Tuesday, December 15, 2009

every love is a shield

as a child
i had a really undefined sense
of the purpose of the lives
of the people around me.

each lived . . .
and that was that.

this morning
as i reflected on my family and friends,
colleagues,
and bloggy chums,
i considered their
extrordinary contributions
towards making their
small part of this world
a better place
through whatever means are available
and in whatever form that might take.

as a place to begin
i believe that
part of repaying the debt of our existence is
to bring goodness into the world.

if that looks like beauty
or wisdom
or even
the faintest
outline
of a stairway
in the gloom,
it gives a worthy purpose to our existence.

to sing our songs
for all who can hear . . . or as my old subheading used to read:
"go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.

let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!

sing loud!"

jelaluddin rumi
louis welden hawkins girls singing music by gabriel fabry


every love is a shield against sadness,
a silent stair in the gloom,

stir me, sweet friend,
to raise myself to the sky from the rock,
for those who do not know
what deep wind has searched me.

excerpted from “wind at tindari” by salvatore quasimodo

20 comments:

Jenny Stevning said...

I Am stirred, sweet friend.

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Hello, Steven
Long time no see. It was encouraging to come here and read your uplifting words. As always, they are profound and thought provoking. I believe we all have a purpose for existing here, this place we call earth. As long as we are helping in some way, whether small, often un-noticed, or in a universal way, our doing what we are capable of doing is... important.

One can never go wrong when quoting Rumi! Hope life is going well for you. Going to try to post something tonight, try to get back into the swing of things.:)

Btw, I let one of the puppies go and cried for a week. I still have two, which I need badly to let them go, just can't. It is almost like saying goodbye to your kids. They are the sweetest, most adorable little things. I made the person who took one promise she would bring him back if she decided she didn't want him, or if he was too much trouble for her. I called her everyday for a couple of weeks, but have come to the conclusion that he is doing well and is happy in his new home.

Lorenzo Lapis Lazuli said...

Beautiful post, Steven. Amongst others, I like the bit about the "faintest outline of a stairway in the gloom" and that searching deep wind from Salvatore Quasimodo. I see that you are reading Barbara Kingsolver's "The Lacuna". Let us know what you think; I have it on my list as next book to buy.

steven said...

hey lorenzo! thankyou for your kind comment. i've been reading "the lacuna" for the book club i'm in - four women and myself!! it's a long meandering collection of story threads that meld nicely in the last hundred pages (which i'm in the middle of right now) to paint a really insightful picture into frida kahlo and trotsky's lives as well as that period known as the mccarthy era. it's got splashes of colour and daubs of black and white. it's clever writing to be sure but it isn't the high energy writing i had anticipated give the subject matter. i hope that you enjoy it lorenzo! steven

steven said...

hello sixpence! what a thrill to see you up and about!!! i've wondered about the puppies for some time - they were perishingly cute. i hope i don't stir up a bee's nest here but i have no idea how you let one go! i hope you read that to say - i understand why but i can't imagine how that must have felt for you.
i wish you every success in your return to writing sixpence. have a fruitful and peaceful day. steven

steven said...

jenny stevning - that's very clear from your words and pictures! steven

Pauline said...

You follow your own advice! Get up on your bucket and shine - it's better than hiding your light under it (or was that bushel?)

Golden West said...

I love the amber tones of the picture you selected - so perfect for these last few days of autumn.

willow said...

"Every love is a shield against sadness."

Beautiful, dear friend.

MCJArt said...

Steve ~ your blog was wonderful to read ~ thank you
~ MCJ ~

Reya Mellicker said...

I had a lot of big ideas about the purpose of life, once upon a time. These days I think all we really have to do is make the decision, every morning, to be a good person, to allow for mistakes and make amends, to clean up after ourselves.

It is one of the blessings of growing older.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Steven - a sweet, sweet post.

I'm singing...I'm singing...Sometimes it's a squeak, sometimes a roar, sometimes an 'off' note, but always a well-intentionned one. The songs as well as the love are also a shield from the sadness.

staceyjwarner said...

Oh yes, sweet steven, even something as small as a smile is an incredible gift.


much love

hope said...

That's what I love about visiting here. It's a space of peace and calm, reminding me that GOOD does win out over bad, even if it doesn't get to be front page news very often.

I'm glad you shone a light into my corner of the world.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Even something as simple as a smile can make all the difference to somebody's life steven - I try to smile at people in the street, particularly on dismal days.

Oh My Goddess said...

I love when by pure chance someone may say or do or express something that gives me what I call a Beacon Moment.

It's a moment that makes me feel connected to the great creative force of the universe. Powerful and beautiful!

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Let's join in and sing sweet melodies. Music will be our muse. :)

Joanna said...

Oh yes! We all have the potential to create goodness and love in every action we take. I love the way you say it Steven: through whatever means are available and in whatever form that might take...even the faintest outline is a beginning. Inspiring and beautiful words. And I love the snowflakes in the background.

steven said...

hello everyone!!! i am sorry for not having responded to your generous and thoughtful comments yesterday. it was a long day with two performances of our school musical the focus of my attention!!! it was a spectacular production and well-received by the adoring parents and siblings in attendance. this was the first time in my school's history we have put on a show and so of course everyone's absolutely baked! but the kids had a blast and that is really what it was and is all about. in the end i got home late and tired and really glad to see my own kids!! i wish you all a lovely and peaceful day . . . . steven

Gaston Studio said...

What beautiful prose, powerful and enlightening.

Congrats on the Oh My Goddess Award, so well deserved!

Jane