The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks
Tripping over Joy
What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, "I Surrender!"
Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves
"Loving is a journey with water and with stars,
With smothered air and abrupt storms of
flour: Loving is a clash of lightning-bolts, And
two bodies defeated by a single drop of honey."
-Pablo Neruda, from Sonnet XII
"To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread."
- James A. Baldwin
You've pursued this dream
for a long while
caught glimpses of her white heels
disappearing around corners.
Finally, you arrive at the edge of
the woods where she waits.
You're dishevelled, out of breath
a little afraid.
She smiles, turning to you
your own beloved, unfamiliar face.
- Hiro Boga
Dithyramb of a Happy Woman
Song of excess,
strength, mighty tenderness,
I quiver as a body in rapture,
I quiver as a wing,
I am an explosion,
I overstep myself,
I am a fountain,
I have its resilience.
a thousand excesses,
song of gushing strength.
There are gifts in me,
flowerings of abundance,
curls of light are sobbing,
a flame is foaming, its lofty ripeness
Oceans of glare,
rosy as the palate
of a big mouth in ecstacy.
I am astonished
up to my nostrils, I snort,
a snorting universe of astonishment
I am gulping excess, I am choking with fullness,
I am impossible as reality.
- Anna Swir
"If we want to be held, we have to behold." - Mark Nepo
"Don't move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move." - Osho
After seeing a few moving clips from this years Presidential Medal of Freedom event (Ellen, anyone?), I decided to watch the whole thing. What a beautiful, uplifting event! Though I knew of it's existence in the past, I chalked it up to a nice thing but basically pomp and circumstance. Now I want to hold my own Medal of Freedom event to honor people in my life! :) What a profound thing it is to honor and share how people have changed the fabric of the earth - how they have inspired us and pushed us toward progress. Though not ready to give my Medal of Freedom event (yet), I am inspired to tell people more often ways that they inspire me.
The other day I met up with my dear friend, Lynn, for tea. I shared about tough moments post-election, we talked about our commitment to being a loving presence in the world. We talked about the importance of childlike wonder and being present. Then we took a break to get more water. During this break, Lynn noticed a homeless man in the cafe having a coffee. She immediately walked over to him and asked if he had what he would like to eat. He said he didn't and she said she would get it for him and brought him a menu. He chose his meal, introduced himself and she went up and ordered and paid for him. Then she returned without mention of it to continue our conversation.
That has remained with me as a touchstone of how I want to move through the world - leaving kindness in my wake, letting people know that they are safe, they are loved. It is simple and can manifest in a multitude of ways. Thank you, LJ, for walking the walk and reminding me again that there can be grace in the middle of it all.
As we move through this time that is not normal, I'm committed to creating a new normal for myself. Yes, let's be activists; yes, lets stay informed. But also let's be walking emanations of love. Let's shine our lights so bright. Let's create the world we want to live in.
Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose
from all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.
Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell you where it is and you
can slide your way past trouble.
Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path—but that's when
you get going best, glad to be lost,
learning how real it is
here on earth, again and again.
- William Stafford