Closer

Throughout my life I’ve bought books intending to escape into them that day only to find that for weeks I just can’t seem to get past the first chapter. It’s very frustrating and being totally irrational, I’ve felt resentment towards the book that refuses to be read and banished it to the shelf.

The book will sit on my shelf for a month, year, decade until I finally re-discover it (usually because I can’t get past the first chapter of a newly purchased book) and then, well, then I can’t put it down. And it has been profoundly relevant to have read it then, at that point in time.

This has happened more than once and in fact it’s happened so many times I’ve arrived at a theory. Most everything is worth reading but not everything is meant to be read right now.

I’ve come to believe that stories, music, movies, art finds you when you’re in a place to take meaning from it. Ok, this may exclude a good old Jackie Collins novel or dare I say Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray. Then again, maybe not; who am I to judge.

This week I discovered an American Persian poet, Anis Mojgani. I’ve disappeared into YouTube for hours to hear everything I could find but the poem that resonated with me most is Come Closer.

Through a random WordPress blog, that try as I might can’t find again, was a line out of Come Closer –

‘…but believe me when I tell you that my soul, my soul has squeezed its way into narrow spaces’

Intrigued, I googled the line and happened upon the magic that is Anis Mojgani.

‘Your smile is a sign of how sacred your life actually is’

Watching it the first time, I was spellbound mostly by the rhythm of his words and how powerfully serene his performance was. To actually hear the words I played it again, and again, and again.

Really good work becomes more interesting, more alive, more multi dimensional with repeated listens. Average gets tedious, genius is new every time. And this is genius.

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‘I’ve shaved off so many of my corners I’ve felt at home only in a ball’

I confessed to a friend recently that I’m only here at the very beginning of this journey and already I’m finding it overwhelming. It’s fear. Fear that despite my best efforts I won’t be able to actualise the change I’m seeking. The kind of fear that stops you trying, lest you fail.

‘Your hearts are like my hands somedays all they do is tremble’

‘I too at times am filled with fear, filled with fear. But like a hallway must find the strength to walk through it’

Throughout the poem he repeats come closer, come into this. It’s feels like a beckoning to surrender. To truly come into this journey.

This poem speaks to me of a path that’s been lost, the pursuit of change and the fear in doing so. Failure is a risk. But what’s the alternative?

If I wasn’t meant to find this artist and this poem at this exact moment in my life, I’ll eat my hat.

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