There is something about how we expect all things to be easier than they truly are that drives our cynicism. Perhaps it is because this planet is so beautiful and the hearts of most humans are so sublime. We raise our bairn in the softest ways so they will survive and hope that they thrive. Still, as we age and generations are born, we become entangled in these things our souls set out to do, innocently enough. As if on queue we run into the troubles - if not within us, then the weight of our times ransack our lives and leave us challenged, confused and wanting.
There is small comfort in understanding that these things are of a design amid such suffering. There is little the angels can really do but sympathetically hold up a mirror to our own celestial source and remind us of our powerful ability to care. Taking that caring up or not? That is our choice.
Music: Ive been in the pool exercising with this music on the 2008 recording of Pleasure & Relief for years. It is from a live album of Gregory Hoskins and a favorite of mine. I discovered his music back when I was rattling around in my imaginary alchemy lab with Stephen Jenkinson's work, Die Wise, trying to better understand death and mortality. Hoskin's later allied himself and other musicians with Jenkinson to creatively collaborate ways to tour and explore new ways of looking at mortality, aging and elderhood. They are currently on the road as a duo with the Grief and Mystery Tour: ROUGH GODS which, I understand, is actually a living paradox of performance (perhaps in some ways similar to what we used to call "a happening" in the '60's - yet different still, as are the times). This song makes me think about how our relationships can assist us - if not save us - if we allow them to live outside the norm and, possibly, on the edges where it is easier to witness the miraculous discordance of the celestial at work. Clearly Jenkinson and Hoskins are holding space to empower us to look at that edge.
Art: Orphans, by Thomas Kennington
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz (including an addendum regarding the authenticity of these poems) can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.