is fighting to get out. Stuck in the house doing some paid work editing a university paper, restless agitation plagues my spirit. I think back to a recent time when I spent a night alone at a beautiful northern resort. I woke up so early in the morning, you could say I woke up the night before. (attempt at humour) It was around 4 a.m. While I was waiting for morning, so that I could go outside and sketch, I listened to a podcast of a favourite Tapestry radio program that I’ve listened to countless times.
The program is an interview of Coleman Barks and Andrew Harvey on the subject of the poetry of Rumi, as we call him in the west. Apparently, he is known in the Muslim world simply as Mevlana (which I think means the Master). You may know this about me already, but I consider Rumi THE ultimate spiritual poet who has positively influenced my life. As I rose to the sound of birds, I felt so inspired.
A phrase from the interview, stated by Coleman Barks, a prominent Rumi translator who is from Georgia in the United States, ran through my mind, creating a sense of joy and creativity. He said that Rumi’s writing was full of “a caressing love of the earthly detail.” The idea that spirituality is expressed not just “above” us, but also maybe “below” us, or within the most humble details of our lives–surely this is a thought that reverberates with possibility.
As an escape from the dreaded neck-killing editing work that still awaits me, I took my three little orchid plants to the kitchen to give them some water. Fantasies of someday having an “orchid wall,” in a future home where there is room for such a thing filled my mind as I thought of Coleman Barks and his phrase, “the caressing love of the earthly detail.” Surely all appreciation of beauty in this world involves celebrating some of these details.
So here is a photo of my messy kitchen sink that would be replaced if we had the wherewithal. The orchid I have just watered is set to drain in a colander because orchids don’t like their feet to sit in water. They are ever so sweet. Maybe next time, I’ll be able to send you an original drawing.
My love this morning caresses these details: orchid of course, yellow colander, old metal sink, dish cloth with a hangover, plastic bottles of dish detergent, one green liquid, one orange, a small thin glass bottle with a quill pen soaking in water, an empty pyrex bowl with dark blue lid waiting to be washed, the one everpresent plastic bag, some cutlery, a glass, a lid. . . did I miss anything? Forget about the perfect houses you see in magazines. Just remember this.