Tag Archives: Sufism

joe

I catch the movie Meet Joe Black and finally see it beginning to end–I’ve only ever seen the ending. I am stunned by Brad Pitt’s beauty. He’s playing Death, and I think, what if death really is this beautiful?

It’s over, Anthony Hopkins’ character says. He means his life. The words reverberate. What a moment that must be: when you know to your core that you are going to die. Does that realization change you? Cleanse you? Purify? Electrify? What? It seems like it would have to shade the acts of living a precious vibrant purple, a bold, deliberate red.

And at the end, before Hopkins walks away with beautiful death, he says to the people gathered to celebrate his birthday, I want nothing more.

I’m reminded of a Sufi poem by Rumi:

On the day I die, when I’m being carried toward the grave

don’t weep,

don’t say “he’s gone! he’s gone!”

 Death has nothing to do with going away.

The sun sets and the moon sets

but they’re not gone.

 Death is a coming together.

The tomb looks like a prison 

But it’s really release into Union.

 The human seed goes down in the ground

like a bucket into the well where Joseph is.

It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty.

 Your mouth closes here

and immediately opens with a shout of joy

 there

singing myself

Words from a Unity prayer caught my attention this week….I go about fulfilling that for which I was designed, which is to sing myself and try to share the loveliness of which I am aware….I was struck by “sing myself” because that’s what writing fiction is, and I often tremble at my own boldness to dare it. I don’t know the song when I begin a new project. I have to pull it all from inside onto the page. The inherent audacity in that frightens some feeble part of me. Interestingly enough, words from Rumi also uncovered themselves from among the stacks of files, books, and papers that are my office:

Today, like every other day, we

wake up empty and frightened.

Don’t open the door to the study

and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss

the ground.

Isn’t that lovely? That our very creativity is a act of kneeling and kissing the ground? That our very life, living it, is also….sharing not the fear and anger, but the loveliness….