Mar 24 2010
Don’t worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn’t matter.
We have fallen into the place
where everything is music….
So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark….
Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!
from a slow and powerful root
that we can’t see.
“We have a piece of flint, and a spark!” the Sufi poet Rumi cries. We can touch a deep source—in ourselves, in this world, in Life—from which the creative spirit in each and every one of us is longing to spring forth. We are all artists, even if we never dreamed to call ourselves that, for we are all taking part in a great creation, and we have everything we need to help make this world more beautiful. Don’t worry about the details and the logistics, the poet says; once we release into this place “where everything is music,” then “even if the whole world’s harp should burn up, there will still be hidden instruments playing.”
How do we live so that we hear this “music” and help to make it more often? What spiritual practices will put us in touch with this deep source of joy and creativity? I talk a lot about how we can make “life-giving choices,” rather than life-suppressing ones, in our daily lives. Life-giving words and deeds, thoughts and actions, bring us closer to the fullness of life—“the terrifying greatness of life,” as A. Powell Davies put it—rather than separating us from our best selves, from each other, from the earth itself. Some of us may produce poetry or music or paintings with these life-giving choices, but we don’t have to produce actual “art” in order to add to the fullness of life. We just need to be in touch with that creative source that resides in each of us, and let it flow.
In order to touch that source, we need air and breath, relaxation and laughter, the wisdom and guidance of the life-giving artists who have gone before us, and hearty companions who will find the humor and the beauty in all of life’s raw material. All that is exactly what we will be discovering in our Sunday worship services in April!
“Stop the words now” is how Rumi ends his poem. “Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out.” So come, “open the window in the center of your chest” with us this April, and sense our spirits fly!
 Jelaluddin Rumi, “Where Everything Is Music,” in The Essential Rumi, trans. by Coleman Barks, with John Moyne, A. J. Arberry, and Reynold Nicholson (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995).
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