To know ourselves,
we sought out the most difficult paths
that we might gain something from walking them
climbed mountains, not to climb them,
but for a glimpse of the sparkling sky
travelled the world, not to see it,
but to meet the companion within.
This is not the world, but the whole of a mirror in front of me;
what a world, that was made simply for me!
In the whole world i have tried to see myself,
yet the whole world seems not enough.
Tell me, where should i seek that mirror,
the most beautiful of all
that mirror, which reflects me with such truth,
that i myself become it?
Tell me, who is that most familiar companion,
the one who can tell me
This first part of this piece emphasizes worldly obstacles and challenges as opportunities to increase self-knowledge.
The second part can be understood as alluding to Islamic understandings of the relationship between creation and the Creator.
The process by which we have
come to resolve ourselves,
is truth. There was nothing quite
so peculiar about the manner
in which we came to be.
It would seem only natural
that where one horizon ends,
another should appear.
Now, whether our realities
are stitched together with
seams, or whether they
are made of the same fabric,
we cannot say.
What matters, is what
we have chosen to give effect to,
out of all of the unseen.
What we have believed in,
has come back to seek us out.
What we want to be true,
never had two ways about it.
If we can influence the
making of the world with
our choices, then our choices
are the stuff of the world,
and ourselves, something
apart from it.
This piece was written shortly after watching Interstellar, a 2014 film directed by Christopher Nolan.
For those who know the language, Tere Ishq Mein, recorded on Season II of Nescafe Basement, is to my mind another way, of many ways, of accessing similar ideas.
a potter sees clay
what would you like to be today, love?
let me shape you, fashion you,
let me hold you and mould you,
let me press you and caress you,
into what you once were,
into what you have always been
my heart sees you,
though to my eyes
you are a lump of clay
like any other
i know where you came from
and i know what you want to be
i will release you from your matrix;
i will love you into who you are
and who you have been.