Opinion: Reflections on Freedom

What if one rises to the day asking, what will you teach me today? Then spends the seconds of the day like a student, learning: how the heart beats; how pride bows low, forehead to earth, in love; how the colors of pain paints suffering’s steps toward wisdom; and how peace sits always at the door of intellect, patiently waiting to illustrate calm. And you know with all your being that there is more than you see, more than you understand and truth shines brighter than any star and all there is in a today is simply to ask for help, to be led to where you ought to go and for the strength to muster another step towards that which you are in truth. To know without doubt that the sun is your friend; the air is your friend; the trees are your friends; the birds are your friends; the earth is your friend; the oceans and seas are your friends; and the heart of every human being––whether she knows it or not––is friend. How does one step into such a day? Is it by saying this is who I am and wha…

A Commentary on Rumi's Poem, The Road Home

The Road Home
by Rumi º 

An ant hurries along a threshing floor with its wheat grain,
moving between huge stacks

of wheat, not knowing the abundance all around. It thinks its
one gray is all there is to 

love. So we choose a tiny seed to be devoted to. This body, 

one path or one teacher. Look 

wider and farther. The essence of every human being can see,
and what that essence-eye takes 

in, the being becomes. Saturn. Solomon! The ocean pours 

through a jar, and you might say it 

swims inside the fish! The mystery gives peace to your
longing and makes the road home home.

º From The Soul of Rumi 
  Translated by Coleman Barks

Home is where the heart is” says Pliny the Elder. Hence in other to find one’s home one must know one’s heart, and to be at home is to rest where one’s heart rests. But in Coleman Barks’ translation of Rumi’s poem, “The Road Home,” interest sits on the path towards discovery and union with the heart. Here Rumi seems to be saying that one may also f…

Photography: Man & Car in Blizzard

Man & Car in Blizzard --- JAO

Poetry: CXXII (Whoever Takes Sides With the Men of God) By Hafez

CXXII º By Hafez
Whoever takes sides with the men of God, God will protect him from disaster under any circumstance. I will not say the story of friendship except to my friend.  For only a friend safeguards the words of a friend.  O heart, live in such a way that if your foot slips  An angel catches you with two praying hands. If you do not want the beloved to break his promise, Hold onto the end of your string so that she may hold on to hers. Zephyr, if you see my heart hanging from her tress, Will you please tell it to stay where it is. When I told her, “Keep my heart safe!”, she said:  “What can a [God’s] servant do? May God keep it safe.” Let my head and gold, and my heart and soul be sacrificed for that beloved Who honors the right of friendship and love. Where is the dust of the road on which you pass,  So that Hafez may keep it as a remembrance from the morning breeze?
--- º From The Poems of Hafez  Translated from Persian by Reza Saberi.

Between the Pages of Letters to A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke VII B

The previous commentary in this series on Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, attempted a translation of a perspective which agrees with what Rilke puts as “it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult”(67). Here the focus remains on the same seventh chapter in Letters and still on the subject of difficulty, however, the interest shifts to a specific difficulty: that common, misunderstood, underrated feeling we call love. Love is a difficult subject to write on. In fact, most poets, if not all, agree that a poem on love is the most challenging of all poems. And I am now at a place where I am beginning to believe that love is not even a feeling but the substance we call life. Hence love is life and love is all there is. Hence nothing is done but in the name and in the perimeter of love. Therefore one would be probably right to argue that it is owing to the benevolent nature of love that there exist variety; in which case one can argue for the nature of love as the most flexible su…