Friday, June 20, 2008

The Time Traveler's Lover

Dear Quest & Lust:

Am I looking for a soul to share my spiritual journey with? Why, how dare I, when you are my original, sincere, spiritual soul mate!

Ha ha!

It just occurred to me that I feel that old buzzing need of wanting to share my feelings and experiences with someone. I talk to Allah, but at some point, that becomes an abstraction to me. Poor, unrealized me! But one should accept themselves as who they are, right?

So a while ago, I was reading this book called Women in Sufism and oh my! I could barely get through the chapter, Hidden Ways, for I had such a strange sense of connection with the story! It is about al-Hakim at-Tirmidhi and his other-worldly spiritual relationship with his wife. He chronicled their inter-twined spiritual journey in his autobiography.

Not named but as the mother of their son, Abdallah, "Umm 'Abdallah" dreams messages for her husband, and also develops herself spiritually through these prophecies. The wife and husband "are together in the same place," as indicated by the guides in the dreams.

Now, what a strange, and beautiful relationship! But the strangest is the resonance I feel with this story. It's as if I have known this before; it's as though I expect to live it somehow. Just one of those things we know. I know. I just know.

Even the language of some of the dreams she has, as reported in Women of Sufism, is eerily similar to the poems I have been writing. Consider this:

In her dream:
"The bird hopped upwards, climbing form branch to branch..."

From my recent poem, Choices:
"Yes, I choose!
And so I hop
and grow
from branch
to branch
to branch
to an ever-branching branch."

One of the dreams of this unnamed woman also resembles strongly in imagery a dream I had years ago, one that I have been thinking of lately for some reason. The one with the beautiful, silent fountains in ponds of white marble... the whole scene lit up with the bright light of the Moon.... It is one of the most beautiful dreams I have had, though I have seen richer imagery.

In a very similar dream, at-Tirmidhi's wife is given knowledge for her, and him.

My amazement does not cease here. There is mention of herbs in the same dream: the guide - presumably Khidr - presents the evergreen myrtle to her, and shows that he is keeping some for her husband. He also shows her herbs in his other hand, indicating that those are not perennial as the myrtle, but green in some seasons, and gone in another. This is an allusion to the sustained (evergreen) spiritual state of the couple, who are blessed with myrtle. The other herbs are for those who are true also, but not firm in their spiritual achievement.

What bewilders me is my interest in exploring herbs, and their uses and meanings, and the wish to have the company of a curious soul on this journey. To explore and learn the meaning of this beautiful existence. To wander in the enchanted garden, to know the Truth of Being...

I am not sure how this wish plays out in reality... but then I am not telling the truth, because I know how wishes play out in reality. But I digress.

This is so uncanny. Their whole story reads like the story of my life as I have imagined it. Now I am not very comfortable detailing it; but let it suffice that I have placed a great personal importance on sharing my life with one with whom I share a spiritual connection. I almost take it as my destiny; it's one of those things we feel have already happened to us, only we live to live it out.

Sometimes there are presences that I engage with - now that I pay attention to the matter, I am not sure who they are or where are they coming from. Who is this certain presence I have always been aware of, but which yet hasn't revealed? I know some come from over space, but there are certainly some who come over time.

Time, time! This strange veil!

Reading this chapter made me feel like I am the lover of the fabled time-traveler. I sense a presence. I know it's quite here, but not still quite here. Where, exactly, in time, does it all come together?

I await the answer. I await the Hidden to become Manifest...