Monday, November 16, 2015

Cast All Your Votes for Dancing


I know the voice of depression
Still calls to you.

I know those habits that can ruin your life
Still send their invitations.

...

Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel.

You are with the Friend now.
Learn what actions of yours ...
bring freedom
And Love.

...

O keep squeezing drops of the Sun
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions’ beautiful laughter

And from the most insignificant movements
Of your own holy body.

Now, sweet one,
Be wise.
Cast all your votes for Dancing!

--Hafiz

A few weeks ago, I logged into the Chronicles to revisit the path I'd traveled and remind myself of the person I used to be.  I found this Hafiz poem I posted four years ago, the first summer I spent in my bed.  I've abridged it here from the version I previously quoted to highlight what sprang at me as I read again.  

After eight years of hysterical illness, four of them mostly in bed, I thought I would have learned to accommodate my disability, would have accepted the redrawn boundaries of my life. But the voice of depression still breathes her siren song from my own lungs, whispering seduction in my inner ear.

I still rebel against her, against my very frailty, by accepting that counterfeit coin, those invitations to indulge in habits of normal life so far beyond my capacity.  Make a pot of soup.  Shower and go to a therapy appointment in the same day. Have an argument. Simultaneously watch a documentary and knit a scarf. That's far more than a week's worth of energy.  

And then I'm dragging ass for days like a broken man behind the farting camel.  Life stinks. 

Because I have forgotten to indulge most in those actions that bring freedom and love.  Forgot that what I can still do is what is most valuable.  I can still pray. There is still music.  Sharing laughter with a child or a partner or a friend.  These are the coins of value in life.  With these coins, I buy freedom.  I can squeeze drops of the Sun, the source of life itself, from them.  

And I can even find life and freedom in the most insignificant movements that my body is still able to make.  I can still dance with life, with love.


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