This singing art is sea foam

29 Apr


There was a time when the trouble was just getting started.    I try not to do that – look back.  But some days, a little snippet of truth can come  in the time traveling illusion of this life – we meet ourselves in our past and future incarnations – through a misty fog of compassion for the usefulness of the pain and beauty in each moment.

The tender moment comes to me today of myself in 2009 in the waking of my ears for hearing.  I came to know the song of the splashing water and the detachment of each moment’s choice.  I can stew in the worry of today – or I can see the beauty in the midst of confusion and pain.

We were traveling on a sailing catamaran from Annapolis to Charleston, in a hurry to get back home before school started.  Each morning began with a 4 am alarm as we set off before daybreak to make our way on the Intracoastal Waterway.  None of this matters now – except in terms of contrast – This was a trip that did not make sense.  We were riding the last coattails of prosperity; symptoms of crazy were beginning to sprinkle every interaction with intensity, confusion, conflict. There was a story being told that was not true – a glamourous tale of adventure, of risk, of wealth – crumbling yet being glued together with sweat, desperation, fear, and lies.

We would set out each morning in confusion  of where to go in the dark, of how to read the beacons, the breakers, the gps, the charts.  We had scenes of  disagreement on how to even operate a boat, then the mass of confusion would tumble back into our berth, the children still asleep, and I would captain the boat as the sun came up.

Though tough times were ahead and confusion and fear reigned in the moment, in these mornings alone, I let it all go, as if my future self visited me and said, experience this now, even though it hurts.  The water splashing up against the side of the fiberglass made a particular sound; a thousand tiny bells were rung as each bubble touched the boat and erupted – the sun touching the water made a sound – each micro moment was a symphony of interaction – water, sun, waking.  If I had tumbled into my thoughts – I would have missed the music.

The thoughts were so seductive, thoughts of trying to diagnose manic behavior, fix the unfixable, make sense of senselessness, relive  verbal exchanges over and over.  Instead, I listened to the music.  It would be a while before I could step away – a good two years, yet I could put everything aside – live step-by-step and allow my ears to be baptized in the grace of each tiny splash, the sound of morning, the interaction that we were created for – to see hear taste the beauty, despite my little story.  Water sings in every form: steam, bubble, froth, placid, storm.  Our ears can hear it in the sink, the rain, the waves, the shower.

Water’s song, once unwrapped, never stops calling me back,  piercing the bubble of my wandering confusion, waking me with tenderness again and again.

‘Where Everything Is Music’

Don’t worry about saving these songs!

And if one of our instruments breaks,

it doesn’t matter.

We have fallen into the place

where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes

rise into the atmosphere,

and even if the whole world’s harp

should burn up, there will still be

hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.

We have a piece of flint, and a spark.

This singing art is sea foam.

The graceful movements come from a pearl

somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge

of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive

from a slow and powerful root

that we can’t see.

Stop the words now.

Open the window in the centre of your chest,

and let the spirits fly in and out.

  ~  Rumi – Translated by Coleman Barks


15 Responses to “This singing art is sea foam”

  1. bwcarey April 29, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    running water, life, it’s a great story, your sail was life imitating reality and nature together, amen

    • marga t. April 30, 2014 at 12:09 am #

      For my lil’ fractal self, there is such teaching in the way life/nature/unfoldment mirrors back what is most needed, at just the time it can be seen. Splash.

      • bwcarey April 30, 2014 at 10:41 am #

        i look in the mirror, is that really me!, amen

  2. Awareness ItSelf April 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    “If I had tumbled into my thoughts I would have missed the music” confusion and pain as music, Rumi opening the window in my chest to let the spirits fly in and out, I hear this song reaching to my ears through my thundering storms. I will listen for the song in the rains today, Namaste sister:)

    • marga t. April 30, 2014 at 12:11 am #

      Hey sister, cool to imagine the thunder booms in your world, when all that took me to this water memory was some splashing in the sink 🙂 Naaa maaa stay – Erin!

  3. smilecalm April 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    seductive, beautiful dreams floating across consciousness
    so hard to let go of their songs, as well as you have to-date!

    • marga t. April 30, 2014 at 12:12 am #

      row row row my boat – such a dream! Hope rain visits your land more often these days!

  4. Andrea April 30, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    “Open the windows in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out.” Oh yes!

    • marga t. April 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      Some moments can be like, Rumi, you a**; what windows, what spirits? You don’t really know!
      But thank goodness, all goodness, Most moments are like, Yes, Rumi, windows…spirits, of course!

      • Andrea May 1, 2014 at 11:38 am #

        There has been rain here, through the night and into the morning, and I had the beautiful experience, as I snuggled up in the night and drifted to sleep, to feel your lovely presence with me. Tap tap tap and swish swish and we are all clean in the morning. 🙂

  5. Michael April 30, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    This was a really touching share. I think what I relate to most, if I have this right, is the sense of living on borrowed time. I also love the surreal overlay of the timeless onto the crumbling post card moment, the way each of us remembers little things that mean everything– fragments of eternity that are sprinkled on our path. We pick them up without knowing why. Later… we remember.

    I was talking with some friends about the strangeness of this past April. The intense undertow. The slightly broken lines. Like I must have turned off the highway and into a swamp. The map said it was a park. Front wheels up to their axles in leaves and water, so… probably have to get a tow. I notice the bees. Can’t remember what day it is. The sense that something at some point has to give. This is what I mean about borrowed time. This is strange country. Rumi is a guide who has scrambled back and forth across this no man’s land countless times.

    It’s been a time of being amazed at how well the lives of those around me seem to make sense. Like they got a manual I didn’t. I know how close I am to the line, can almost taste it. I rest for a moment, here, in the shelter of your words.


    • marga t. May 1, 2014 at 3:28 am #

      Miguel, There is a much appreciated shelter in some common manual that we got instead – a manual for being willing to be stripped in this lifetime. The overlaps with my kin who carry the manual for the unafraid of discomfort are so removed – yet inexplicably close. Too uncanny to even convey is a knowing of some agreement, almost like an imagined connection that isn’t there when I am shrouded in forgetting. Just in that moment, in sweeps all the marvelous M’s, and various other alphabet players I know, to say – see other people speak the lingo, sit with you here, nod in knowing – picking up the torch in synchronized turns, as you have conveyed. All of this interaction is another way of flowing, another time, another rhythm that doesn’t play by the same play book. When I drop out, and find myself back in the other game, it is so utterly meaningless, I’m lost. over an over again.

      Wat up, my man, with April? Sheeesh. Swamp land, fo sho. I was looking for macro world changes, but instead I got micro crumbling all inside of me. Your words that were sent out, marking your time, were very familiar – how great to know we can all share in real time, the real unfoldings. Breathing into that truth.

      My heart is grateful for the depth of your understanding here. Traipsing around in memory be so “back then” – but you got it…borrowed time, timeless marked against a clock of desperation. I move on, but at times say, hell – something went to a lot of trouble to orchestrate such beautiful squeezings to help me pop up and out of my own creations! We are loved so much it hurts 🙂 Sending you a deep bow; tomorrow begins the month of May; whatever will it bring? xo! m

      • Michael May 2, 2014 at 12:45 am #

        “…another way of flowing, another time, another rhythm that doesn’t play by the same old play book…” I love this, and it is how I experience life, as a superposition of sorts. The needs of the day can be met with Love, and even so they fill time to the brim. Then there are those little gaps that pass in a wink of an eye when you know… this isn’t my real life, at least, not the half of it. It’s like the bumper sticker that says my other car is a sleigh or whatever. In flashes we see it: the rest of us is already Home. I love the way you describe this.

        This traipsing back, it seems like this stuff finds us, asking if we have anything else to say or add, before it leaves us forever… We are loved so much, indeed.


  6. seeingm May 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    Was there an April? It seems to have melted away in a misty memory that now only recalls a few movements of light across vague walls and that is about it. I find myself as self laughing quite a bit now into May at the absurdity of “it” all as I move with my bits of flesh in close proximity to others in the air. I am continually asked to be “ungrounded” in so many interesting ways…and when flying, tired becomes teacher in such unexpected ways.

    Sleep deprivation: It says: “So M (meaning me 🙂 ), you think you are such hot spiritually focused sh*t?…Let’s give you only 4 hours of sleep on the run before working your full boat 15 hour days.” Gracious the humble pie served when focus frays and all I want is to be cloistered with my pillow. Please leave the toast and tea by the door don’t be concerned if it remains uneaten.

    “to see hear taste the beauty, despite my little story”

    …yes yes yes!! the big story coming home and redecorating the house by bombing certain rooms past recognition leaving our ability to live in them, around them and through them any more askew for now. Are we earning a place at the table of the comfortable certainty of pervasive uncertainty? lol

    Such sailings keep us on our toes, keep us on our toes until we are ready to fly again or drowned trying 🙂 .

    Puffy eyed love sent from a rare and precious 24hrs on the ground. -x.M

    • marga t. May 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

      I think you may be right; April was cancelled, but we now have some catching up to do in May:
      The May Board of Specials: HUMBLE PIE – as much as we can eat!
      So glad to hear you in the next room, barely stirring in order to rest up for your next bout of long days. The toast and tea will be replenished as needed; partake whenever you are able:)
      But I do want to ask, who has been dropping all these bombs? I think I catch a sight of her at times, but she is quickly flying away after she does her deed, probably ringing the door out back then running to the front in glee – I want to catch her in the middle and delay her merriment in deconstructing my houses for a bit, at times!
      Maymester puffy eyes send love right back your way – smiling for the joy of tangible connecting! xo!!m

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