Tuesday, October 6, 2009

lovedrunk freewrite in which I do something that scares me


I have no idea what I am going to write about.  None at all. I am writing about the blank page.

The last hour or so has seen me flitting around on twitter, peeling at my cuticle, reading the New York Times Sunday magazine, and thinking about working on the novel.  A procrastination snarl.  I am fairly famous for them.  They feel usual.

This is unusual, though, this blogging 'off the cuff' about nothing when I have at least 10 blog ideas in my mind.

What is really interesting me right now is my novel, and the play I am getting ready to workshop, and the opera I am dramaturging.

And this.   I've been thinking about my spiritual path.  I'm a Sufi.  To me, this means a seeker who is lovedrunk-- not just with the Divine, but with the world.

It has taken me four years of deep practice to define myself as Sufi.  A novice.  Learning slowly.  Its great, this slowness, learning something that takes many years to deepen into instead of something I'm supposed to 'master' after some six week course.

But  I'm not very comfortable with labels, and I'm even less comfortable discussing my spirituality.  That said, something has shifted and it feels innate.  Permanent, somehow.  A part of my core self.


To be lovedrunk is just what it sounds like.

Let's say I find myself holding a grudge.  For example, a woman I respect belittles a child in a crowded room.  I'm too shocked to respond before the moment passes.  I want to forgive her, but I simply can't.  She's made me feel powerless.  I can't shake it.  I want to shake her instead. 

Then one night I have a glass of wine, and another, and maybe one after that.  My heart is like a singing bird.  I happen to think about the person and find that the grudge is gone.  The love has returned.

Tipsily I dial, the phone is miraculously answered, I gently tell her how I felt and we make up.

Sufism finds ways to get to compassion, forgiveness, and love without the actual wine, and eventually embody those feelings not just in ecstatic states, but always.

The process is not always pretty or pleasant.  It can feel tough, though it can also be blissful.    I am a Sufi.  I needed to say that. 

Now to work on the novel.

*painting by Pakistani artist Shafique Farooqi

4 comments:

1950's Housewife said...

I am so happy to hear this. To achieve love and bliss in the everyday. Yay Sufi!
(I love the phrase "procrastination snarl".)

Nathalie said...

My darling...I love this. I feel like sending it to everyone who has looked at me, confused at my desire not to partake in a glass of wine that doesn't speak to me. Fair enough, sometimes it does, maybe it always will. But lately I've been drawn to the desire to feel more, not less.

Thank you for writing this.

Simply Poet said...

nice blog ..well, I believe sufi is being in the moment..one with the universe..thy self..really cool post

Kate Temple-West said...

Thanks Simply Poet. Yes, I suppose I'm more comfortable naming what I feel is one attribute of Sufism, rather than defining it. I'm only 4 years in on a lifetime path, so no expert at all. I love the feeling of being fully in the moment, yes!