The words of Hafiz: How they enchant. They move, they writhe and wiggle up and down from right to left; dancing like crazy….inspiring me like crazy… Hafiz is another one of my favorite poets. Never mind he wrote these words in the 1300’s. They are timeless, ideas even more so. Translation adds a twist to these quotes. Daniel Ladinsky does a superb job. It’s hard to tell how much of himself he adds to the text. I concentrate more on the pleasure of reading and the places my thoughts travel to, invoked by the ideas, the whimsy and the thoughtfulness.
LOVE is always inspiring. Poetry lends the power of words and ideas and Hafiz adds the magic. Enjoy!
The following quotes are by Hafiz
Your heart and my heart are very, very old friends
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.
You carry all the ingredients
To turn your existence into joy
“I caught the happy virus last night When I was out singing beneath the stars. It is remarkably contagious – So kiss me.”
Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.
Your love Should never be offered to the mouth of a Stranger, Only to someone Who has the valor and daring To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife Then weave them into a blanket To protect you.
The tide of my love Has risen so high let me flood over
How did the rose Ever open its heart And give to this world All its beauty? It felt the encouragement of light Against its being, Otherwise, We all remain Too frightened.
Let us be like
Two falling stars in the day sky.
Let no one know of our sublime beauty
As we hold hands with God
Into a sacred existence that defies –
Every description of ecstasy
Hafiz (also spelled Hafez), whose given name was Shams-ud-din Muhammad, was one of the greatest of Persia’s mystical and lyrical Sufi poets. He was born in Shiraz in southeast Persia (modern Iran) c. 1320 and died c. 1389. He is affectionately known as “The Tongue of the Invisible”. His poems were artfully translated and interpreted by American poet Daniel Ladinsky.
References and Related Articles and Recommended Reading
The way we do this says more about ourselves than anything.
It’s the way we live our lives and how we impact others–this is our testimony.
What we share with the world becomes our art.
We can inspire and enlighten. We can encourage, empathize and understand.
We can shine a light for others and become all the more beautiful.
It is the soul. The heart. The essence.
This is the best art. The loveliest. the most divine. The closest to heaven.
“Your brokenness is the universe’s way of realizing that perfection is not complete. Your wounds and flaws, however inconsolable and unforgivable, are a conspiracy of a finer consideration, the triumph of an inexpressible art form, the urge of the cosmos to love herself more intimately. More profoundly.”
ASPIRE: To seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal.
Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle Frenchaspirer, from Latin aspirare, literally, to breathe upon, fromad- + spirare to breathe.
To aspire is to dare. To dare to want more.
Aspire is the desire to propel oneself skyward. It is born in the heart like a flame that burns hot with the passion of want. Dreams fuel aspiration. Passion drives it and hard work makes it so. With care and feeding aspirations can grow wings and set flight to all points amazing…
We are what we aspire to. Our dreams define us.
I have a dream; one I never knew I had until fairly recently. I found it huddled under a pile of forgotten hopes that I had neglected to remember I’d left it in the back of my closet. I could exaggerate and press upon you this jive about a noble truth that propels me. I might confess a deficiency I have and this need to make up for what I’ve felt I have lacked in my life. The truth is I did not purposely seek this road. In the beginning all I sought was my own salvation.
I had walked in darkness for many years and yearned to find my way back into the light. I knew fulfillment and happiness lives there but in the dark it’s difficult to see. It’s lonely out there, at least it seems so…but I learned something important. I realized I wasn’t alone and there are others out there in the dark reaching for the light just the same as I… and not knowing where to find it. This simple truth eluded me for years. It is my truth but not mine alone….
By helping others we help ourselves.
It is tempting to take credit; to say that my stirrings to inspire are purely unselfish but the truth is; I aspire to inspire because it feels so damn good..besides I really don’t know any other way.
I have found that people who have struggled, who have fought something bigger than themselves…who have had life hurt them have a yearning to light the way for others, to say: “I’ve been where you are now and there is a light at the end of the tunnel…I know because I can see it.”
We all need help from time to time…
I believe greatness abounds. There is greatness in you and there is greatness in me but the greatest greatness lies in we. Our fullest potential is alive and well and it is just within our grasp. Sometimes all we need is a pat on the back, a smile and a reassuring voice. Everybody needs this..no one is above it. It is basic. It is human and it is beautiful.
We are the content creators; the writers, the artists, the dreamers. We are a unique breed who yearn to inspirit and inflame others with that magic spark that burns so bright in our hearts and souls.
This wonderful planet of ours is teeming with inspiration. One just needs to know where to look and one need not look far. I have found much inspiration in the words of many of you in this wonderful creative community of ours. Through your posts and comments I have learned so much! Time and time again I’ve experienced firsthand that no matter how different we may seem on the outside, we are alike on the inside. We all need insight and inspiration from time to time and I have surely gotten this from you. Thank you for sharing your world with me.
Wishing you an inspired day
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
― Louisa May Alcott
He was a poet, diplomat, bohemian and political activist. He was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto but borrowed his pen name from another poet; Jan Neruda. He was a controversial character. A diplomat and senator from Chile he embraced communism and wrote poetry in tribute to Stalin and Castro. You don’t have to agree with his politics to appreciate the sincerity in his work. The man was an artist; a heartfelt poet who won the Nobel Prize in literature.
Words are words no matter who wrote them and some messages are bigger than the messenger. As a writer there are times I feel I am only a conduit for something else. A something that whispers ever so softly in my ear. I only write what is given to me; words. And it’s the words of Neruda that I celebrate today. The dark dreamy words that evoke images of a hothouse world; a lush tropical jungle where love scintillates along the cool breeze of the night. He brought to his poetry a sense of quiet longing, of sadness and regret but with a spirit that burned… fiery passion and darkness; wanton and thirsty.
When I read his words I am transported to this world….I become a hothouse flower sipping in the cool night air, gazing up at the midnight stars that dare shine through the gaps between the leaves of the trees. Themes of bittersweet longing; of lust and love and all in between. Neruda puts his heart out there with brushstrokes of raw emotion tinged with the fragility of love that weaves itself between the lines of this beautiful poetry.
Have a nice day and enjoy the Neruda.
FRESH QUOTES: PABLO NERUDA
The words of Pablo Neruda
“I should like to sleep like a cat, with all the fur of time, with a tongue rough as flint, with the dry sex of fire; and after speaking to no one, stretch myself over the world, over roofs and landscapes, with a passionate desire to hunt the rats in my dreams.”
“And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.”
“And I, infinitesimal being, drunk with the great starry void, likeness, image of mystery, I felt myself a pure part of the abyss, I wheeled with the stars, my heart broke loose on the wind.”
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
“At night I dream that you and I are two plants that grew together, roots entwined, and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth, since we are made of earth and rain.”
“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”
“I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.”
“So I wait for you like a lonely house till you will see me again and live in me. Till then my windows ache.”
Pablo Neruda July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
There is beauty in the mundane. It is real. It is alive and it is in your face, yet sometimes we miss it all together. It’s easy to overlook the small and the so called insignificant; those everyday things we see all the time. The big picture can be looking us right in the eye, obscuring our vision as to the seemingly unimportant details. And it is in those details; intrinsic little flourishes that sit undetected in the plain open. It is that we must endeavor to see which makes the best art.
This art that is life. It is all around us.
Whatever we seek in our hearts our eyes will find. Generally the experiences we have in life live up to our expectations. Life is beautiful when we can see beauty in it. Each moment is a masterpiece unto itself. A wondrous snapshot framed by time passing from the all powerful now into into the fondness of memory.
Art engages the senses. It interests, it entertains, it delights and at times makes us think. It teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. Art makes us feel. Art is life and life is art. It is anywhere and everywhere one looks for it. I have seen it in a flower that dare sprout in a crack in the sidewalk and in the way the shadows of the maple leaves dance across my bedroom wall. Art is contained in the laughter of a friend, the optimism of a child and the smile of a stranger.
Art dwells in the caws of the crows on a Sunday morning in May. It is the way the light shines in through the front window and straight into my eyes in the morning and just how good a cup of black coffee smells and tastes. It’s “Ventura Highway” blaring on my neighbors radio outside and Mario the cat sitting in the windowsill taking it all in stride.
Art is the perfect toasted cheese sandwich, a cold glass of milk with a shiny red apple. Art is saying “I Love You” for the one millionth time and meaning it all the more.
It is out there just waiting to be appreciated…to be felt…to be acknowledged and embraced…to be lived.
“Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.”
What is it that takes over one’s mind and compels them to create? Is it sickness? Or madness? What is it that runs through the long corridors of souls and haunts hearts with this need to make something where once there was nothing; be it a blank page or a white canvas…or a pile of wood…empty bandwidth or file space or…. just empty silence? Whatever the emptiness, it is the artist that yearns to fill it.
How does one fill emptiness ? I suppose there are as many different ways to create as there are individual artists. The nature of creativity is that it is centered in the new and the untried. There is always a risk to creation. It takes a lot of backbone to present ones work to be judged by the eyes of others, to be put up on display in front of the crowd…. it’s a gusty thing to do.
Art is definitely meant to be appreciated and the role of appreciator can be just as important as the artist. Art can be a group experience–community wide. Art encourages more art…which is a beautiful thing.
L I F E is A R T
Art comes in endless various forms..shapes and hues. It is a rich phenomena, experience, wonder…whatever you call it it..it is sheer delight. Art can awaken and excite the senses.
It can be exhilarating, scintillating, sensual even, but also fun and whimsical…it can also be deep and rich and sometimes sad..it is emotional and it is real. You can feel it. It is that feeling that makes it great art in whatever form.
Artists, good ones, anyway…infuse an essence of themselves into their creation; a small taste of their inner soul…the really good ones make you feel what they feel.
Life is color…
It is vivid-intense, sometimes stark and sad, but a great bright and spirited thing with wings.
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
― Ray Bradbury
It’s a mad compulsion, speaking here from experience. Writing is infused into me…I need to write, it is a thirst that is never quite quenched. As a shy child I spent many hours alone. Writing was my only outlet. I would pour out my feelings to paper, writing as fast as I could. I would keep everything I wrote and I never showed anyone. Whenever I was happy or sad or confused my thoughts would go straight to paper. I was never much for talking. I kept my feelings deeply contained inside me.
I still do write everything out. I have made the mistake in the past of publishing things perhaps I shouldn’t have. I am a sensitive sort and at times I cannot move past something without writing it out.
I can become quite testy when I don’t have a chance to write. I become like a caged animal; I pace, looking out the window. I get anxious and tense. It is not fun to be around me at those times. I must admit I do have my dark moods but once I get at them by writing I am as free as a bird–totally unencumbered and at ease with the world.
It’s like I am a junkie who has just had a fix. I am never as happy as when I am in the middle of it all; writing away…fingers tapping, when I reach an especially engaging patch my fingers get faster and faster, the tapping gets harder and louder. When I am going at full tilt it is total ecstasy!
That is my personal madness and I claim it as my own. Are you a bit mad? Do you engage in a creative endeavor that demands your engagement? Tell me about your madness and we can compare notes.
Have a fantastic day full of loveliness,
“You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine
“The way to know life is to love many things.” ~Vincent Van Gogh
To say this man was misunderstood is an understatement. To say there were probably many reasons for that, again, is an understatement. To associate this great artist with the phenomena of color is quite obvious. Vincent lived and breathed color and he is this month’s colorful person.
Vincent Van Gogh, a man never appreciated in his lifetime is one of the most well-known artists today. His work has inspired many and his story is certainly sad and compelling. He was one of history’s tragic figures. He gave so much and got so little in return. I must admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for this man, this person who saw beyond reality, who shared his profound soul with his beautiful art and lost his mind in the process.
“I wish they would only take me as I am.” Vincent Van Gogh
In essence he was lonely. To him probably the loneliest person in the world. I can certainly identify with the feeling. Vincent was misunderstood and alone in an unforgiving and harsh world. I can understand being totally consumed and compelled by one’s art to devote oneself so fully to it….only to be ignored. Vincent wanted to share his beauty with the world and in his lifetime the only person who truly cared about him was his brother Theo. It was Theo who supported Vincent monetarily and enabled Vincent to keep painting.
Ever since I first beheld a Van Gogh I have been entranced with these genuine masterpieces. His paintings embrace the soul of color. They inspire me and I cannot get enough of their imperfect beauty.
Vincent Van Gogh made the world a better place, a lovelier place. Perhaps it was his suffering which enhanced his vision. His devotion to his craft was more than apparent in his work.
It is through this story of Vincent Van Gogh that has allowed me to realise just how fleeting life can be and how beauty and talent can endure beyond the life of the artist. It is due to his story, this wild man of color that I have learned not to be so judgemental. Who knows what hidden talent and beauty lies behind the eyes of any random stranger I may encounter. Everyone has something wonderful about them. It is the norms of society that at times does not fully appreciate this, but I try to. For Vincent’s sake and for mine.
“One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it. Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way.” ~Vincent Van Gogh
Oh what a gift is music. It is but a simple thing, these sounds we call music.
Music is color. It paints pictures in my mind, sweeping vistas and tragic landscapes, rolling hills of green. Tender dewdrops on a petal soft rose, the rush of a thousand rivers to the silent sparkle of newly fallen snow.
Lush, electric and alive. Intoxicating, liberating and primal. It is emotion. Raw and simple, plain and beautiful.
Music wraps itself in fond memory and instantly transports me back in time. Music can stimulate. It forces yet gently prods to emotional highs and bittersweet lows.
Music is powerful. It is bold and commanding yet subtle with soft whispers and gentle kisses promising the foreverness of love and the joy of life. It is uplifting. It is strong, brave and true.
It is a necessity and my life would be hollow without it.
What landscapes do these songs create in your mind?
Hello there. I am one of you and we are legion. Our lot is a deep one, a gutsy one for sure. We are a strange group with a yearning desire to be our unique selves in this plastic preconceived prefabricated world. It is we who come up with the ideas that others consume.
I know most of us are compelled to do this, this whatever we do that we deem art. And this compulsion runs deep, at least for me. For so many years I deprived myself of artistic endeavors, never making the time for it… thinking it frivolous, unnecessary…calling it a stupid dream and retreating back into the doldrums.
The voice never dies completely…this need to create, to share oneself. That voice grew from a whisper to a scream. I had to listen. The floodgates opened and they haven’t closed yet. It’s a compulsion, a need like air to breathe. Creative people know what I mean by this. Sometimes I think living the life of someone a bit more “typical” would be simpler and easier. Less painful perhaps? At times the thought is tempting but in the end I wouldn’t want to live without this colorfully crazy creative streak.
Endless forms most beautiful
Art comes in endless forms. I see it in everyday life from the musician and the writer to the carpenter, computer programmer, physicist, or cook. It is the soul of the person creating it that makes it beautiful. In my mind the only requirement for art to be art is that it contains a tiny drop of essence of the artist. If it’s honest and true that is what’s important. It is the stuff of daydreams and the inner workings of the soul that makes it memorable and remarkable.
Good art entertains, it amuses. It is whimsical and fun.
Great art makes you feel. Sometimes quite deeply and your life is forever changed by it.
A few years back I had the pleasure of seeing live and in color several major works by some of my favorite Impressionists, including the great Vincent Van Gogh. It was the brushstrokes that did it. I could see the mind of the master at work…the one who takes command of the brush and creates a universe with it. There is a force to the artist. The gutsy part. Vincent had it all right, we artists need that; the show off….the ham. The part that is compelled to share that which we have created. Even shy ones like me have that side… but there is also the other side; the sensitive one. Vincent had that in spades. He poured out his heart onto the canvas with wild abandon. I believe that creativity lies in that deep soulful side. I have that side…the indigo to my strawberry. It was that side that started to cry in the middle of the exhibit. I welled up and couldn’t stop. I couldn’t even see the art at that point but the images from that day will forever be etched in my memory.
What I am trying to say
This piece is entitled: An open letter to all sensitive artist types and it is. However, I do have one certain artist in mind when I write this and to that person I say…..
It is the artists that stick their neck out. It takes courage to put your work in front of others. Your heart is on a plate for others to dissect and chew up. Humans are natural judges and it’s a hard dose to swallow when you are on the receiving end of a disinterested audience. What is the purpose of art if it is not shared? And appreciated.
It takes courage to pursue a dream and awfully thick skin. Unfortunately most of us artistic types are sensitive and all the courage in the world doesn’t stop hurt feelings. Some people are jerks and will knock anyone down who dares to dream. But don’t stop. Don’t ever stop dreaming. Because once in a while dreams do come true. Don’t let a few sour grapes spoil a fantastic bottle of wine.
But don’t just listen to me:
“A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that the other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist….”
A lifetime is made up of moments and there are only so many. Within these seemingly endless stream of moments, there are special ones. Ones that force us to make a snap decisions, Ones that define us. These are the moments that make us who we are.
I have many such moments stored up in my 41 years of memory. It surprises me how many of them were small things, moments that on the surface appeared insignificant. In circumspect I can see how one thing leads to another…and another… and another…
My fault lies not with one decision per se, but my inability to make any decision at all. I’ve been letting fate decide my whole life.
Sometimes life comes at you like a runaway train and forces your hand rather abruptly. Other times, more often than not, fate sprouts silently. It comes to you at night in a whisper that you can’t quite hear. Every night it gets louder and louder,a little at first, but then…
It gets louder and loUDER AND LOUDER.!
UNTILL IT IS SCREAMING AT YOU!!!
Do you listen?
I have decided to listen. To that voice screaming at me to do something. This thing I must do takes courage.
I must come out of the shadows. come out into the light and share my little part of the sky.