Friday, February 11, 2011

Rumi Day 2: From "Soul, Heart, and Body One Morning"

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other,
doesn't make any sense.

Me: I sleep late. The sun is prominent in the sky. Sound of traffic from my bed. A heaviness, without a name, waits with me. Go and move into the day.

I have always needed the permission "Let the beauty we love be what we do." Writing is not a hobby. Art is not a past-time. If I did not live in the world of money, this thought would be immediate. It is hard work to keep up, to not be discouraged, not give in to the fear, to remain the fool who despite failing again and again, goes on trusting herself, the world, her art. But if we do not do what we love and exist in the world of our beauty, the soul and the spirit will not thrive. Who we each are must be released, loosed upon the world; who we are must exist in communion with the world, that it might remain a part of the world in its right place and yet alter it and be altered.

The sober mind can lie down in the field and see of the world what remains--rightly so--nameless. Why am I obsessed with what is nameless? All of writing to me seeks to touch the nameless space of our world, our existence. What does this mean? What remains nameless? Most of what makes up beauty to us remains nameless.

In  the book, "The Spirituality of Imperfection" this quote is given: "Those who know do not say, those who say do not know." It's explained in terms of the scent of a flower. Do you know what a rose smells like? Yes. Explain its smell.
You cannot name it, it remains elusive. But all art seeks this place, which might be called the place of the sublime, of the other, of God, and so on.

This is what Rumi means in his last stanza:

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other,
doesn't make any sense.

But it takes so much to let down theses walls. To sift through, to fall into that place, a spiritual place. Or does it? I don't know. I've sensed this outer region, this rim, margin, gap...visually mostly, in nature, especially when working around farm animals, oddly enough. Being close to birds or death.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

My father builds things, my mother reads, my sister runs, my friend makes books and pottery, another friend makes political art, cooks, bakes, holds the hand of a small child and listens to her...

Yet, I try to remember also, that in all that we do we have the chance, we can choose, to do it with Holiness, with devotion, and with love. This thought brings me joy.

1 comment:

Sarah S. said...

Emily, your writing is so beautiful.