Lessons must age and ripen and ripening takes time. Certain elements need to be in play for an experience to be assimilated. It is not enough to simply think life into being, by stating, "Oh! I understand now!" Well you might think so but a complete transformation of information in a life requires more than simply grasping the idea of an experience. One must invest in, curate and love it. One must open their heart to it, step into and welcome a lesson's long view and put some flesh into the game. Our bodies need to be involved in all experiences to be able to truly understand what is happening and to take ownership.
We rush about in our culture and, in consequence, we have do-overs to repeat things because there is actually no escaping what we really need to know in our lives. Many cultures have a way to slow down and ease into the depths of being. Not ours. Americans must wrest away the time necessary to fully experience the more obscure nature of our humanity. Cultural expectation demands we always be productive. Most of us can't catch our breath until we retire. Some retire only ten years or so from their expiry date and never catch on. Such is the pressure to remain productive and meet expectations because, to many, to be busy and maintain standards means one is vital.
Setting intentions for ourselves by ourselves is also not supported in our society. Perhaps that is how we get sucked into the frenetic buzz of activity so deeply. If we actually stopped and thought about our lives regularly, we may make different choices. Changing can be seen as defiant; ergo, problematic to an established construct whether in our heads or in our communities.
Hafiz talks in this poem about the other side of busy. Sitting and contemplating our lives as a sacred act. It cuts deeply at times because that is where our passion for living is. He urges us not to rush and just skim through life like dying is a goal. Can we savor passion in the spectrum of all of its manifestations? Can we appreciate its value and learn resilience instead relying on construct all the time?
Thank you for listening.
Music: Leonard Cohen, my generation's beloved wordsmith and pop icon of song is featured here. He knows about going slow and sings about it in this song by the same name, Slow. We rarely remember we have time at our disposal to pursue deep and abiding experiences.
I’m lacing up my shoe
But I don’t want to run
I’ll get here when I'm due
Don’t need no starting gun
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.