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Say how it is and bless each other followed by a reflection

Gary Lindorff
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Me: Maybe it's my age.

Maybe it goes back to how my mother raised me.

Maybe it goes back to Rumi.

Maybe it's covid-weariness.

Maybe it's mental weariness.

Maybe it's that I am tired of words.

Maybe it's the English language I'm tired of.

Maybe it's that I'm sleep deprived.

Maybe it's I feel we ought to be able

To say more with fewer words

so we don't wear each other out

and get better at distilling our truth.

Poet: That is why I depend on poetry.

Maybe this is a poem.

What do you think?

It could be.

It's just all I have the energy for.

This little bit of my truth.

Friend: Let's get together for a fire.

Laugh a little at the absurdity of everything

And bless each other.

Rumi: Someone says your flame

Is about to be dowsed,

But you're not smoke or fire.

Say how it is!


Why I wrote this with the 4 voices:

The number of speakers in this poem is important. There are four. The first voice is the writer of the poem who is questioning himself, admitting he is struggling and he is letting the world know. Maybe he will find some empathy out there. The next voice is "the poet". This would be the archetypal poet, as differentiated from the writer of the poem who is not out to write a poem initially. Initially he is just listing reasons for why he might be feeling at a loss, not trying to write a poem. He is just after a little truth. The poet hints that that is why he writes poetry. It is subtle, but what the poet does is suggest to the writer that he should call this a poem and he personalizes the writer's quest for truth, so the truth is no longer "our" truth, by "my truth". The third voice is the voice of the "friend" whose desire is very simple: get everyone together around a fire, laugh at the absurdity of life and bless each other with their camaraderie. The last of the quaternity is "Rumi", the wise one, the great 13th century Persian ecstatic poet. His message is to the writer. He apparently has heard the writer's complaint and is responding with the advice: Someone says your flame is about to be dowsed. (That someone is you, yourself!) . . But it doesn't have to be that way. Own your truth, "Say how it is!" Jung and Von Franz taught how all the natural numbers are archetypes. So four (4) represents stability and balance. This poem is about owning our voice and from that place of stability and confidence, "bless each other".

(Article changed on Aug 20, 2021 at 1:14 PM EDT)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of five nonfiction books, three collections of poetry, "Children to the Mountain", "The Last recurrent Dream" (Two Plum Press), "Conversations with Poetry (coauthored with Tom Cowan), and (more...)

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