It is sometimes impossible to not be effected by the events of this world. We have come hard by our skills to navigate these challenging times in witnessing grievous violence, heinous acts and traumatizing disasters both man-made and natural over the last few years. We want to be in the world; we want to help and be in our lives without harming ourselves or those we intend to love but our camels get loose and wander the desert without us upon occasion. There is always a part of us that knows where our camel is, however. It is the strength of our joy and our heart center and always close for the asking. Our hands and hearts filled with hate, revenge and anger leave us untethered from our vehicle and leave it to wander. Our throats are choking and we cannot call out.
Hafiz asks us if our caravan is lost? Have we spun off and out of center and forgotten we are born to celebrate ourselves, this earth and those we love? Keep a lantern within reach. Call out to that camel when it wanders and reconnect to what is of true and lasting value as much as possible. The times are troubled but we needn't be harmed by being dragged around by the times to meet them. Even while we pay attention we can choose to keep our camel close.
Thank you for listening.
Music: I love the music of Tinariwen. When I first heard it years ago I swooned. I would swim listening to it and it had an amazing effect on me. Something about being immersed in water listening to music born in the Sahara desert was exhilarating. The juxtaposition. Which element yearns more for the other? The water for the relief of being needed essentially in life for the vast desert or the desert for the quenching relief of being able to abandon the constant threat of drought?
...This pain is a burden
If only my cell would turn into an open plain...
More on this fabulous Algerian Touareg Berbere group, Tinariwen, here.
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.