“Seasons in the Mind”, by Kabir tr. Daniel Ladinsky

There are seasons in the mind,
great currents and winds move there,

the true yogi ties a rein to them; a power plant
he becomes.

Winter, spring, summer, fall: these are pages
in a book the advanced can turn to,
and impart.

Order is a great benefit to the seeker,
otherwise living in one’s own house can become as
walking through a marketplace

where all the merchants keep shouting,
“You owe me.”

That does not sound like
much fun,

and who could accomplish anything
in all that

I wonder, was Kabir autistic?

This poem, from Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, certainly speaks to my experience. My large altar to the Gods: the flowers are fresh, brightly pink, but the table is dusty. My small altar to the Trans Dead: the candle has not been lit in a long time. The things destined for the recycle toters heap up in the dining nook and the clean unfolded laundry heaps up by the sofa. The laundry pile cries “You owe me”, the recycle pile cries “You owe me”, the altars cry “You owe me”.

And yet here I sit, rocking lightly side to side, instead of declaring, for instance, that it is time to remove the recycle pile, one boxful or basketful at a time. Instead of declaring that it is time to tend the Gods’ altar. Instead of declaring that it is time to stand before the altar to the Trans Dead and light the candle and pour some water and speak some verses of the Litany. Certainly instead of doing any of those things.

“You owe me.”

And who can think in all this noise?


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