Desse Barama (Peace) by Hamza El Din
The world shines about me,
luminous as the moon, smiling like a rose,
and a sweet benediction
flows through everything existing.
How beautiful life is.
I marvel at people who are not in love with life.
You, my girl, are beautiful,
and your beauty,
like the beautiful thought of peace,
belongs to the eternity.
Detest war and destruction.
When you go to the riverbank,
and the sun sets in the evening,
the waters of the river will be rippling softly,
and from a distance, in the twilight, you will see white sails.
A song of the boatman will come from there.
‘Today no suffering, no suffering.’
The world shines about me,
luminous as the moon,
smiling like a rose.
I am with you always means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you
There’s no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.
A white flower grows in quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.
- Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi
Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.
- Antonio Machado
Wishing a very happy anniversary to my friends Kristen & Jonathan! One year ago today, in downtown Providence, I photographed their intimate wedding, Kristen in a vintage gown, Jonathan’s smile infectious…
Words penned by the poet Amy Lowell, come to mind…
When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.
Love. How it consumes us and challenges us and transforms us, and becomes as sacred and as necessary to our survival as bread, as breath. I love it.
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.
Only you and I,
Only you and I, my love,
listen to it.
- Pablo Neruda
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
When the soul lies down in that grass,
mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century
There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.
I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.
Years ago in the Hebrides
I remember an old man
who walked every morning
on the grey stones
to the shore of the baying seals,
who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the water,
and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them,
and how we are all
preparing for that
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly,
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love,
so that when we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
us, and confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don’t
after all the struggle
and all the years,
you don’t want to any more,
you’ve simply had enough
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness,
however fluid and however
dangerous, to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.
~ David Whyte ~
Jamie & Keith (engagement portrait shoot…in production!)
Why I love my morning walks with the Banjo Boy. Beauty. Everywhere.
This made me think of a favorite Mary Oliver poem…
Why I Wake Early
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
She was already loosened like long hair,
poured out like fallen rain,
shared like a limitless supply.
She was already root.
And when, abruptly,
the god put out his hand to stop her, saying,
with sorrow in his voice: He has turned around —,
she could not understand, and softly answered
- Rainer Marie Rilke (Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes)
“Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.” - Mary Oliver
I love beginning a quiet rainy morning with a bit of cinnamon incense, a mug of hot tea, and a Mary Oliver poem.
Each and every morning, the world is new.
It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.
- Billy Collins
thirsty, thirsty, desperate to drown
if even for a little while, if even for once:
to succumb, to be destroyed,
to die completely, to fail the way I’ve failed
in every particular sense of myself,
in every new and beautiful light.
- Paisley Rekdal
There’s a collection
Of polices regarding
If you should be kissed
At a funeral, or danced
With in a movie, baked a pie
To welcome the summer, or
Have a drink to mourn
Your newly deceased tomato
Plant. Your renewals are
Coming up, and the rates
Are almost unliveably high,
So it’s time to pick which
Circumstances you’d like to
Carry to a half-deserted
Retreat against the times
You should have just said, “Yes.”
- C.S. Henderson
to this human
that we all
the most important
I purified my lips with the sacred fire to
speak of love.
But when I opened my lips I found myself
Before I knew love, I was wont to chant
the songs of love,
But when I learned to know, the words
in my mouth became naught save breath,
And the tunes within my breast fell into
- Kahlil Gibran
I love me some cool bokeh!
Sculpture by Charles Umlauf
And think not, you can direct the course of love; for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. - Khalil Gibran
You are young. So you know everything. You leap
into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me.
Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without
any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me.
Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and
your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to
me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent
penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a
dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile
away and still out of sight, the churn of the water
as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around thes
harp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable
pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth
and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls
plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life
~ Mary Oliver