I first met Hafiz on a walking path in El Dorado where I was living just outside Santa Fe. It was a warm day in late December. I had been reading his poetry for the very first time and then went for my usual walk in the evening light. Lost in thought, I wandered farther from home than usual. As I became more aware of my surroundings, I found myself face to face with a single quaking aspen, just off the path, still shimmering with the golden leaves of autumn. It was so unexpected, I was taken aback. Then, it was as though I heard Hafiz himself speaking to me, telling me he had brought me there, to show me that little tree covered in unexpected beauty, and I became so happy in that moment I laughed out loud. Not wishing to draw attention to myself, I stood still and watched the tree move with the sun. A few minutes later I quietly bowed to the tree and then to Hafiz, thanked him for bringing me to this place, stepped back onto the path and returned home, more alive to life's beauty than I had ever thought possible.
Today, at the first sign of daylight, I opened one of his books of poetry at random and this is what I found:
"I Follow Barefoot"
I long for You so much
I follow barefoot Your frozen tracks
That are high in the mountains
That I know are years old.
I long for You so much
I have even begun to travel
Where I have never been before.
Hafiz, there is no one in this world
Who is not looking for God.
Everyone is trudging along
With as much dignity, courage
As they possibly
~ Hafiz, from The Subject Tonight is Love, translation by Daniel Ladinsky
Image from Tibet by Steve McCurry. For more of his current beautiful post, "Two by Two," which arrived in my email just this morning, please visit him here:
Addendum: Here are the links RealityZone provided in his comment, which I think you will find very interesting:
I love this poem. I am unfamiliar with this poet, but its simple beauty has made me want to read more. Thank you for sharing, Teresa! Have a wonderful year!ReplyDelete
Brian, I called you Brain and so deleted my comment, but perhaps should have left it... so very fitting... :) I'm happy to to be reconnecting, and so appreciate your morning post. Thank you for fighting the good fight for truth and justice, and may you have a wonderful new year.Delete
Teresa, this is so beautifully drawn, the poem, your own words, that I have a tear in my eye, reading this over a few times. I do not know this Persian mystic and find him a gift on this cold and sunny day so early in our new year. I want/need to be better at honoring these moments that are such gifts. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Dear Penny, I'm grateful for your sweet response to my friend, Hafiz. He is a gift to the world, and has gotten quite good at reminding me of those perfect moments.Delete
The poem and the photograph are beautifully complemented.ReplyDelete
It was a beautiful bit of synchronicity that just when I was thinking of what image to use, I checked my email and there was Steve's new post with this perfect image.Delete
When I was a teen I asked a preacher what had drawn him into the clergy and he told me to listen to your calling. It took years to realize I wasn't going to hear a voice to tell me what to do in life, but rather follow my heart.When I am out in nature I often feel that spirit that makes my life so worthwhile to enjoy.Reading a number of people has allowed me to increase my sensitivity to the world around me.ReplyDelete
Perhaps your calling is seeing the beauty of this world and sharing it with others, as you do. There really is no higher calling.Delete
Love this post...I'm not familiar with Hafiz, but can see I need to be. What a blessed experience; thank you for sharing it.ReplyDelete
You are most welcome, Ashling. I trust you are both staying warm and cozy.Delete
You not only love, but live your poetry and your poetry is chosen to add meaning to all life.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful comment, Manzi. I'm so happy you're back in town, so to speak. :)Delete
There must be a reason things come together for you so often. Do you know?ReplyDelete
Once again a very excellent post and I just saw the same picture this morning as well. Mr. McCurry blows me away with his ability to actually give his subjects life.
OF, I have been open to the possibilities for as long as I can remember. That's all it takes, and it's never too late. You see and record some pretty wonderful things yourself...when we start recognizing how these things come together, they come together more and more often until the world is just filled with wonder. To me, that's God, not all that clap trap that comes from religious zealotry. Have a beautiful day! :)Delete
I love the poem, especially the last lines. And I love how you find things that just seem to belong together. It occurs to me that I, too, should go foraging in the fields of words and images more often.ReplyDelete
And your beautiful comment proves that you should do exactly that. What a great image: "foraging in the fields of words and images..."Delete
This displays life as the journey that it is. I love how you can bring us all in with very few words. And yes, a wonderful poem, at first I thought you may have written it.ReplyDelete
Thanks Teresa, happy new year!
Oh how I wish I had.... Happy New Year, Bill.Delete
Bill, I have added an addendum for the links RZ provided in his comment, which help explain how he came to understand that He is the Beloved he had long been seeking, and thus he began to write as though to himself. It provides a rich historical context.Delete
Here is some great info on Hafiz.ReplyDelete
This is also a great mind cleansing site. :-)
Here is a tribute to him.
RZ, I have added those links in the body of the post so others can read those pages. I think it's very important for people to see Iran, the birthplace of Hafiz, in this wholly different light. Thank you so much for providing them. I often visit the Technology of the Heart site since I first became aware of it from your posts.Delete
Hafiz is unfamiliar to me.Time I changed that!ReplyDelete
I'm very pleased that I could introduce you to Hafiz, as you did for me with Kabir. This is a wonderful example of how we enhance each other's lives through this community of like-minded souls who have come together here.Delete
I love these words and the image. I'm going to check out the links you provided. Happy new year to you!ReplyDelete
Happy New Year, LadyCat.Delete
"There is no one in this world who is not looking for God."ReplyDelete
I love that.
I especially love the image of all of humanity, trudging along, with all the dignity, courage and style they can muster,looking for God.
Thanks for sharing this Teresa.
Happy New Year.
It's a beautiful image, isn't it? I believe it's Ram Dass who said, "We are all just walking each other home." I love that. Happy New Year, Bill.Delete
And BTW: I love your use of the word, "muster." I don't hear that phrase, "all...they can muster," very often and it's a good one.Delete
I can only echo Bill's comments as they were the lines that grabbed me. Earlier tonight I exchanged some tit-for tat with a hard right fundamentalist. And as I realized neither of us was getting anywhere but more dug in, I stepped back and just reminded them that we are walking along the same road, although we might see different sights, and that we are to be mindful of each other regardless. For although their walk is different from mine, we are both trudging along walking through a field of a thousand burning bushes looking up to heaven for a sign.ReplyDelete
It's a challenge to move through these kinds of discussions with a sense of peace. I like what you said to them, and I Love the last sentence in your comment: yes, a thousand burning bushes and we keep looking up for what is right in front of us. Beautifully said, Morgan.Delete
I like the poem, but I liked your story much more.ReplyDelete
Well, thank you, good man. :)Delete
Random choices always lead to the very best discoveries.ReplyDelete
That's so true, Alan. I remember you once remarked that poetry books should only be opened at random, that there should be "laws governing these things," and I absolutely agree. :)Delete
The key word here is "trudge" because that is what we are all doing. No matter how well-thought out our destination, we can only proceed at the pace that our life's meandering path takes us.ReplyDelete
I like that word 'trudge,' too. It does often feel like that.Delete
Teresa -- Every year I look forward to the light of January knowing it is the beginning of a new year. I have a dear friend of many years and although we now live miles apart we always reach out to each other at this time as we know how much that mystical light means in our lives. Good post.ReplyDelete
what a wonderful thing, to have this connection with a friend who understands. Happy New Year, Barbara!Delete