Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hitting the books early

I woke up very early this morning. Last night, inadvertently, I made our after-dinner coffee with regular beans rather than the usual decaffeinated. While I had no difficulty going to sleep around 11:15, I did at some time in the night think about how Mormons don't as a rule drink coffee or tea, while Muslims of the desert put cardamon in theirs to make it more palatably bitter and...other manifestations of the Tower of Babel that seems to define life on earth. At around 3:30 I got up with the curious idea of looking at random in a book of "sacred literature" and seeing what I hit. I selected Stephen Mitchell's Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry:
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy.
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.
                        – William Blake
And, on the facing page, also from William Blake, the very lines I shared with Maliha only a couple of weeks ago, when we were discussing innocence:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
I turned to go back to bed, but since that selection from Blake reminded me of Maliha, I decided to "get a hit" from the Qur'an. As I walked back to the bookshelf I imagined opening the book near one end. To ensure that I didn't consciously choose either the front or the back, I rotated the book with my eyes closed before opening it. It was the back, where my thumb covered the opening verse of Surah 58:
            She Who Disputes
...And God hears both your sides in an argument,
for God is all-hearing, all-seeing.
                        – Thomas Cleary translation

1 comment:

  1. Peace Dear Moristotle,
    We wring ourselves out disputing while missing out on the gorgeousness abound.

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder and for your thoughts.

    Blake's words took my breath away: "But he who kisses the joy as it flies
    Lives in eternity's sun rise." *sigh*