Thursday, January 28, 2010

"There is never a sudden revelation, a complete and tidy explanation for why it happened, or why it ends, or why or who you are. You want one and I want one, but there isn't one. It comes in bits and pieces, and you stitch them together wherever they fit, and when you are done you hold yourself up, and still there are holes and you are a rag doll, invented, imperfect. And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way."
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Walt Whitman

Has anyone supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it.
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-washed babe, and am not contained between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and everyone good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.
I am not an earth nor an adjunct of the earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.)
Every kind for itself and its own, for me mine male and female,
For me those that have been boys and that love women,
For me the man that is proud and feels how it stings to be slighted,
For me the sweetheart and the old maid, for me mothers and the mothers of mothers,
For me lips that have smiled, eyes that have shed tears,
For me children and the begetters of children.
Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale nor discarded,
I see through the broadcloth and gingham whether or no,
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be shaken away.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Umar Ibn al-Farid: from the Poem of the Sufi Way

Whispering, then listening close
     from the vision of one

          casting away his all, instantly,
               out of an omnipotent hand.

Thus I read the knowledge of the scholars
     in a single word,
          and I reveal all the worlds to me
               with a simple glance.

I hear the many voices
     of those who pray in every tongue
          in a space of time
               shorter than a flash.

And I bring before me
     what before had been
          too far away to bear,
               in a blink of my eye.

I inhale the bouquet of gardens
     and the sweet scents clinging to the skirts
          of the four winds,
               in a simple breath.

I survey the far horizons round me
     in a momentary thought,
          and cross the seven heavens
               with a single step.