September 14–Beauty: Present Tense

It seems that there is something awfully present tense about beauty.  Of course, we can all remember a time when we saw or experienced something beautiful, and that memory is fond.  But, honestly, wouldn’t it be sad to live out one’s entire existence thinking that the memory of a beautiful experience was the only beauty there was?  It seems to me that beauty is really always best as present tense–in this moment.  Now.  The memory of a beautiful think or person or event or landscape is a treasure, but in a sense it ceases to be beauty.  It becomes a good memory.

Beauty is now.  Hafiz captures what I am after in two little poems.  Consider.

Stop Being So Religious

What
Do sad people have in
Common?
It seems
They have all built a shrine
To the past
And often go there
And do a strange wail and
Worship.
What is the beginning of
Happiness?
It is to stop being
So religious
Like That.

(“The Gift” – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

That is the problem of the past.  But, he also captures the present tense of beauty in this little verse:

Every child has known God

Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does Anything weird,
But the God who knows only 4 words.
And keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come Dance with Me , come dance.”

— Hafiz

I wonder today what people, what events, what landscapes, what experiences will whisper those words to us:  Come Dance with Me.

Bob Patrick

 

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