Sometimes silence and a full stop is the only accurate expression for a shock in our lives. Hafiz waxes poetic describing a mime sentenced to death for a crime that he did not commit. In this poem every one gathers around and witnesses miracles born from this injustice or martyrdom. As I read this poem and contemplated the reference to Christ in it, I began to realize the poem was about how some will step into a position in their lives that is marked for injustice. As high profile individuals, they are, in a way, providing us with an example of a concentration of all things consequential; the most heinous and the most virtuous. If we can find the courage to hold space for their actions, those caring differently from us are our frenemies as those we feel are like us are our allies. We are being shown something that we need to recognize as a manifestation of our lives whether in small daily events or large collective ones.
Our history is peopled with persons on both ends of the spectrum and they are divided yet again when the values they carry demand a presence in our lives with their nefarious or devout actions. We must suffer them (as in Trump and Putin, Pol Pot or Hitler to name just a couple of the notorious) or use them as icons of hope and virtue (like Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Thích Nhất Hạnh, Buddha, Christ or Greta Thunberg, to name just a few). Of note: there are a lot more protagonists than antagonists in our lives. The antagonists illicit pain and we respond to pain and upset faster than joy because pain equates to danger and survival in our primitive minds. We don't need fifty thousand monsters when just one will do unless we side with the energies they are presenting that are pressing us forward. Once that happens on either side, the effect is exponentially as impactful. We are in the habit of defense and punishment leading to war and bloodshed. We are learning our numbers hold power as in the Woman's March of 2017 showing us that we are requiring a new understanding of our relationship with law, policy and governance.
On some days it feels as though the very tree of life has been uprooted and we are dangling from some long buried roots now exposed. Yet, we are still here and while we are still here we can still choose; while we may not be partying, we ain't dead yet, either.
Thank you for listening...to A Mime....
Music: Like Martin Luther King, Patti Smith had a dream and she was moved to put it to song to inspire and remind us all that we are not powerless. In fact, that is what this whole struggling with change is about, our recognizing our impact in the world whether it is making mistakes with over using the earth's resources or channeling great works of art that inspire awe and reverence. It is about forgiveness of ourselves and others and getting busy doing better.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.
My book can be purchased HERE. E-book HERE. The Season Two blogcasts with audio excerpts from my book begin HERE: in Behind The Lines. This reading of the book excerpts in a mixed media format is Season Two of this blog. These recorded excerpts are outside the chronological order in which the book was written. Podcasts with audio only beginning with episode 22 can be found HERE.