Note to an ancient poet

Dear Rumi,
Remind me again, why we’re here –
on this planet, I mean.

Because, this morning, mid-commute,
cars suddenly seemed absurd. In the context
of this world, my car was a form of insanity,
moving through the busy streets filled with other
fuel burning vehicles and other people enclosed in metal
and glass and plastic. My assumptions unravelled,
again. I had to re-learn the rules of driving.

And the “isms” crumbled in my head. Capitalism seemed
made-up and silly. The price of gas, was an
obscene and bloated fabrication. Economies and stock markets
became part of a stupid board-game played by greedy little boy-men
with tiny penises.

It seemed the only sane course was to stop my car
in the middle of 97th street, to get out, and start walking and
not look back. I knew if I could find some trees that I’d be okay.
because trees are easy to understand. I struggled with this notion –
this temptation. The fact my daughter hadn’t been dropped off
at school yet stopped me.

And god was so far away this morning, Rumi. The thought of
an all-powerful god with a plan for us, a god
who whispered only to men and got them to write
down his instructions for worshiping him – a guide for
living and dying and everything in between? A god that finger-paints
on a northern sky and produces the aurora borealis? Really?
Like I said – the idea of god was very, very far away
from me.

Is it love, Rumi? Because you said the way of love
is not a subtle argument.
Love can’t be learned in any school.
You said birds fall and in this falling
they are given wings. Is this how love behaves?
Is this what you want me to do?

Perhaps, this morning, my only purpose is to notice,
and love, the fall. I mean the season, Rumi – the one after summer.
The season that leaves the winter birds alone, at last, in the apple tree.
The cold mornings and perfect low-sun afternoons. The slow exhalation
of summer into tawny-brown grasses, golden aspens, fiery maples and
unwavering pines. Insects, slow and mad for what little
time remains. The autumn flowers, bursting beyond any imagined red,
or orange, or yellow – a desperate lunacy.

Rumi, I am one of your breath-breathing human beings –
urgent and ecstatic and vigilant inside this September morning.

And perhaps, this is reason enough.