Notes

•December 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

You came in the evening. The red sky was you. The quiet green was you. The soft winter light was you. The hour of twilight was your paradise. Like the trees around, one seemed to disappear into that mist which permeated the earth.

Can I live with your fragrance? That remains a question unanswered.

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Mary

•December 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

As the city forest ended, and the crowded roads of the city began, he walked out from the dense abode of nature, back into the man made world. The soothing twilight in the forest was a contrast to the sharp city lights. The sounds of birds taking their last flight for the day were very different from the sounds of cars, and men and women chatting. The colours of the tree were not the colours of the concrete buildings.

In the lane close by, he noticed a statue. He walked towards it. There was a church, and outside it, a statue of Mary, holding her infant son in her left arm. Her head was covered with a blue scarf, she wore blue and white robes. Her face was pure, untouched, as ever.

He stood there for a while. In this busy world, this spot emanated tranquility, care, love. Truly, Mary is the mother of all who have faith. In the most unlikely of spaces, sometimes in spite of the intentions of those who are responsible for her church, she appears, blesses, and soothes with her aura.

For 2000 years, men and women have gone to Mary to seek refuge. They have enshrined her in their sacred spaces, and in their hearts. They have sung to her. They have been blessed by her presence, soothing, infinitely deep and ever renewed.

 

•December 7, 2017 • Leave a Comment

You left, early in the morning. As the sun shines high, and the day moves forward, your presence lingers. Soon it will be dark, and you will return in that darkness. A voice whispered in the silence. You and me. Us.

 

 

A land of hope

•December 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

“We live together in a land of hope.
We cultivate it. We are dwellers in your house.
We live there. We pray there.
We abide there until it’s time to die.
We live together in your hand.
Who could dislodge us from this blatant happiness?”

– Christophe Lebreton, Born from the Gaze of God: The Tibhirine Journal of a Martyr Monk (1993-1996). 

 

 

The planet

•November 27, 2017 • 2 Comments

It was a perfect sphere. It rotated, slow, perfect, like a musical note placed in infinite space. It revolved around its star, from which it received light and warmth. The burning ball of fire was not too close to consume the planet, nor too far to let it hurtling into space.

In the infinite peace of the cosmos, where sound does not travel, it continuously acted, rotating, revolving, playing its part in absolute order that emerged from the mists of time and would go on for eternity, until time itself ceased to exist.

The planet would die when the star, its life-giver, would expand, as its fuel would exhaust, and it would swallow the planet. Until then, the planet would exist in its utter stillness, alive, awake, active. As if not a day had passed since the big bang, when all there is came into being.

As if in these vast spaces of the universe, where no sound exists, there is a quiet sound that emerges from every dancing planet, every burning star, every comet flying into infinity, all these bodies performing a consummate dance to an invisible, unknown, unknowable witness who just watches.

4000 years later, light from the planet reaches us on this planet called Earth.  We see the far-away planet through our telescopes, or rather, the planet as it existed 4000 years ago. In our hustle-bustle of daily life, our hankering after comfort, pleasure, ambition, we obtain a glimpse of the utter silence of the universe, in which we are a little speck on a speck. In this vast magnitude of the universe, we are like ants quarreling over a grain of sugar.

Knowing the planet, we are one with it. Its tranquility is ours. Its love is to be found in our eyes. Its depths of silence are to be found in our voice. Its grace and beauty of movement is in our movement. In that moment, the universe, sacred in its every pore, blesses us, and gives us that benediction that only the children of the universe can have.

 

a prayer

•October 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

mera dard naghma-e-be-sada
meri zaat zarra-e-be-nishaan
mere dard ko jo zabaan milay
mujhe apna naam-o-nishaan milay
meri zaat ka jo nishaan milay

mujhe raaz-e-nazm-e-jahaan milay
jo mujhe ye raaz-e-nihaan milay
meri khamoshi ko bayaan milay
mujhe kaainaat ki sarwari
mujhe daulat-e-do jahaan milay

– faiz ahmed faiz

Our hidden sorrows are also the meanings of our lives. May they find a voice. May we discover, in that voice, our true destinies. If there is a god, may he illuminate for us the secrets of existence. Perhaps then, when silence speaks, when that which is unknown becomes known, perhaps then, we are truly alive, awake, attuned to our destinies.

Like nobody else, Faiz knows the mysteries of the unknown and the known. How the unknown is always the companion of sorrow. How sorrow is always the companion of the unknown. How, to fully live our sorrows, is to also find beauty and illumination in our lives.

In a metaphor that is deeply steeped in the Sufi way of life, the poet lets himself be soaked by the unknown. The poet is not afraid to suffer, but in fact sees suffering as the fire that will purify him, as the water that will evoke a thirst for the eternal. All is surrendered in the face of the truly real, that which truly is. There is only surrender.

The poem is mysterious in its sounds, and in its meanings. There are no concrete interpretations to take home, but only that sense of a deep, abiding, beautiful mystery that makes our lives worth living, for our short time on this planet we call home.

 

It

•October 4, 2017 • Leave a Comment

When it emerges, there is nobody around.

Who knows what it is? Nobody knows.

Nothing can be said about it.

As if newness is only what is. As if the old has passed on.

Life begets life. Death is perennially present.

It is trauma, it is gift. It is blessing, it is curse. It keeps one alive. Deeply alive. Too alive. It makes one die.

A free fall, with no ground to fall on.

Words fail.

Mystery remains.

 

 

 
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