Monday, August 22, 2016

When Your Heart Tells You Something Different...

In my intro to my 2010 poem “My Heart Tells Me Something Different,” which I posted here in July, I commented that I’ve considered revising that poem from my new Buddhist perspective. (I was a Bahá’í dabbling in several other faiths when I wrote it.) I finally re-read a poem I wrote in spring last year, just after making the decision to become Buddhist, and realized I had in fact already written more of a part two to “My Heart Tells Me Something Different.” So, here it is. 

~ ~ ~ ~ 

So many times 
and so many crimes 
and so many lies we have yet to unwind 
so many whys 
and so many denied 
Why on earth was I told to be blind? 
To be blind to religion, to gender, to race? 
What a slap in the face! 
That I must negate something in order to accept it 
Instead of acknowledging the difference is what to embrace. 

“I like you; you’re different.” 
You don’t have to be like me 
What a joy it is to see 
Not looking for why we’re the same 
or a common origin to our names 
or a shared enemy to blame. 
I want to see you 
not what filters you might look best through. 

Are you a Buddhist? Christian, Muslim, Bahá’í? 
Are you a Hindu, or Jewish, or are you still asking why 
why you have to be any of these 
or if there’s a person-God at all to please 
There’s nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree 
I’ll never tell you you’re incorrect 
that your brand of faith has no valuable effect 
Just because I believe what I practice is an ideal faith 
doesn’t mean you have to 
or that your faith isn’t ideal for you. 
If it’s not, explore — I’ve got leads and plenty I’ve tried before 
and the Middle Path I’m on now, guided by a host of spiritual forces 
that so many people choose to ignore 

Practice what works 
and look through your own eyes 
and not someone else’s filter you’ve been told to look through 
Seeking spirit, independently investigating the truth 
following the daimoku of your heart 
is the best way to start 
and to continue, and pursue, and discover things you never knew 
you’d be able to re-learn, when next your wheel turned 
universal truths that are ours to discern 

Time is a circle, and some things we can rewind 
It’s never too late to learn to be kind 
often our haters 
become our baiters 
who lure out our best selves 
“Your sand-blasting polishes my mirror” 
brings my true self nearer 
to present to all of you 
in a concourse of opposites that’s long overdue 
Take hold of your oddities and your differences 
and lay them on the table 
When they’re arrayed with everyone else’s, they look like precious jewels 
lapis lazuli, carnelian, seashell, agate, pearl, gold, and silver 
and quartz, jasper, malachite, hematite, obsidian 
and many others that swallow or reflect the light 
Remember that a worthy offering to some is a chunk of rock to others 

But don’t worry about that, that’s not what we’re here for 
Don’t waste your time on such chores 
Just know that you’ve walked through the right door 
regardless of if you’ve ever been here before 
You’re not here to compare and contrast 
Your potential is so much more vast 
A new fate you’ve cast 
You’ve given yourself permission to be whole at last 
You’ve made your proclamation 
“My heart told me something different!” 
the truth you’ve come here to share 
and now here we welcome you 
to the Ceremony in the Air. 

Image: “Alegría” by Karla Joy Huber, 2011; Prismacolor marker, Sharpie marker, metallic Sharpie marker, highlighter, white-out pen 

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