Friday, September 21, 2007

What Our Lips are Thirsting For

Originally uploaded by akiruna

The Keeper of the Lips allowed as how
I might be
The Holder of the Cup.

I’d call it something of a compromise.
Something concocted to put skittish minds at ease.
You do this and I’ll do that, not unlike dividing up the kitchen tasks.
Not to imply at all, at all, at all
any other housekeeping arrangement.
No. Not That at all.

But still,
Be still,
I am now, officially,
Holder of the Cup.

These words of Czeslaw Milosz immediately came to mind:

You asked me what is the good of reading the Gospel in Greek.
I answer that it is proper that we move our finger
Along letters more enduring than those carved in stone,
And that, slowly pronouncing each syllable,
We discover the true dignity of speech.

I love these words and have absolutely no idea
why they are germane to this moment.

Perhaps Keeper of the Lips
will whisper a hint or two. (She is one most clever bird.)
Meanwhile, I inscribe them upon a piece of mental parchment
And drop it into the Cup; safe keeping.

Of course there is the Cup itself
And the words of Jeanette Winterson that originally defined it:

The best work is a cup that holds the liquid that you are…
We learn about ourselves through someone not ourselves – it is like falling in love – the stranger brings the gift.

I scribble this down too
And in it goes.

And now we’re really talking.
‘Cause love has entered in the conversation.

Yet another “devoted reader” (not her words, but mine)
sent me a Rumi poem today.
It inspired me to collect more snippets of his poetry
creating quite the love fest.

No apology intended,
simply more treasures for the Cup.

Because we need to know, What it's Going to Take.

Last year I wrote,
“Falling in love is how we practice falling into Love.”
Love (with that large-case letter) being just another word for Being.
Falling in love and Awakening: seems to me the first is simply rehearsal for the second.

Rumi’s poetry offers perhaps the best defense of this proposition.

And the Cup will be here too, less there be any doubts
Regarding what our lips are really thirsting for.

Someone who does not run
toward the allure of love walks
a road where nothing lives.

But this dove here senses
the love-hawk floating above
and waits and will not be driven
or scared to safety.

Flying toward thankfulness, you become
the rare bird with one wing made of fear,
and one of hope. In autumn,
a rose crawling along the ground in the cold wind.
Rain on the roof runs down and out by the spout
as fast as it can.

Talking is pain. Lie down and rest,
now that you've found a friend to be with.

The way of love is not
a subtle argument.

The door there
is devastation.

Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.

How do they learn that?
They fall, and falling,
they’re given wings.

A thousand half-lives
must be forsaken to take
one whole heart home.

Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy,
absentminded. Someone sober
will worry about things going badly.
Let the love be.

Lovers don’t finally
meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.

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