Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Looking at that little owl perched on its foster parent's wrist, I'm led to think of the nature of love, of striving of man in one of the more devotional sects of Islam (as well as in one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament - The Song of Solomon):

All the love-romances and allegories of Sufi poetry--the tales of Layla and Majnun, Yusuf (Joseph) and Zulaykha, Salaman and Absal, the Moth and the Candle, the Nightingale and the Rose--are shadow-pictures of the soul's passionate longing to be reunited with God. It is impossible, in the brief space at my command, to give the reader more than a passing glimpse of the treasures which the exuberant fancy of the East has heaped together in every room of this enchanted palace. The soul is likened to a moaning dove that has lost her mate; to a reed torn from its bed and made into a flute whose plaintive music fills the eye with tears; to a falcon summoned by the fowler's whistle to perch again upon his wrist; to snow melting in the sun and mounting as vapour to the sky; to a frenzied camel swiftly plunging through the desert by night; to a caged parrot, a fish on dry land, a pawn that seeks to become a king.

In the case of the bird, I'm sure it's just anthropomorphosis, but it still strikes me as romantic. Perhaps the hope for the existence of this sort of love is as useless as believing in fairy tales. I can't help but indulge myself every now and again in thinking about a longing, a desire that strikes to offer me up to something else, whether it be a man, a god, or even my own self.

(Wouldn't I make a great nun.)

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