The Why Behind the Why Behind the Why

Inspired by Rumi’s “The Root of the Root of Your Self”

When I tune the whole world out
in order to look in,
I look for the why behind the why behind the why.

Why…do I feel so alone?
When I know that You are with me
everywhere I go.

Why…do I forget Your presence?
When I can see Your signs all around me –
water curled up in the clouds,
the freshest air atop the tallest peaks,
Your grand design woven through the very chrysalis of creation,
as mankind grows and evolves,
sinks and dissolves,
paints the world in ugly colors,
turns its mess into a masterpiece.

Why…do I not see Your signs,
even when my eyes are wide open?
Is it You who placed this veil on my heart,
or my inner demons who blinded me
by lulling me into soulless slumber?

Why…do I still then feel pain,
despite every attempt to be numb?
Is this a punishment for my many transgressions,
or a merciful reminder,
more bitter than sweet,
of the ache,
the longing,
to be whole again?

If you look for the why behind the why behind the why,
the answer to every question is You,
Your infinite love,
Your magnificent mercy,
Your enigmatic plan.

When I tune the whole world out
in order to look in
what I’m really doing
is meeting You at our favorite rendezvous,
dancing around You like a giggly school girl,
trying to get as close as I can.
What I’m really doing
is looking for the One
Who never gives up on me,
brings me gifts wrapped in pain,
wrapped in pleasure,
sends me love notes in every song I hear,
writes me poems in every word I read,
breaks my heart
only to put it back together again,
reminding me every second of every day
how dearly I am loved.

When the weight of the world overwhelms me,
I just look for the why behind the why behind the why
because that’ s our special spot,
and it’s a date for which You’re never late.

I Used To Live For Words

Although I’ve never been the most consistent blogger, today, I’m posting after about six months. The world has been through so much this year. During this time of uncertainty, I hope you’ve been well, and able to take time out to do all the things that feed your soul and help you cope.

One of the things I did during my hiatus from blogging was take a few online courses at the Rumi Center for Spirituality and the Arts, such as The Book of Love (about the teachings of the Quran), An Ocean in a Drop (about Rumi’s poetry), Opening the Eye of the Heart (a poetry writing course), and, currently, Awakenings (about the 99 Names of Allah). Each course created a safe space for me to write and reflect, and share my thoughts with a community of like-hearted individuals. The courses were lovely and I would highly recommend them to anyone out there who’s interested in poetry and spirituality.

I wanted to share some of the poems I’ve written during these past six months. The first one, below, is entitled, I Used To Live For Words.

I used to live for words,
the sounds they made 
when strung together,
the epic tales they told,
the deep emotions they evoked.
But with the passage of time,
I find I want to speak less,
breathe more,
and just be.
I want to use fewer words
to speak larger truths,
distill the essence
of my awareness
into a bottle
like a love potion,
to be passed on to others,
from one mouth to another,
till we’re all entranced and intoxicated, 
left speechless by Your magical presence.
I used to live for words,
but now I’m the one who
breathes life into language
and must speak from the soul,
hoping each word builds a bridge
towards the One I live to find.