calm breakers

23 Sep

The universe came into being gradually
over six days. God could have just commanded, BE.

Little by little a person reaches forty and fifty
and sixty and feels more complete.

God could have thrown full-blown prophets
flying through the cosmos in an instant.

Jesus said one word, and a dead man sat up,
but creation usually unfolds like calm breakers.

Constant slow movement teaches us
to keep working like a small creek
that stays clear, that does not stagnate,
but finds a way through numerous
details deliberately.

Deliberation is born of joy
like a bird from an egg.

Birds do not resemble eggs.
Think how different the hatching out is.

A white leathery snake egg, a sparrow’s egg,
a quince seed, an apple seed.
Very different things look similar at one stage.

These leaves, our bodily personalities,
seem identical, but the globe
of soul fruit we make,
each is absolutely

~ Rumi

How wondrous that the poet, the writer, the muser most in season for me arrives in that season.

A friend, with some hesitation shared verses from Rumi – a 13th century Muslim poet, thinker, muser. Perhaps she thought it a bit scandalous, that Rumi was a book to be carried in a brown paper bag. What would Christians think of quoting a Muslim poet?

But his words come home like truth. Where have you been all my life, Rumi? Waiting for me to be ready for you as I myself have been and am slowly shaped by calm breakers.

Humanity seems addicted to sudden movements, miraculous sweeping movements with the promise of instant, thorough change. Politicians frequently promise it. Religious fervor clamors for it. We hunt for the right combinations of piety, policies, prayers that will make it so.

But our unique baskets of soul fruit are born slowly – sometimes by unheard (or quite loud) hammer blows, but mostly in the persistent shaping of those constant breakers lapping on our shores, the constant slow movement of the small, clear creek of life.

This is one advantage, perhaps of the evolutionary tale. Six days of creation, while an extended time beyond the instant blink of the Creator’s eye, still seems too instantaneous for the reality we experience. Even sudden, rapid developments like a volcano erupting result from the accumulation of long pent-up forces by most unseen, unnoticed.

And so we gradually come into being.

The question is, what are we so gradually becoming…

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Posted by on September 23, 2012 in musings, Poetry


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