Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Regular Life, Part 2







Khwāja Šamsu d-Dīn Muḥammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī, or simply Hāfez (Persian: خواجه شمس‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی), was a Persian mystic and poet. He was born sometime between the years 1310 and 1337 in Shiraz in the Persian Empire (now Iran). More about him.

Becoming Human

Once a man came to me and spoke for hours about
"His great visions of God" he felt he was having.

He asked me for confirmation, saying,
"Are these wondrous dreams true?"

I replied, "How many goats do you have?"

He looked surprised and said,
"I am speaking of sublime visions
And you ask
About goats!"

And I spoke again saying,
"Yes, brother - how many do you have?"

"Well, Hafiz, I have sixty-two."

"And how many wives?"
Again he looked surprised, then said,
"Four."
"How many rose bushes in your garden,
How many children,
Are your parents still alive,
Do you feed the birds in winter?"

And to all he answered.

Then I said,
"You asked me if I thought your visions were true,
I would say that they were if they make you become
More human,

More kind to every creature and plant
That you know."
Hafez
Today I am grateful for: my warm home and community in a bitterly cold week; many wise people; the ethic of integrity and sober peace that is slowly returning to the public life and discourse of the United States; little wooden birds, tiny brass musical instruments, paper stars, African violets and other objects of delight.
Holding in prayer today: the people of Israel and Gaza, the people of Russia and Ukraine, the people of Uganda and Congo; people without homes; people who work in homeless shelters; GH, MK, JT and others doing the work of justice; JK, JZ, RH, PC, PS, AG, ML, DK, JO, KD, NS and others dealing with serious health issues; AH feeling lonely; Sisters of St. Joseph in Norway.
Photos taken at Fort Snelling State Park, Minnesota. All photographs by Baya Clare, CSJ unless otherwise noted.

2 comments:

claire said...

Allow me to join you in your prayers.

Daisy said...

Hello Baya, this is Barbara from Sister list.

I also love Hafiz and find his writings lead so naturally to prayer with a smile. Thanks for sharing this one.

I also join you in prayer. So much violence and suffering breaks my heart.