|"Today, like every other day,
we wake up empty and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love--be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."
We all have so much we have to attend to each day. Ordinary things like washing
dishes, making meals, cleaning the bathroom, dusting and sweeping; our dear children;
our work responsibilities; maintaining the yard and upkeep on the car; paying the bills.
Somedays, I get up and my list of "to-do things" is as long as my arm. I can wake up
feeling tired already and a bit frightened, thinking about the challenges I have to face.
Sometimes I just want to go back to sleep. :)
Rumi gives us something to think about here. "Going to the study and begin reading"
for Rumi was the "work" we do every day in life. He was a scholar at a university and
so reading was his "work." He says, don't do that first. First of all, take down a
musical instrument. In other words, take something down in your life that you enjoy
that touches your soul first. Let the beauty you love--be what you do...
So, what is "kissing the ground?"
I was so happy to return home from my vacation recently. When I got off the plane
(we go down stair-steps to the ground---we don't have a jet-way at our airport.) I
imagined myself kissing the ground. It felt so good to be home with those I love. To
me, "kissing the ground" is loving and caring for those things that matter in my life.
We will always have work to do---and too much of it.
"Kissing the ground" has some sacredness to it...
some specialness to what our heart loves.
"Kissing the ground" is loving back something or someone who has loved us.
It is like family in a deep sense...
It has a flavor of abandonment to it, of commitment, and an undying love.
Someone wrote this little line and I don't know who it was....
this little saying has stayed with me....
"When you take care of something, it lives a long time."
"Kissing the ground" is taking care of what matters to the heart. Those things do live
a long time.
My wife gave me a book in 1993 entitled, "The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart" by
Bly, Hillman, and Meade--a collection of poems. I am on page 421 as of today. The
book is worn and tearing at the seams...many of its pages have turned brown because
of their use. I have sat with those poems now for over 10 years and allowed them to
touch my life and I have not finished the book yet. I have eaten them slowly with love.
I have journaled my life's-story in its pages. The book has become a treasure for me.
"Kissing the ground" is loving what matters to me the most.
I enjoy coming to see you.
And when I leave, I miss you!
And I can't wait to come back and "take down my musical instrument--
and let the beauty I love--be what I do."
Links from this page:
The Man Watching
The Dark Heavens
Father and Daughter
On Women: Honoring Women: Part I