An invitation to be oneself. The authentic self. The self that others rarely see this side of a cocktail; the self that we keep under wraps. The self that exists beyond time and that we know intimately and yet we never invite to the party except under the most restricted circumstances. What is it to plus one that part of ourselves in our daily activities?
I have a questions.
And what of the others? How they mirror who we are by our responses to them? Those who we criticize by whatever standards we deem important? Can we be strong enough to leave off judgement and see and enjoy the company of those who are reflecting back to us those scary parts of ourselves undiscovered? Parts scarred and shaded by dysfunction, perhaps? Parts we left behind that actually enjoy living? What kind of courage do we need to value everyone first and let them educate us in what we need to know about them through their present actions and deeds?
Hafiz is inviting us to welcome everyone into equal footing with our own and be willing to be open to the fact we are all dancing towards, essentially, the same thing using radically different moves.
Thank you for listening.
Video: I found this video as I was skipping through cyber-space thinking about party invitations and dancing. It is an interesting, 12 minute story of a man, Dancing Mike, who invites himself to the party. He is a survivor of adversity when young and lives on a small stipend from the state. Because of this support, he is able to bring joy to his community in a unique way by simply being himself. I find his story intriguing because it shows clearly that given the opportunity to be out from under the need to live beyond one's means, a person can actually become present and be available to life experiences in a way that is not hamstrung by ambition and debt. It is not about being "like" Mike but finding the sweet spot within ourselves, post an adversity especially, that is unique and cherished by ourselves as adults. Dancing Mike does not cultivate or indulge shame or guilt. He demonstrates how one can be innovative and have unique and inspiring ideas of oneself. He is not childish, he is child-like and illustrates the difference. He is sometimes misunderstood and looked down upon, yet he remains true to his spirit which is intelligent, benevolent and forgiving. He is brave in ways many of us cannot afford to be with all of our "riches". I find that inspiring and worthy of contemplation.
Photo by Lena Preito 2014
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.