but it planted a seed in my consciousness that one could live in autonomy. This proved to be a valuable cultivation later in my life...My "..holy ruby mine inside still unclaimed..." waited and, in many ways, waits still. The timeless celestial is never far away and often delivers its message in a song or in a dreamy vision. Don't lose either.
Art credit John Jude Palencar
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.