Movement and repose

If they ask you, “What is the evidence of your father in you?” say to them, “It is movement and repose”

– Gospel of Thomas saying 50, part 3. Mmmm. Action when action is needed, rest at other times. Still the mind, the ego and the worry. Movement and repose together as one.

Here is something from Hafiz, interpreted by Daniel Ladinsky:

When your truth forsakes its shyness,
When your fears surrender to your strengths,

I find this so beautiful that almost the consequence is unnecessary, the “When”, not “if” in those two lines and their promise is enough. But here is what happens:

You will begin to experience

That all existence
Is a teeming sea of infinite life.

While I am sitting here, thumbing through my Kindle, here are the first two lines of Burton and Watson’s Tao Te Ching translation:

Tao called Tao is not Tao.
Names can name no lasting name.

So much wisdom from the millennia, just– there, just- everywhere I look, just- ready for me to take it into my heart and my life. Wisdom, and beauty, knocking on my door all the time, importunate, demanding, only needing for me to notice. Wisdom, and beauty, and Love.

She bangs on the door importunately, and will not be denied,
She bangs on the door, and cries,
“OPEN UP! OPEN UP! My Darling!”

Go well.

5 thoughts on “Movement and repose

  1. I adore Hafiz. Much of my own poetry is so influenced by his. He brings God, the Divine, ALIVE as a sensual, dancing, delight-filled God who is soooooo in love with us and all of creation. I love the line you brought up “OPEN UP! OPEN UP! My Darling!” I can see Hafiz writing such lines! Darling. God calling us “darlings.” Yes. THANK YOU for this post. You weave eastern and western spirituality all in one post. Lovely. It resonates deeply with me.


    • Thank you. There is wisdom everywhere: “I’ve got a thousand hearts in my heart” is just gorgeous. Children teach us. Knocking comes from “behold I stand at the door and knock”, Revelation 3:20. Sophia in the Wisdom apocrypha is female. I felt the lines needed three iambic feet to round them off, but have not yet found a line which I can utter truthfully, or perhaps the lines prompt a reader’s response more effectively without.


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