I’ve reached a sort of Aladdin’s cave in thought, where the gems sparkle – purple, red and blue – and, yes, a genie flashes from his golden lamp. The genie, in a sense, is my more powerful self – the one who can conjure outcomes and make the world shake with his invocations. I know him through my deeper feelings because, somehow, I long to know how the world will change when he snaps his fingers. It seems so magical and right, so enchanted.
Then here I am again in my ordinary life. I don’t need to listen hard to hear my neighbors shouting at each other till the window-frames might crack. They love each other – I know this. Their shouting is like a magnification of love – that kind of trick where you make a sheet of paper catch fire by focusing the sun’s rays on it through a magnifying glass. In a way all our self-imposed agonies and contortions are like this – an intensification of a heavenly experience which loses the power to recognize itself. Much of life falls into this category – an attempt to pull heaven down to earth and force its golden ratio to apply. The day will come – I know it and feel it – when that divine measure will obtain. It might be on some lost island under the sun but it will happen. Until then we sleep under the volcano.
Certainly you need a kind of elasticity not to be crushed by the earth and its troubles. And when that elasticity rebounds to its natural form what does it look like? It takes the shape of the stars which are the very pattern of our wholeness. People expect that kind of resilience from you: your children, your partners. Perhaps your parents, who have gone before, need to know that you have that inherent power to bounce back – otherwise all is blame. So here’s another element: the natural inclination to return to your divinely-given shape despite having tried to pull heaven down to earth. And that island will come.
So to return to Aladdin’s cave: the genie makes his brilliant wishes and I long with a deep longing for them to be carried out. But what happens? Mistakes and problems, convolutions and failures. The interesting thing is that the jewels are still there: in the hard experiences and trials of life. I can’t see it any other way – that the heavenly world, which I believe in, is dynamically bound to the troubled earthly world, just as the genie’s magical wishes work themselves out imaginatively in life.
All in all then, to the best of my ability to see into the inner nature of things through my own poetic path, there are these two or three different ways in which the upper and lower worlds relate to each other.
Not long to be crushed by the world,
my form will rebound to the stars
and take its natural shape again.
There will always be pain in love,
which draws the sting from the world
then asks you to repair its fault.
And those who have been crushed before
want elasticity from you
that they might see life’s not all blame.
But sufferings impressed on me
by some I could not fail to love
grow gentle at the end of day.
I see their beauty in the stars
and feel a comfort in their loss,
a lesson to bear pain lightly.
Now the shouting at each other
until the window-frames might crack
is love in magnification.
For heaven creaks with the burden
of souls who would wrestle it down
and squander its golden ratio.
There’s a day and place far away,
a lost island under the sun,
where divine measure will obtain.
Then human beings will love with love,
instead of flaming attrition,
and the best will be best for all.
We’ll sleep under the volcano
and drag our heaven asunder
till we see that island is now.
However far away I go
I’m the genie of my outcomes
and snap a wish before each cave.
In the land of magical charms
I bind myself with spells for earth
to guide my steps towards each fate.
I long to know, I long to know
how the world’s powers can shake
with my unseen invocations.
And yet in life it spells dismay,
misunderstanding, hurt and shame,
like wrinkles in the cloth of time.
The genie is invisible
who settles my accounts with me
in treasures from misfortune’s cave.
Best wishes, today,
©Jay Landar 2013. All rights reserved
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