09 January 2008

This Place

This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.

Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move
Against the earth and sky,
The Beloved has bowed there--

The Beloved has bowed there knowing
You were coming.

Shams-ud-din Muhammed Hafiz
(Persian poet, ca. 1320-1389)
from "The Subject Tonight Is Love"

Most of what I know about Islam comes through contact with a few American friends who are Sufi. Sufism is the mystical nondual form of Islam, and as such it has much in common with other mystical paths such as Christian mysticism and Zen Buddhism. Sufism extols direct experience of God, purification of the heart, and love, both human and divine. The poet I quoted above, Hafiz, is one of the most beloved poets of Persia (Iran) and his work expresses many Sufi teachings. I've been reading poetry by Hafiz and also Rumi these past few days.

I've also been laying down a few first layers of color for the Mecca map.



BZ said...

Beautiful piece by Rumi. How curious we have this in common, Annie. I have been affected by Persian art for years now, and the other day at the Japanese grocery in Portland, Uwajimaya, I bought a Rumi calendar for 30% off! What a deal. Persian miniatures are the monthly artwork, and each month has a Rumi poem such as this:

One way of seeing sees only a road. Another sees a home. It is always Home. You have to experience this Truth to know what it is.

It's fun to read your thoughts and progress about this print. Thanks.

Annie B said...

Hi Beth,
I envy you your proximity to Uwajimaya! Many years ago on my only trip ever to Seattle I went there. I still have (and adore!) a flannel yukata (robe) I bought there. Thanks for the Rumi poem.