Thursday, March 26, 2009
Dancing with God
We dance with God
And then go home,
And write reports about it.
I wrote this little poem earlier this week after listening to exchanges about inner work.
I have had the great privilege in the last few months of working with Martha Heynemann in a poetry group. Martha's approach to poetry is an effort to discover a path towards the sacred using this art form. In her estimation, it's well-suited.
I can't speak for her, but I will speak for myself from the impressions that have collected in me as a result of her guidance.
In poetry, it is the spaces between words -- the things that are not said -- and the use of metaphor, which also leaves space, that creates the opportunity for sublime expression. Much of what is searched for remains unsaid, and falls into a place within the listener that needs to be discovered, rather than stated.
So, paradoxically, it is what we do not say, and must (in this medium of poetry) never say, that conveys the essential meaning from within.
I bring this up because I think we all make too much noise.
I am very guilty of this myself, to a certainty; from the time I was young, I was accused of having verbal diarrhea. It has taken me many years to become more concise and my expression and to find a place within myself that is more relaxed and willing to listen. This is an ongoing work, and never a place I finally "arrive" at.
In speaking of my experiences -- and here I speak specifically of those experiences where a higher force touches us -- I am in perpetual danger of becoming a clerk of the sacred. The more such experiences one has, the less one ought to talk about them. It may be painful for all of us to live in a world of exchange that is composed mostly of allusion, when everyone hungers for the definite, but the definite is the enemy of the true. (That statement, also, is an allegory, which should not be taken as definitely true. What is said must be read between the lines.)
When I go directly at things, when I reduce them to words and lay them out on sheets of paper -- or spread them like butter in conversations -- I always run the risk of saying too much, of killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Just as in seeking an intimacy with my organism, an intimacy must also be cultivated within the relationship of exchange.
Words should be chosen carefully and used sparingly.
There are a few other thoughts that I had over the last day or two. One of them is that we often speak of being "in the moment."
This expression is misleading.
My effort must be to be in this moment, not "the" moment. When I say "in the moment," I have already outsourced the effort to a different moment, not the one I am in. Do I understand this? I must stop outsourcing the moment.
It is this moment that needs to be in front of me.
And this morning, when I sat, it occurred to me that the fruit the tree gives is always sweeter than the fruit taken from the tree.
May our hearts be open, and our prayers be heard.