How Close We Always Are to Tears
“Eric, your problem is that you had an expectation.”
–Lud Dimpfl (Sufi preceptor)
Have you ever been cruising along
On an even emotional keel and then
Some hidden expectation gets shattered?
And you are surprised
It after all came out of the blue
Which surprise is truly odd
Since we’ve all had the blues
And even the sky is a regular thing
It makes you wonder about surprises
Sudden unwelcome surmises
And just when you’d thought
You were over that drought
But still (As in waters running deep)
One has to admit it’s a useful sting
To see how close we always are to tears
How far we are in arrears vis a vis the stars
Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:
“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”
First, I draw your attention to my dedication of the above poem to Lud Dimpfl (rhymes with blood,–short for Ludwig) my erst beloved Sufi teacher. I am in the top row, the only guy in front of the left white doorjamb. The framed object on the wall above is a quote from an old Jewish proverb, that says, “God forbid that we should ever have to bear all that we are capable of bearing.”
And now, to the post!
As you who are regular readers probably know, this blog is often about poetry production. Or any artistic production, actually, which is a cure for unhappiness, at least if (and I stress this if) the art in question is an expression of the heart. Though I do tend to stress poetry because that’s where most of my artistic experience lies.
Of course the heart can go both ways. (It can be manic depressive, bless its heart).
Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that. Which needs to be emphasized, especially if, in the case of the lows (as opposed to the highs one can reach–even approximating ecstasy) this expression is a curative thing.
Okay just as an example, take the above poem I wrote a few days ago, just after I had a curious reaction to the news that a lady I had never met or talked to, was suddenly announcing she had a boyfriend. (It took me by surprise because I could swear there had occurred some mild flirting before this) A handsome guy in fact! (I saw his pic, and how ya gonna compete with that?)
Now she lives in California and I live in Guatemala. Not that that has stopped me before. Twice in fact in recent years, I got involved with ladies in California, where I visit every year to see friends and family. And I would have abandoned my cushy poetry-rich environment and beautiful garden which I enjoy here, to move to be with these ladies. (Asi son nosotros romanticos)
And this merely online (and to reiterate, slight) flirtation was with a lady who didn’t even live in the parts of CA where I normally hang out. But a tenuous possibility existed by the fact of Amtrak which within a two hour scenic ocean view route would have gotten me to where she was.
We romantics don’t need much more than that to hang our hat on.
But this was an unconscious hope that I hadn’t really known was there, or certainly that, if frustrated, was powerful enough to spoil my day with gloomy heart shadows of loneliness.
But it was instructive-constructive! My instinctive reaction these days is when my heart is moved, I turn it into a poem. Yes, the very poem posted above.
Amazing how sad I got! (I speak several sad languages–I’m a sad polyglot. Not so bad as it sounds but don’t get me started on ecstatic stuff)
Good job my last ten years worth of on the job poetry training has blessedly taught me how to turn everyday living into fodder for meditating on the great scope of things, which it turns out is a cure for sadness. If only for these two reasons:
The mere expression of the heart is cathartic. It lets off steam. The heart feels listened to. (Probably the main secret why talk therapy works)
And in my case, since I am pretty much a full time poet these days, it gave me a theme to write about and the emotional charge needed to produce good art.
It reminds me of a scene in a favorite movie, Children of Paradise.*
An actor has just lost his woman to another man, and suddenly he has hitherto unfelt pangs of jealousy. Does he let that bum him out? Hell no! Now, he says, he can play Othello!
God be with you,
*97 % on rottentomatoes.com
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