Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Mix Them! Mix Them!

You carry all the ingredients
To turn your life into a nightmare- don’t mix them!

You have all the genius to build a swing in your backyard for God.
That sounds
Like a hell of a lot more fun.

Let’s start laughing, drawing blueprints,
Gathering our talented friends.
I will help you.
With my divine lyre and drum.

Hafiz will sing a thousand words,
You can take into your hands,
Like golden saws, silver hammers,
Polished teakwood, strong silk rope.

You carry all the ingredients
To turn your existence into joy,
Mix them
Mix them!


Another two-day course completed, this with fifty beautiful Iranian people in Istanbul— and that’s exactly what we did. Refused the nightmare ingredients and welcomed the golden saws and silver hammers that built the swing of God. We laughed, shared the blueprints of lesson plans, gathered together as the talented people we were and in the absence of a divine lyre and drum, sang and created fantastic rhythms on the instrument of our bodies. At the end, I read this poem from Hafez, a 14th century Persian poet who lived in Shiraz where most of the participants are from. Quite a loop for his words to travel 600 plus years spoken in English by an American to Iranians (Persians) in Istanbul and translated back into Farsi. And perfect advice to complete our understanding of what we spent these days doing— indeed, mixing the ingredients of joy. 


Amidst the non-stop stream of photos taken at the end (some were definitely double-dipping!), a woman spoke passionately about the things she is suffering in her country where the ingredients for nightmares are still out on the table and began weeping as she expressed the beauty of the kindness, fun and humanity we had just shared. Ten women immediately gathered around her in a spiral of hugs. When she came up to take her photo with me, I told her I am fluent in the language of tears and laughter and understood her perfectly. And I did. 


And what about you, my friend? Which ingredients are out on your table? How are you mixing them? Shall we invite each other to a joyful feast of soup and salad?

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