Sunday, June 29, 2008

A little Sufi is good for you (My Sacred Life, Sunday)

Many years ago, before I had any knowledge at all about Sufi mysticism, I submitted a poem I had written to a website which displayed submissions of others. The person who acted as the webmaster wrote back to me, explaining that he was happy to post my wonderfully Sufi-like poem.

I find it impossible, when something I have done is compared to some other thing I know nothing about, to avoid immediately seeking that other thing out so I can come to understand the similarities.

So, I gradually became more familiar with the writings of the great Sufi mystics, and I did see that there were similarities.

Here is a recent example. It's very short and simple, a piece I wrote specifically intending a Sufist-like energy.

Never Gone

It has been so long since I have seen you.

Too long. Far too long.

It has been a deepening absence,

This time that you've been gone.

Do you feel it, too?

Do you feel a hole inside your heart

Where my spirit once resided,

The perfect match for the hole now in mine?

Then, I felt a tingle

That little, subtle up-the-spine tingle

And I knew for certain

That you were never gone.

This piece was inspired by a poem by m. Claire entitled, "The Longing". (

m. Claire is not a Sufi as far as I know. I'm not either, but I have come to admire the Sufi expression to the divine of what one feels as if the divine is a lover, either present or long-lost, or just yearned for during a day of separation. In fact, my first Sufi love poem to which I refer at the beginning of this post was written, as far as I knew, to an as-yet-undiscovered, imagined woman.

It is a more-intimate means of expression because it comes from a place of love and desire, not a place of worship. At the same time, it is, to me, a more pure expression of love than any worshipful words I have seen. Don't worry--I'm only expressing my own deep feelings on this subject, not seeking to convert anyone else to become a Sufi mystic!

On the other hand, reading a little Rumi never hurt anyone...


MysticSaint said...


welcome among the sufis. :)

Rick Hamrick said...

Thanks so much, mysticsaint!

I'll be visiting your blog to learn more.

Angela said...

I have a couple of Rumi books and a friend gave me a Rumi calendar for Christmas last year. Reading Rumi always, always affects me and can shift a mental attitude like quicksilver. Hmmm, now where are those books? :)

Rick Hamrick said...

Angela--I actually have a Rumi collection on my desk at work, and when my glance falls on the book, I will pick it up and open it to a random page. It serves as a great two-minute break from whatever is going on at the time.

The other book in my mental-break pile is Wayne Dyer's book,
Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. Same deal--I just pick it up and let it tell me what page to read in that moment.

Good to see you out and about, visiting your cyber-neighbors, Angela!