As part of the slow process of emerging snail-like from the tinsel shell of the Festive Season, and preparing to greet the new world of 2016, I checked my Stats yesterday for the first time in a while. They had increased by around 500% at the turn of the year. Why? I wondered, bemused. Here is the reason: Rumi’s wonderfully wise poem “This being human”. Do read it, if you have not done so already. It contains great wisdom regarding the turbulent duality of light and dark forces which constitute not only human nature, but also Life itself.
Light and dark are inseparably interdependent: maybe, Rumi is suggesting, it would be wise to honour them both, since those dark destructive energies which periodically sweep through, causing havoc personally and collectively, contain messages, guidance from Beyond, which are telling us something we usually do not wish to hear.
I am not alone in having had Life hurl me against the same wall a few times before I eventually ‘get the message’, and with painful slowness begin the process of change which is being demanded of me by a deeper, wiser Self – that chip of divine light which is present in every one of us.
I was moved by seeing those increased stats, and finding the Rumi post to be largely responsible. A year’s turn, no matter what our beliefs, brings with it a deeply-ingrained, archetypal need to take stock, reflect on the year gone by, and perhaps resolve to make some positive changes in the New Year emerging.
Those of you who drop by this blog regularly will know how much comfort and inspiration I take from wise quotes– and from poems. It is good to know that so many folk share my need to turn to quotes, and poems, in reflective moments.
Writers offering comforting platitudes skimmed from a glide across the surface of life, or perhaps digging down a little, do not move me. My help comes from those who look unflinchingly into the world’s dark heart without underestimating in any way the destruction and cruelty to be found there, but who can balance what they see with inspiring affirmation.
Despite all the awfulness of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ which is an ever-present reality through the ages both personally and collectively, Life is full of opportunities to be ‘surprised by joy’, to seek and find meaning in even the most scouring of experiences. That is certainly what I have come to believe.
Some writers have a way, also, of reminding us of how we need to change by poking us where it hurts. Reflecting on the current dismal-looking state of planet Earth and its denizens as 2016 begins, I was chewing upon one of my favourite anger-generating topics: how our need to be RIGHT – and its world-wide manifestations via religious, political and scientific fundamentalism – has probably caused more bloodshed, mayhem and havoc throughout history than anything else, when I came across this short but pungent poem by the poet Yahuda Amichai.
With thanks to Monica Domino who published it yesterday on symbolreader, I offer you this as a New Year meditation:
“The Place Where We Are Right”
“From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow
in the spring.
The place where we are right
is hard and trampled
like a yard.
But doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
where the ruined
house once stood.”
600 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Yehuda Amichai 2016
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