eric-as-child FB Dani foto.jpg may 2014

“Truth is beauty, beauty is truth” –John Keats

 

This blog, this website, is an attempt to communicate with like-hearted people, about subjects of mutual interest. And what are my interests which I hope will be shared by an audience? These would be metaphysical issues from a “Sufi” perspective, and poetry expressing these themes. Because it wasn’t an accident that the old Sufi masters (Read Rumi, Saadi, Khayyam, Kabir, Hafiz, etc) chose poetry to express their connection with beauty (read, God).

Art is the best way our finite mind can release its grip, unleashing the imagination, which Inayat Khan (The founder of Western Sufism) says is the organ which finite beings must use to apprehend the infinite. Which reminds me of another favorite quote from Keats: “I am convinced of only two things: the sanctity of the heart’s affections, and the truth of the imagination.”

As you can see, I am fond of quotes, and collecting them is indeed a hobby which I will share on this website. (Look above for the “Quotes” page) A quote is a handy device for short sudden shifts which can in succession create its own country with borders within which resides a weltanschauung, as the German’s so aptly put it. In other words, a group of quotes on broad-ranging themes can quickly encapsulate a philosophy. Which would be in my case, my version of Sufism. (As freely lifted and adapted from the writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan, who founded Sufism in the West)

Also there is a “Stories” page, which too, I hope is a help in understanding Sufism. Here you will find very short anecdotes mostly.

But back to art, and back to the imagination. While we are appreciating, we should also be creating. In my experience the process of writing poetry from the heart is a wonderful form of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy self taught. Psychotherapy with the focus of finding happiness, through the pursuit of and appreciation for, beauty (read God). I hope to facilitate an interaction in which (through the comments button) we read poems from the readers, especially those suggested by the theme of the blog post (Each post will tend to have one). When I get up to speed technologically perhaps we can comment on each other’s poetry, help each other with information and writing advice, advice about getting published, etc.

I would like to have a page devoted to my particular favorites of the poems readers submit in the comments section. Or by vote of readers. Or both. Vamos a ver. (Please understand that just as E. E. Cummings got away with sprinkling his poetry with the French he had learned as an ambulance driver in World War I, I hope to escape ileso (harmless) after indulging some of my Spanish proclivities, since I am kind of marinating in the Spanish language, living in Guatemala.

I was just reading some advice to writers and this struck me: “Write the book you want to read.” (Or it follows, the poem, the commentary etc). One hopes of course that what interests the writer will interest other people. Some people say they would write but they “have nothing to say.” I forget who (Pretty sure it’s some famous writer) replied, when given this excuse, that writing was the process of finding out WHAT you have to say.

And if you have faith in the process, it will surprise you. (As will faith generally)

I think people worry too much about how “good” the stuff they write is. A shot from the heart is its own raison d’être. Just last night I saw the movie Flamingo Road with Joan Crawford. I found it powerful, but then out of morbid curiosity I checked Wikipedia, and found it was pounded by some critics. So I wrote this poem:

New PR–168
Every Gift Horse Is Shadowfax

“Never pay any attention to what critics say.
Remember, a statue has never been set up
in honor of a critic!”
–Jean Sibelius

Movie critics said Flamingo Road with Joan
Crawford was flawed—I never understood
This business about flawed diamonds:
The flaws make the man

Perhaps even the god:
It’s the diamonds’ impurities
That give its color–
What do they want?

Dramatic isn’t enough stirring
The heart is wanting sometimes
I think it’s just their bread and butter:
The critics need their fodder

But I am content with this:
The touch of a woman
And the looks in her eyes
And every gift horse is Shadowfax**

**The Wizard Gandalf’s horse in the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. (If he consented to bear you, you could not fall) God be with you, Eric Halliwell