" Live in perpetual great astonishment." Roethke
I have twice invited poets into my life. Both are long dead but still lively. Roethke, the first, recommended that young poets call on the dead. He gives an example of Yeats entering the room and actually helping him with iambic pentameter. He gets the rhythm right and acknoweldges Yeats in the poem that came out of this collaboration:
I take this cadence from a man named Yeats.
I take it and I give it back again.
For other tunes and other wanton beats
Have tossed my heart and fiddled through my brain.
Roethke mainly advises me to be frisky in my approach to loving. "Go on, girl. You know how to please a man.." He has said, cheerleading in my mind. It's odd. But, everyone likes encouragement. Maybe, he will begin to help me with poetic cadences.
Help from Rumi is another thing entirely. I was burdened and he lifted me up. Where a poem can cheer, easily enough, Rumi, in the space of thirty minutes pulled a bolt from my mindset and an unhelpful structure collapsed. It has lasted for twenty four hours. So far.
On the day in question, which was yesterday, I pulled pieces of Rumi out of an online collection of quotes. Many had a part in my transformation, but especially apt at the start was this:
If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn't slumber so deeply in that house of clay. Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, and always have been. Didn't you know? ~Rumi
This - "you are worthy beyond your comprehension" message, can break though malaise. It brings to mind Marianne Williamson's lines about how our worst fear isn't that we are insignificant, but that we are important beyond measure - that scares us because of what it implies about responsiblity and destiny. But one must move into it, encouraged by Rumi, "Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about… say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from before the beginning of the universe." Inside you is a lover.