Yes, there is a reason… I’ll get to that soon enough.
I thought it might be worthwhile to explain the purpose of this blog since this is the first post after all. Please bear with me as I’ve got much ground to cover so this launch is gonna go a bit long.
Presumably like some of you, I’m obsessed with the poetry of Rumi. Utterly, shamelessly obsessed. At any given moment I can relate almost anything to either a Rumi quote or an episode of Frasier. It’s a toss-up. But, this is not about Frasier. (Mental note: explore idea of blog about the meaning of life as seen thru Frasier episodes…)
Back to Rumi!
For those of you who do not know, Rumi was a Sufi mystic who wrote poetry in 13th century Persia. So…I didn’t know him.
I first encountered Rumi years ago when I was looking for the perfect birthday gift for a friend. He was having a crisis of faith even though I’m not sure he was completely aware that it had a name at the time. I stumbled across this gem and thought of him:
“I tried to find Him on the Christian Cross, but He was not there.
I went to the Temple of the Hindus and to the old pagodas but could not find a trace of Him anywhere.
I went to the Kaaba in Mecca, but He was not there either.
I questioned the scholars and philosophers but He was beyond their understanding.
I then looked into my heart and it was there that He dwelled that I saw Him…”
I would run across another poem or quote here or there, generally in random ways and places. It felt like he was reaching across the years to me.
On a trip to Seattle in 2009, I felt compelled to finally buy a book of his poetry. It was The Essential Rumi, translated by Colman Barks with John Moyne. I devoured every page.
I would like to paint a picture for you that it was always in a serene setting by a babbling brook under a tree with birds chirping overhead or even a comfy chair by a fire with a cup of hot tea. But that would all be bullshit. It was pretty much always sitting on the toilet. I like to think that Rumi would laugh at that and say it was the perfect place.
As I said, I devoured the book. My head was spinning. Epiphanies abounded. I was greeted every day by new insights and old truths.
There was also a lot of “what the hell does that mean?!” “Go home, Rumi, you’re drunk!” I’m not being irreverant. He would admit as much.
Some phrases would catch and lodge so beautifully in my mind yet I was frequently undeniably stumped. Still I wouldn’t be able to forget the line. Or the imagery it invoked. Or how it made me feel. The latter was an unshakable, usually joyous, feeling with no explanation. It would leave me haunted.
One such phrase really stands out. It’s the closing lines from his poem The Seed Market:
“…a perfect falcon,
for no reason,
has landed on your shoulder
and become yours.”
I’m no scholar and my approach is not a scholarly one. I leave that to the experts. I believe that all things say what they are meant to say at the perfect time to whom they are meant to say them. Our interpretation can never be wrong for us. But what was my interpretation exactly? I wasn’t sure.
For years (years!) I read and re-read this poem sighing long breaths, my eyes locked on those last lines. A perfect falcon. On my shoulder. Become mine. I knew I loved it. The image evoked something in me. Something unnamable and unknowable at the time, maybe for always. I just couldn’t pin it down.
For a long time I thought it must be that it included a falcon. Let me just nerd-out on birds here for minute… I love raptors. “What are raptors?” you say? Well,…they are the “sexies” of the bird world, the eagles, the hawks, the owls and yes, the falcons. Raptors are now considerd to be the modern day descendents of some dinosaurs. So, the next time you see a raptor, salute! Because you just saw a T-Rex my friend. Well, maybe not exactly that but as close as any of us will ever get.
Back to the poem.
It evoked such a breathtaking, if somewhat painful image to think of a falcon perched on my shoulder. (talons are sharp!) But, this falcon that has supposedly become mine kept its mysery to itself.
Why a falcon? What makes it perfect? Why is it on my shoulder of all places? After all, that’s not even traditional falconry. How and why exactly has it become mine? What did I do to deserve that?
It wasn’t until I decided to do a 21-day yoga challenge at Source Yoga (mad props to Melissa Paz!) that these three lines would again occupy space in my mind. One day in yoga class something happened. I wasn’t thinking of the poem or the image at all. It was simply a pure, unadulterated “aha” moment when the Universe lifted the veil for a brief moment.
Sitting on my yoga mat, something bubbled up through the cosmos and landed in my brain…
For those of you who have experienced this, you know exactly what I’m talking about. All of this consistent yoga unlocked something and gave me access.
The meaning of it all landed…
For. No. Reason.
Just like it says. (duh)
All this time the truth was staring me in the face. The mystery that solves itself.
For no reason.
It’s not the falcon, even though it has come to symbolize so much for me. It wasn’t about my shoulder. It wasn’t the “perfect” state of the falcon. It wasn’t even that it had become mine because it is yours too. It was only and unalterably all for no reason. I don’t need to do or be anything or anyone to make it true. It could have just as easly been a scruffy chickadee that landed on my nose. Admittedly a more humorous image than the falcon but you get the point.
The falcon is perfect because it is perfect. It landed on my shoulder because it landed on my shoulder. It became mine because it became mine. All for no reason.
The falcon is perfect. The falcon is us.
Your tomorrows start today. Believe in yourself as you are now. You don’t have anything you have to do or to earn first. You don’t need to lose weight. You don’t need to work more or harder or smarter. You don’t need to move past your traumas. Accept yourself and your traumas will move out of the way. And you will finally let them too.
You don’t need approval or permission or guidance.
You don’t have to fix anything or find love. Love will find you.
You are the perfect falcon on your own shoulder. Today. Now. Always.
Land, my friend.
Become your own.
For no reason. Namaste.
And I didn’t forget! I promised to get to the purpose of the blog as whole and so I shall.
I intend to use this forum to explore the evolution of my own soul through the poetry of Rumi. If you like what you read in this post and it resonates with you then please come back for musings on more Rumi poems and who knows?! Maybe occasionally I’ll get a little crazy and switch it up with a different mad genius…perhaps a little Hafiz or a little Rilke. Stay tuned!
Love and light to you all.
photo credit: Koshyk via photopin cc
Rumi Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi
“The Essential Rumi”: http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Rumi/dp/0965064875/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425156981&sr=1-3&keywords=the+essential+rumi
“The Seed Market” full poem: http://www.seasons-of-peace.net/rumi/seed.htm
Source Yoga Studio: http://sourceyogaonline.com/
Great post, Holly! I look forward to more. I’ve been working with a mantra that I read somewhere online recently (sorry worthy author, I can’t remember the citation!) – “I am enough, I have enough, I do enough.”
The idea of “for no reason” fits in nicely. Thank you for sharing your thought!
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I like that, Ali. “I am enough, I have enough, I do enough.” It fits nicely with an article I posted on FB recently about how the quest for perfection is hurting us all. Forget perfect. Just be real. 🙂
Holly, thank you. Your words echo beautifully with my own musings, and I look forward to reading more. Is there a way to automatically get a signal when you add more or to bookmark this blog. (I am not in tune with all these wonderful new ways of communicating via the web.) keep writing, though. Your gift is precious and we are blessed that you are sharing it with us!
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Oh, thank you so much, Abbie. That is really very nice to hear.
There are a few options but most of them mean you have to have an account. You can create a WordPress account and just click the “Follow” button up top. Or if you have a Pinterest account, I have a board there where I will put the updates too. The board is called “a falcon…for no reason” so you should be able to search for it and find it that way. I have a Twitter account that you can follow, @HollyBond1018. My LinkedIn account is also connected so if you want to add me on there, the updates might show up, but I can’t say for sure on that one. I will also post updates on FB each time. Ali is also using an app called Feedly where you tell it what things you want to follow and it automatically pulls updates for you.
And then, of course, there is still the old school way of just returning the website from time to time, but I can imagine that could get old. So play with the above mentioned methods and let me know if you have any trouble at all.
And thanks again for your very kind words. You have no idea how much it means to me to hear that from a fellow writer. 🙂
Oh and I forgot google+ too! The updates will post automatically there too. But if you really want to make sure it doesn’t get buried in your feed, getting a WordPress account or using the Feedly app is probably your best bet. And I just learned that you can follow using just your email too, so that way you don’t have to have an account. You’ll get an email when I update. So you’ve got a few options to choose from. 🙂 Good luck!