There are many ways of receiving direction in our lives. We are filthy rich with ideas and information. Knowing which navigational advice is suitable to each individual can be a tricky bit of business to the uninitiated. This poem makes me think of the problems of giving and the receiving of advice and direction.
We are all on different journeys as we live our lives and we all have different ideas of how to get where we are going. Religion. Trends. Art. Imitation. Popular music was always one of my ways of navigating and keeping my ear to the ground even though I completely misunderstood what I was hearing at first. It drove me to near madness before I aged into coming around to understanding how to receive guidance through inspiration. Now there are many other ways available to find guidance but music was what invited me into the portal that I needed to enter to better understand the difference between hearing and listening, learning and understanding, data and knowledge.
This poem by Hafiz at first appears to be about pleasure seeking. I read it as an invitation, as well. Our experiences will often begin as pleasure initially to get us to notice and lure many into a deeper engagement to their experiences. Then some of us, but not all, find ourselves somehow entrenched in such drama as to prompt us to make choices - some with lifelong consequences. These choices often spurn us into an adult trajectory rich with revealing to ourselves and our loved ones who we really are.
All of this is complex and it is made even more muddied by the extraordinary amount of souls who are constantly pouring advice our way through information technology like content providers (of which I am one, though not a trending one), movies, television serials and reality shows. This goes on and on. I think one of the lessons we need as humanity to understand and understand well to survive and thrive is adopting a deep sense of discernment of what is and what is not for us. We can't know what is for our best interest if we are unable to look at what the deeper agenda of those advising us is and we cannot know the truth of others without knowing, being honest and owning our own motivations. This is a skill and a discipline that each of us must adopt as it is sorely needed to remain balanced, healthy and loving as a human being navigating this modern world in these unstable times.
What I really want to give you,
Yet all day long
I try painting maps on the sky
With bright tender sounds....
Thank you for listening.
Video: One of the ways I get direction, advice and guidance is through films. I was thinking about the words primrose path relating to the follies of youth and these decisions we make. I took this as a direction so I looked at movies on YouTube with that title. Through this little romp through the inter-tubes I landed on this clip from the 1930 film Primrose Path. The narratives of a life often begin with a choice we make like this young female character, Ellie May (played by Ginger Rogers), makes in this scene with Ed (Joel McCrea). The stories of our lives often unfold in these ways with cleverness, opportunities being presented and choices of consequence made setting our course. Digging clams is a brilliant metaphor in this scene "...Don't you ever open up?..." Ed asks her. The lesson here is, probably not if there is an hidden agenda or a secret to guard.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.