Friday, September 23, 2005

emptying and filling my cup

When I boil in the fire of my self for a while,

I want to forget about you for a while,

To gather my soul and empty my mind of thinking.

You'll pour into my cup then, and once again I'll drink you.

#1216: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: fire

Last night I journeyed into the city to attend a free concert honouring a composer who has turned 70 years of age this year: Nigel Butterley. The composer was in the audience and came on stage to bow at the end. He is a small spritely man, full of energy and what Rumi would call "fire" so I've stayed with this theme today.

In modern terms, in today's terms, I think we would speak more of "recharging our batteries" rather than of boiling "in the fire of the self". The psychological process here is a turning inwards and away from the world, and even from the "other" as God, lost friend or beloved. This is a time of self-nurturance, a time to simply smell the roses, to pretend there are no cares, concerns or worries. It could be a short break, a long hot foamy bath, a quirky outing (like the one last night) or just a very long and indulgent sleep-in. Some of these activities are called "recreation" and they do indeed re-create us. For the artist - and that really means for every one of us - this process of re-creation is also a process of emptying in readiness for new inspiration, a new lease on life and creativity. Without this re-creation, we become stale and keep writing or painting or composing essentially the same stuff.

I continue to feel like I'm on fire with the energy settling into a simmer. I'm not sure what is cooking in the pot but I feel I can embrace Rumi in the assurance that he understands.

I looked around for an image or some more information on the alchemical fire and stumbled on TechGnosis, a book and writer that I look forward to exploring further.


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