Listen to the moan of a dog for its master . . .
Rumi continues, along with Rilke, to bring the infinite into my life, to help me see the world with more than cynical eyes. When his voice booms from the body of Coleman Barks, I recognize magic. It is the same awe I once felt in church, the same letting go of outcome, the same living fully in the moment.
How infrequently we allow ourselves these moments.
We choose to stay busy, our televisions spitting out programs, our iPhones feeding music into our heads, and when we sense the quiet coming for us, we open the door and invite chaos in for a long visit. I can’t write because . . . I can’t create because . . .
As writers, as poets, our need for the quiet of emptiness is tenfold. To create there must be space around us, not just physical space but internal. In order to be a conduit of anything, we must learn to live in this silence, this opening into the unknown. We must become comfortable with ambiguity, unfinished sentences, projects that make sense only to us, and fresh ideas that take us far from home . . .
What Rumi says about love dogs . . .
One night a man was crying Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with praising,
until a cynic said, “So!
I’ve 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.”
“This 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.
It is this connection that I long for, the connection to Other and to other, and to the dog who sleeps at my feet, stretching the width of the bed, shedding her black hair on newly-washed flannel sheets.
Coleman Barks reciting Love Dogs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF4_KZfIfVI
My writing often deals with the environment, my poetry filled with allusions to natural and man-made disasters. I have unlimited hope though, there is just too much wonder in this world to become a defeatist. As Margaret J. Wheatley said, Hopelessness has surprised me with patience.