September 9, 2009KR BlogKR

Ramzan Notes, Predawn, Day 19

On Friday I am supposed to read a poem at a multi-faith investiture ceremony for the director of the office of spiritual life at the college.

It’s a difficult task because as always, I am not sure what I myself believe.

Either about the spiritual nature of the universe, nor about the nature of the spiritual path. Does the path–so important that it is discussed in the very first chapter of the Quran, considered to be the key or condensation to all of its multiple meanings–requireness solitary pursuit or is it something a community can be a part of?

Certainly for me it has always been a lonely walk only because I haven’t often found partners who believed what I believed.

Challenging of course, since as I mentioned I am always changing my mind.

Is the relationship between Creator and Creation a constant feedback loop, like the water falling out of the sky suffuses all matter and then returns skyward?

Or does energy flow out in a great exhale, ultimately–one would suspect–to flow back in to Somewhere, like the star-matter of the universe hurtling outward from the Big Bang in what must still be the first Half of existence?

Or is there some third or fourth or fifth model for what we actually are, where we came from, where we’re going.

The one thing I seem to be agreed upon (agreed upon with whom? myself? my Self?) is that “this”: this moment, this existence, this world, this universe, can’t be “all there is.”

Or can’t it?

It is easy in the predawn, before the sun has returned, the days goes you on, you receive proof once again of circular nature of existence, to say what you believe or disbelieve, to fess up to your gray areas and your doubts.

Is it possible to bring this exploration into the light of day, possible to bring the very individual questions of the smallest shard of eternity–a single human body–into the public space of the community, possible to express the single taxonomy of confusion in the forum of ritual and ceremony?

I’ve always thought of a poem as an open door.

“Welcome and entertain any guest, even if they are a horde of barbarians that sweep your house clean of its furniture,” said Rumi. “Each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

I wonder if I will always be like this–unable to make up my mind. I wonder if this is my gift, to not know what I believe or think.

Maybe it is for others to “come to fruition” on day 18 and spend another fortnight moving on to the next stage of awareness, or merely enjoying or ignoring what they have come to understand. Maybe I just muddle through, learning nothing, and then begin again.

It certainly feels that way in my life. Or maybe it’s fear that holds me back. Fear I’ll really change and not be “myself” anymore.

For the moment, I don’t know anything. About god, poetry, or people, three of the most important things in creation to me.

It is a version of a gift because it means I have to keep looking, keep thinking, keep feeling.

A couple of days ago I talked about myself as a man with a million arrows stuck in me.

Well, they are all pointing inside.