One of my beloved evening practices, just before I fall asleep, includes the reading of some mystical poetry. I have fallen deeply in love with the poetry of Hafiz. I find Daniel Ladinsky’s translations beautiful. (See “The Gift,” or “The Subject Tonight is Love,” or “I Heard God Laughing.”) His ecstatic joy sings from every line and word.
A few weeks ago I was speaking with my good friend, Sarah McIntyre, over a bowl of pasta and some great Argentinean red wine I had brought back with me, and we were talking about my long term single status. My daughter is 19, so for 17 years I have spent the majority of my time single. (Other than several years with Joseph, which was mostly long distance.)
Rarely these days do I think too much about being single. I used to think something was wrong with me. While a part of me would love a partnership with someone to share adventures of mind, body and spirit, my life is rich already, with great friends and beloved teachers. And I am simply not that interested in having a relationship just for being in relationship.
In my many conversations with God, and my journaling, I have sat with the question of my singleness. It is as it is. The perfection is that I have had to learn not just to be a single parent, and a career focused woman, but also to remove dead rats, coach-roaches, and other vermin, and to be a model of a woman able to live a rich life without fitting the more traditional mode. And lets face it, traditional was never on my “to do” list. Hence the Positive Deviant! Fits me like glove.
Along the way I have also learned to surrender, to ask for help, to be vulnerable, to be at peace (most days) with my life as it is. (The biggest struggle I have inside is not with my single status, but with my achiever status, still trying to really reconcile that my life is incredibly successful, even though it may not be “traditionally” successful. There…I shun traditional in so many ways, yet have held as my marker of life the traditional picture of success. And yes, most of the time now, I know that this traditional picture of success is just someone else’s idea that I brought lock stock and barrel. And most of the time these days I do feel very at peace with my version of success. But, human as I am, some days I am down in the basement, fighting the inner dragon.)
Back to the conversation with Sarah. In reading Hafiz, I am more in desire, want and love with the mystic union with God than some flesh and blood union with a mortal. I could well have been a Nun. Not in the religious way, but in the mystical way. Hafiz and Rumi and St. Teresa of Avila, all of these mystics and others write of this ecstatic union. The joy and love literally entangles me. Better than sex, maybe even better than chocolate. No wonder I have not found a flesh and blood male. I almost pity any male who might try to match this great love I seek.
And…you just never know what the Universe has up its sleeve. When my marriage ended, I made a vow to never say never to anything. To always remain open to the infinite possibilities. At the least I have learned that God is always laughing at our silly little beliefs and superstitions, so it is highly likely that some man will arrive from left field and disarm me completely.
The following poem spoke to me so strongly that I had to write about it, or more particularly, share it with you.
With That Moon Language
Everyone you see, you say to them,
Of course you do not do this out loud;
Someone would call the cops.
Still though, think about this,
This great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,
With that sweet moon
What every other eye in this world
Is dying to
Hafiz (translated by Daniel Ladinsky)
It has been my observation that Hafiz is speaking truth. That our deepest wish, so far down deep inside below the levels of most of our consciousness, is to be loved. By all the people we meet. Our politically correct way of saying this is to say we want to be liked.
We want to be loved. We want connection. Heart to heart. It really is that simple. Everything else, all of it, is just the act of not wanting to expose the core of our need and vulnerability. So we play our games, and develop, over lifetimes, strategies to keep our want and need to be loved a secret.
Imagine a world were people spoke this level of truth? Where we speak that sweet moon language all the time?