Thursday, August 12, 2010
Ramzan Mubarak: a Greeting and a Prayer (my first day of Ramzan)
Forecasted Calendar for 143 A. H. here from Crescent Watch dot org
Many duas, deeply-felt gratitude and "Salaam!" to Pakistan friends. How hearts bleed for what you are going through on every hand from dynamics natural and otherwise. During Ramzan, may special events and prayer provide some relief and sustain your challenging yet most beautiful lives and nation. Thanx for all you're showing me of your traditions, history, culture and faith.
"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know and cooperate with one another."(Quran 49:13)
'Your loving kindness has hounded us all the days of our lives and we choose to live in the House of the Lord forever' ( A scripture - paraphrased - I grew up with various versions of this from "the Book" of us all )
Here is my Poem-Prayer. I am starting with a few lines - in full quotations - from an honored poet.
Before the Last Sky
We "walk...without memory to guide...seeing no one behind - no one ahead",
Oh Merciful One, we are missing Your luminous lanterns.
"Where should we go after the last border?" How will our spirits take again to the sky? Do You still own the kind of wings which fit each and all?
Sometimes we sense Your light and know beyond absolute doubt only for a few moments it is final Love - it is You. We walk straighter, taller with more bounce in our gait. We know where we are going. Sometimes we even grow lighter - and fly long enough to see countless lanterns below and millions of lights alive with music in the sky.
But darkness has crept steadily over our land - our world - much of the time.
"Where should we go after the last border? Where should birds fly after the last sky?"
Your Isaiah foretold of fasts You would not choose and places You would not go.
To whom have You gone now? Help us to hear Your voice in unexpected places.
People, how long will we wait for a familiar voice to tell us what to do?
God, you must smile wryly at how puny our cries sometimes sound to You -
What has happened to what was once a myriad instruments of praise?
We open our mouths to speak for those with no vocal apparatus and lo from our own throats there is hardly a sound - until we remember the music comes in our acts which emerge from that One Fountain.
What about our arms? With our arms we used to help build community homes and carry community roofs on our heads as one. We used to feed one another and stretch forth our hands. How have we let the hatred of diversity and the 'arms' of deadly fire fall from the skies?
Yet, You have held us in Your Arms through countless disasters - over and over again through every generation we know...You have stood by us and said that we are the only ones who can allow ourselves to stand between You and We.
So now, You who first separated the waters and first generated
the particles which formed by misuse and mysteries later upheavals...
We need You and one another.
Just maybe You need us to show You "off" to one another?
May our true hearts lift up our strong and human arms of flesh once more until a myriad of bridges are built to overcome and cross many a torrent and divide.
Before the Last Sky --
Let there be no Last Sky...
This above is little prayer I started on my first day of Ramzan is now offered up among countless other such prayers. May all of our pleas and our gratitude - spoken and silent- become a little catalysts across borders and other barriers during this season of both joy and sorrow. I dedicate this as well to those fleeing or in the midst of man-made and natural disasters...
The great Palestinian Poet-Philosopher Mahmoud Darwish - who humanized and sought a place for everyone no matter who - 'got me started' on this prayer. I tried to take his spoken and "unspoken prayers" into a kind of faith statement of my own - recognizing some aspects of truth, reality, God are to know now, day by day - and some are not yet...yet I find the Divine even in the Silence (some days more than others.)
What if the final shepherding acts of the Divine are to lead all humanity to a universal Home of truth, peace and safety? Could this be the destiny of everyone? What must we each do now (alone and in some kind of community) to become ourselves such a vessel of such Love and to enter "heaven" of sorts - even now on this globe - into such an eternal "dance of grace"?
Ramzan Mubarak! May we all look for the LIGHT inside and all around this dark, confusing yet transforming moment.
Posted by CN at 3:39 PM