Landlocked in Fur

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I momentarily borrowed the title to one of Tukaram’s poems that I love. Daniel Ladinsky, one of my favorite translators of ecstatic poetry, renders it so marvelously I wanted to share it with you. Laughter comes more naturally to those who slip further and further out of the clutch of self-absorption, and Tukaram, a 17th century Indian poet and saint was a hoot. I share this poem of his for I can’t imagine a poem with greater empathy than this one for those days when life has ground you down. Come along and have fun with Tukaram and his cat.

Landlocked in Fur

I was meditating with my cat the other day

and all of a sudden she shouted,

“What happened?”

 

I knew exactly what she meant, but encouraged her

to say more—feeling if she got it all out on the table

she would sleep better that night.

 

So I responded, “Tell me more, dear,”

and she soulfully meowed,

“Well, I was mingled with the sky. I was comets

whizzing here and there. I was suns in heat, hell—I was galaxies.

But now look—I am landlocked in fur.”

 

To this I said, “I know exactly what you mean.”

 

What to say about conversation between

mystics?

 

From Love Poems From God

Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Now get along. Get back to whatever it was you were doing before you began agonizing. You see it happened to all of us, our constituent star dusk compacted into these bulky bodies and cloudy minds. Mind you, there are days when, in spite of it all, it is a wonder. And there are days when it’s a bit of a bitch. Now that we have that established, pick up your pen or return to your keyboard, whatever you’ve been resisting or complaining about and get on with it. For in the end, it will always have seemed rather beautiful and all too short.

ref=sib_dp_kd-1Christina Carson is author of Dying to Know. Please click the book cover to read more about the novel or purchase a copy direct from Amazon.

 

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