Someone dear, who apparently knows just the medicine I need, honored me for the holidays by sending me The Gift: Poems by Hafiz, The Great Sufi Master. It is translated by Daniel Ladinsky, who takes a few modern, snarky liberties with the Master's works, but conveys his desperate passion with good timing.
I read half of it Christmas Eve night while lounging in the bath, high on the bliss of watching my babies rip through paper and throw themselves screaming atop a telescope, a tabletop pool game, a baby doll, and a toy piano. I was stoned on the silence that fell over the house after they lay crashed in tangles of legs, blankies and stuffies; warm in the bubbly water and a window cracked.
I gasped appreciatively as I turned page after page, devouring enlightened passages in which the Sun and Stars, Light and Hearts are capitalized to indicate their holy quality.
THE GREAT WORK
Is the great work
Though every heart is first an
That slaves beneath the city of Light.
This wondrous trade,
This magnificent throne your soul
Is destined for--
You should not have to think
Much about it,
Is is not clear
An apprentice needs a teacher
Has charmed the universe
To reveal its wonders inside his cup.
Happiness is the great work,
Though every heart must first become
Who really knows