Thursday, January 1, 2009

To All My Friends

Who Weren't Here To Share: from top - Jake's mom Frankie with Lucy; Jake's wife Kati with Jesse & Kirsten's baby; Jake & his goddamn cell phone; ringing in the New Year after dinner; well, except Greg and Luke crashed, and we planted the bottles for the photo; and Bill...I'm not in the photos, because I am the photographer 99.99% of the time... Now for my New Year's message to you: The hoopoe answers him The hoopoe said: 'This strange, magnetic force That holds God's ancient lovers to their course Still shows the Truth: if you will but aspire You will attain to all that you desire. Before an atom of such need the sun Seems dim and murky by comparison - It is life's strength, the wings by which we fly Beyond the further reaches of the sky.' From The Conference of the Birds, lines 2599-2612 THE VALLEY OF UNITY After the Valley of Detachment comes the Valley of Unity, the region in which everything is renounced and everything unified, where there is no distinction in number and quality. The hoopoe now is in full flight, Crossing valleys night and day, The birds follow with all their might. 'You will have to soar to Unity on the Way. In this valley all is broken into your sight Then restored again into the One. Ten thousands heads from a single source Are raised, this clamour and crowd you shun, But that confusing number rises from one force That makes ten thousand again, thus begun The whole you perceive becomes a multitude. The being of whom I speak and you desire Is beyond the One and many: it is infinitude And more, beyond before and after, you don't acquire It by wishing to, this being is greater than all Is it nothing that does not exist for us to call? A man asked a Sufi one day to give him some indication of what this world is. “This world full of honour and infamy,” said he, “resembles a honey­comb on which are imprinted a hundred colours. If anyone squeezes it in his hands it will become a mere mass of wax. As it is all wax and nothing else, go and rest satisfied that all these colours are also nothing. When everything is “one”, cease talking of “two”. Here there is no “I,” nor “Thou". From The Conference of the Birds, lines 3692-3707

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