being the moon

moon over San Agustinillo, Mexico
Being the moon

Rumi said, look at the moon,
how it grows brighter 
as it patiently tolerates 
the dark night. 
Oh, that I could be a moon
shining brightly,
even as darkness is growing,
to be luminous and glowing, 
so open and full 
that hopes and dreams
are offered to me.
How I would hold them
in the softness of my palm,
wrap them all in calm stillness,
set them free into the realm of possibility
where the sun carries them into being. 

If you love the moon as I do, you might be interested in another poem I wrote: the moon speaking.

Receiving Without Expectation

 Receiving Without Expectation
  
 The now dried and flattened pulp of wood rests 
 bare on the table. She lays open, prone like an invitation, 
  
 a sky to be painted with clouds. Oh, what 
 will they be? Whispers of white or dark weightiness? 
  
 A word, a phrase, an idea, an inspiration. She feels 
 the ink flowing like a shower rinsing over her body, 
  
 a slow tickling roll, gliding gently, gracefully until 
 there is no more room for touching. 
  
 She hears the s-sounds like singing Sufi spirit 
 sober sweet stretching sky, and the c-sounds 
  
 like calligraphy commingling colors and confusion. 
 The writer opens her heart and the insights arrive through 
  
 the allowing, because she is letting it come, like a wave 
 or a storm, maybe dewdrops or a floating powder puff. 
  
 Whatever is needed is invited to speak its truth. 
 She does not have the answers. She simply 
  
 holds what the pen voices as he wanders 
 where he wants without willpower.  

Click HERE for an audio recording of the poem.

I wrote this poem in response to a prompt in my workbook, How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts by Christopher Salerno and Kelsea Habecker, from the chapter on imitation that suggested finding a favorite poem and writing a sequel to it. This poem was written as a companion piece to Rumi’s Wonder without Willpower.

 Wonder without willpower 
 By Rumi, in Rumi: The Book of Love with translations and commentary by Coleman Barks)
  
 Love’s way becomes a pen sometimes
 writing g-sounds like gold or r-sounds
  
 like tomorrow in different calligraphy 
 styles sliding by, darkening the paper.
  
 Now it’s held upside down, now beside
 the head, now down and on to something
  
 else, figuring. One sentence saves
 an illustrious man from disaster, but
  
 fame does not matter to the spirit tongue
 of a pen. Hippocrates knows how the cure
  
 must go. His pen does not. This one 
 I am calling pen, or sometimes flag, 
  
 has no mind. You, the pen, are most sanely
 insane. You cannot be spoken of rationally. 
  
 Opposites are drawn into your presence but
 not to be resolved. You are not whole
  
 or ever complete. You are the wonder
 Without willpower going where you want.  

what you do

Lydia’s Suzuki 2 violin recital

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” ~Rumi

I just have to share this quote, one of my favorites, one that’s easy to remember, one that inspires me to follow my heart. I came across it again recently when going through some note cards I had created for a frirend, and then I saw it in one of my new inspirational books for 2020: Daily Joy: 365 Days of Inspiration, Photos and Wisdom to Lift Your Spirit.

I remember challenging myself with this idea when I was working as a consultant and leader at IBM. How can I manifest what I love in the work I am doing? First, of course, I had to know what I loved. Eventually, after over 30 years working professionally, I came to realize that what I love is feeling vibrantly alive. What I love is how I feel when I am fully present, open to what’s possible, and intentional, purposeful, passionate about my actions and impact. Tuning in to that brings me joy in anything I’m doing. Actually, it has a way of moving me from a place of doing to a place of being.

* I took the photo of my friend’s daughter, Lydia, who is uber talented and inspires me with the way she chases passionately things she loves, like playing the violin.