One night a man was crying Allah! Allah!
his lips grew sweet with praising,
until a cynic said, "So!
I have heard you calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?"
The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
"Why did you stop praising?" "Because
I've never heard anything back."
"The Longing you express
is the return message."
The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.
Give your life
to be one of them.
Me: Time is slow and fast at once. I have a clock that actually ticks in my kitchen. I feel sorry for myself. There are no clearly formed thoughts, just swimming. I've been trying to write a story all morning/afternoon. It isn't working. It is at first too far from me, then too close. Death figures prominently in my stories; is this cheating?
The Sufi poets believed that dogs were great teachers of devotion and humility. Love Dogs is hard to swallow because in a way my faith either goes unquestioned or begins to unravel with doubt. I don't understand God. In my better more philisophical moods, I have many thoughts on the presense of God in life, on the world of the spirit, and on surviving and thriving from grief. Not today. There is a fear in me that it is my longing that arrives at the presense of God. That it is my grief that leads me to communion/connection. I don't know what I want to be true. But I know that our small lives are miraculous.
You can also see Sarah's wonderful blog entry about this poem.