Sunday, November 10, 2013

CLXVII: A Reed Bruise

There’s a blind man on the road saying,
Allah, Allah. Sheikh Nuri runs to him,
‘What do you know of Allah? And if you know,
why do you stay alive?’ The sheikh keeps on,
beside himself with ecstatic questions.
Then he runs into a low place, where
a reed bed has recently been cut down.

He falls and gets up, falls again,
floundering on the sharp reed-ends.
People come and find him dead, the ground
wet with blood and written on every reed-tip,
the word Allah. This is the way one must
listen to the reed flute. Be killed
in it and lie down in the blood.

Fariduddin Atta (c. 1145 – 1221) translation by Coleman Barks

I called it a day early in my carving efforts at Teaneck Creek, on account of drizzle and cold. I was taken by the urge to wander off the trail and into the marsh. I spent almost an hour listening to the sound of breaking phragmites, worrying if anyone has ever fatally impaled themselves on phrag. From time to time I'd come upon surreal little fairy clearings ringed with bush that seemed to be trying to convey a message I could not grasp. I walked through them as in a dream. I then came out on the opposite side of the circle trail in a spot I've been a  hundred times. 
So thin is the veil. 

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