Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shouting Yes! to a Luminous Existence

"Nobody important? Blimey, that's amazing. You know that in 
nine hundred years of time and space and I've never met anybody 
who wasn't important before."

~ from the Dr. Who Christmas Carol episode which we watched last night.

Isn't that magnificent? What a brilliant sentiment.  

And so how are you all faring with the Christmas hoopla?  I've spent the last few days feeling a bit under the weather. Nothing drastic, but not the most fun either.  I've been able to pretend quite nicely that I'm perfectly fine.  So I think anyway. 

At any rate, all the goings on, and staying up too late, followed by insomnia for several nights in a row, have left me feeling pretty uncreative, pretty fragile.  

I think that writers have quite something in common with athletes.  I mean, it's like being in training.  You have to eat well, sleep well, surround yourself with positive thoughts and people, and then also clear that mental space around you when it's time to compete.  Or for writers, when it's time to sit down with pen and paper or at the computer.  I guess once in a while I've dashed off some good hangover stuff, or written long flowing passages in my diary while drinking wine that later turned into something okay. But generally, I write better if my mind is clear, my body can be ignored, and I'm well slept.  Boring sounding, yes?  

So the little blue book in the photos is a copy of A Christmas Carol by Dickens. A sweet little book, full of pencil marks and seems to have been read quite often. A previous reader seems to have underlined certain words for emphasis when reading aloud.  These particular teacups are mine, though they once belonged to R's grandmother.  We received the entire set of china for our wedding and I still love it - the blue is my favorite, and the design is beautifully simple.

 One of the things I'm doing over the holidays to relax/decompress is to read poetry before bed.  Usually I have a novel on the go but poetry is easier to pick up and put down.  Last night was Hafiz in the Daniel Ladinsky translation.

"I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,

The Astonishing Light
of your own Being!"

"I rarely let the word "No" escape
from my mouth

Because it is so plain to my soul
That God has shouted, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
To every luminous movement in Existence."
"Start seeing everything as God
But keep it a secret."
"A poet is someone who can pour Light into a spoon
Then raise it
To nourish
Your beautiful parched, holy mouth."

A while ago I posted this quotation by Nikki Giovanni as my FB status line and I was pleasantly surprised by how many people quickly clicked the like button.

“There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.” 

― Nikki Giovanni

It's the last part that's trickiest, of course.  But isn't it wonderful when you can share the happiness of those whom you call friend, and when those friends are even those whom you consider to be visionary.  This also reminds me of the lines by Rumi:

"Look carefully around you and recognize 
the luminosity of souls.  Sit beside those
who draw you that."

What I'm trying to say is that when you're at the inevitable holiday parties - choose your seating arrangement carefully.  : )

I really love this version of the Jane Siberry song.  Hope you do as well:

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