“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First, to let go of life.
In the end, to take a step without feet;
to regard this world as invisible,
and to disregard what appears to be the self.” ~ Rumi
It feels only fitting to round out my pre-Valentines week of blog posts with a mildly evocative poem about…love? passion? sensuality? heart connection? (you decide). My currently single (and very romantic-in-spirit) teenaged daughter has been declaring repeatedly the past several days that “Valentines Day is stupid.” It may be that. My own single cynic self can relate to her sentiment. Commercially speaking, however; someone struck on a damn fine idea.
But the stuff of love, passion, sensuality and heart connection – no, these feelings and experiences are far, far from stupid.
Take Rumi, for example. Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī was a 13th century poet, theologian and Sufi mystic. His poetry has been considered some of the greatest mystical and spiritual poetry ever written. Rumi writes as the lover of God. His poems can be read merely as love poems, but they must also be considered as symbolic of the relationship of man to the divine.
And then there’s Chilean, Pablo Neruda, the poet, diplomat and political figure who was once referred to as the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language. While some of his works are about political and social issues in South America, he is most dearly known for his love poetry. If you haven’t yet purchased a gift for your Valentine, I highly recommend Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. (Note: Best read aloud in a private setting…..) In my experience, Neruda’s words come closest to capturing that exquisite and deep soul place that we all have such a hard time articulating about matters of the heart.
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.” ~ Neruda
So in the spirit of something far, far deeper than Hallmark could ever imagine, and with the utmost respect and gratitude for all of the humble writers of love throughout the ages, here is my small token ~
When she leaned into
her face poised
at the edge of a deep red blossom,
he watched her mouth
(wanting to run his tongue
along the inside rim
of her damp lower lip)
which was slightly
parted, like the petals
as if tasting
(to linger there
in delicious prequel)
and so perfect was
the flower’s essence,
underneath her eyes
when she looked into his gaze
~ May you find your beloved within yourself. See you Monday ~ m.l.p.