Lights Go on Part XXI: Now

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I love "Now."

I didn't always -- used to look into the future a lot, then in the past a lot -- then somehow, "Now" and the power it brings with it, garnered my full attention.

One of the gifts that accompanies "Now" I find both simple and profound.

It blocks me from thinking about the future or ruminating about the past.

Now is Now.

It can only be Now.

I believe that the future as well as our past are valuable pastimes (sorry) in proper portions.

That is probably why they occur to us.

There are times though, when the future and the past take up too much room in my present.

I believe Hafiz expressed this sentiment most elegantly in his poem:


The violin
Can forgive the past

It starts singing.

When the violin can stop worrying
About the future

You will become
Such a drunk laughing nuisance

That God
Will then lean down
And start combing you into

When the violin can forgive
Every wound caused by

The heart starts

My introduction to this poem came in a most extraordinary manner.

I was driving across country, happily listening to the soothing voice of Eckhart Tolle, reading his significant tome, A NEW EARTH, when I heard a buzz.

The name of my cherished friend, Vicky Virtuoso, appeared on the screen of my phone.

"Hey TOV" (a treasured moniker that V2 has bestowed upon me: "The Other Virtuoso")

"What are you doing besides driving?"

"I'm Listening to Eckhart Tolle read 'A NEW EARTH.'"

"Turn it off."

"And why would I want to do that?"

"Because I'm going to read you a poem."

I paused Eckart, and V2 began to read the poem I shared with you above.

"Wow, Vicky, this is like Eckhart in poetic form. They must be contemporaries!"

"I don't think so, Hafiz lived in the fourteenth century."

"Whoa," was my response.

Vicky offered to read more, the result being that I became enthralled with Hafiz, particularly through the loving as well as beautiful translation of Daniel Ladinsky, who has since become a esteemed friend.

V2 read on and I couldn't get enough. Earlier, when the phone had buzzed, I had happened to glance at the odometer.

A good while later, after V2 had shared countless Hafiz masterpieces and said,

"Well, I guess that's enough for now."

"Wow, V2, you've been reading to me for eighty miles!"

"Fuck it, let's go for a hundred!"

And we did.

I was hooked on Hafiz.

Shortly after that, I received a copy of "THE GIFT" in the mail and, of course, it was from V2.

I now consider Vicky to be "My Muse," for she is all of that.

Since my introduction and subsequent romance with the poetry of Hafiz, I have created a song cycle on selected poems that sang to me as I read them.

You know what? All of these occurrences happened in the "Now," and I was forever changed by them.

I have also been illuminated by Eckart's most popular book is entitled, "The Power of Now."

So, I offer this brief remembrance to you and sincerely hope that you enjoy reading it in the "Now."

And now (haha), it is time for me to sign off.