Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Becoming a beacon of light in a dark world

Photovoltaic Song of Myself
(on reading the Ridvan 2011 message from the Universal House of Justice.)

Hafiz took my hand one morning,
as I drove Route 161 from Columbus to Newark.
He took my hand in his hands and turned me toward the sun.
“Look,” he said, “Look at the sun.”

There was no sun. 
Instead a pillar of light rose from horizon to sky,
through clouds of frozen water, through frigid air. 
It shot up golden, having nothing to do with me—
having only to do with itself, glowing in a night-heavy dawn.

“Keep looking,” said Hafiz, “It’s almost time.”
I drove the curves of Ohio while this column of light
stayed fixed on my horizon. 
Moses came to mind and the Rapture. 
I thought of angels, pointing the way to deeper truth.

Hafiz sat up straight and shouted,  “NOW!!”

And the sun flew up, all of it, with no constraint.
Light bashed me in the forehead, seared my eyes, threw me against the ropes. 
Light poured into me while Hafiz chanted.
Light poured into me while I cried—
—for joy, for light, for fire subsuming my heart.
I burned as a ray of that sun and knew
that I always had burned, always would burn. 
All heat, all hope, all stock and stone, all up and down,
feather and fear, beauty and beetle were rays of that sun. 
There was nothing I had ever touched, done or said that was not a ray of that sun.

Hafiz threw back his head and laughed—

                                           The car rocked with delight.

(by Rhonda Palmer)

"Khwāja Šamsu d-Dīn Muḥammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī (Persianخواجه شمس‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی), known by his pen name Hāfez (1325/26–1389/90) was a Persian lyric poet. His collected works (Divan) are to be found in the homes of most Iranians, who learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings to this day. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-Fourteenth Century Persian writing more than any other author.
Themes of his ghazals are the beloved, faith, and exposing hypocrisy. His influence in the lives of Iranians can be found in Hafez-readings (fāl-e hāfez, Persianفال حافظ), frequent use of his poems in Persian traditional music, visual art and Persian calligraphy. His tomb in Shiraz is a masterpiece of Iranian architecture and visited often. Adaptations, imitations and translations of Hafez' poems exist in all major languages."  from Wikipedia

"A light pillar is a visual phenomenon created by the reflection of light from ice crystals with near horizontal parallel planar surfaces. The light can come from the sun (usually at or low to the horizon) in which case the phenomenon is called a sun pillar or solar pillar. It can also come from the moon or from terrestrial sources such as streetlights." from wikipedia


  1. If Ive never said it before let me say it now. You are one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I love you so much.

  2. Christy, I wrote it about a year and a half ago, maybe two years. My commute was an hour to the east, so I was fortunate to see lots of sunrises. This one was the most spectacular of them all. One of those rare moments of total beauty and total joy all wrapped up. I thought of it after reading this year's Ridvan message and it seemed appropriate.
    Nina: I love you more!!

  3. Well, I should stop being surprised at how wonderfully you write. Thank you for yet another blessing to remember.