Saturday, October 15, 2005

ebb and flow

The tides will take my poetry and song,

And carry off the clothes I did not own.

Good and bad, devotion, empty piety --

Moonlight brings and moonlight takes away.

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

Search word: poet

Today I'm meeting up with others who have an interest in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. Rumi's art was his poetry and I wondered how he viewed it. According to this quatrain, he saw his poetry as a natural phenomenon like the tides, dictated by a distant heavenly body. His art was not something under his control, something owned. Inspiration comes and goes, quality comes and goes, true insight comes and goes.

It occurs to me that we cannot grieve a loss unless we believed we owned first. There is a fallacy here for we never own those we love. Perhaps that is why we grieve: we grieve, really, at our failure to control; the ego grieves, really, over its own impotence.

This is a good poem about the creative process. It captures a moment of pure acceptance, of pure submission to influences outside of our control. I'll take it with me and share it with artist friends.


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