Friday, October 28, 2011

Where was I again?

You know how sometimes you forget what day of the week it is? Today, I forgot what my emotional state was. As in, I had to remind myself, actively, that I wasn't pissed off.

In more than one idle moment today, my mind and body went back to the funk that had been in for much of the week. I felt the tightening in my lower back, my adrenals were ready to pounce, my thoughts started ramping up...then I remembered, 'wait a minute--that's not in play anymore'...the fog had lifted a full twenty-four hours prior--no need to be angry. After a moment of mental/visceral recalibration,  I was back to being a little more present.

It was an odd sensation, actually--a kind of unmoored anger, which was so patently made-up, and kind of easily released.  An interesting exercise in choice, awareness, and maybe even possibility.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

For those who fast today

What strikes me most about this image is that so much more than a cute little angel playing the lute--it is a cherub, a young angel-in-training, learning to play--practicing awkwardly on an outsized instrument.



There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox
is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean
with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy makes you
run up the steps in front of you.
Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry.
Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.
When you're full of food and drink, Satan sits
where your spirit should, an ugly metal statue
in place of the Kaaba. When you fast,
good habits gather like friends who want to help.
Fasting is Solomon's ring. Don't give it
to some illusion and lose your power,
but even if you have, if you've lost all will and control,
they come back when you fast, like soldiers appearing
out of the ground, pennants flying above them.
A table descends to your tents,
Jesus' table.
Expect to see it, when you fast, this table
spread with other food, better than the broth of cabbages.

~Jelaludin Rumi
trans. Coleman Barks