After the rather gloomy blog earlier today, life has got better, meeting a couple of friends in the course of taking my stint for stewarding in St Michael's church, welcoming stray tourists and people looking for rest or prayer. And I read the first entry on the little book of translated poems by Hafez that my wife cave for my birthday:
"A black mole graced hes face;
he stripped, and shone
Incomparable in splendor as the moon;
He was so slim his heart was visible,
As if clear water sluiced a granite stone"
His writing is surely the most compact of all poetry - each poem steadily unfolds as you gaze into it.
or should I say "Allahu Akbar"?
While chatting in the church we noted the variations in our practice, she attending Quakers and I the Anglican church in which we were sitting, both of us appreciating the value of the ancient building. My own practice is more ambiguous than hers (some might call mine hypocritical!). In this church we use version of the Anglican Mass where the congregation says "we believe in ..." instead of the traditional "I believe" - a nice let-out that allows me to appreciate the intentions of the writers without actually lying! And while the Islamic spirituality of Hafez is very different from that of Christianity, at the silent depth they are one.
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