Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bedtime Poetry: Silentium

Sometimes before we go to sleep, my mother will read us some poetry.  I help my mother with the harder words.  Whenever she learns a new poem, I give her a big kiss as a reward.  For a while I tried giving gold stars, but they just stuck to my tongue.

This is part of a poem called Silentium! by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev.  I like poems that have exclamation points.

Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal
the way you dream, the things you feel.
Deep in your spirit let them rise
akin to stars in crystal skies
that set before the night is blurred:
delight in them and speak no word

Live in your inner self alone
within your soul a world has grown,
the magic of veiled thoughts that might
be blinded by the outer light,
drowned in the noise of day, unheard
take in their song and speak no word.


I am often surrounded by people, both at work and outside of work.  I dont mind because I love people and they love me.  But all this loving can get noisy and distracting, what with the kissing and the cooing and the constant Oh, Shamzi, youre so cute.  So when Im not working, its important for me to be still, in my mind and my body.  Some people call this meditation.  I dont do anything formal, like set aside a special time or place or put on a leotard.  I just try to be still in my everyday life and activities.
I like to be fully present in whatever I am doing, wherever I am, whoever Im with.  For example, lying in the sunny patch of our apartment and basking in the warmth, with eyes closed, belly asking to be rubbed.  Sitting on a patients warm lap, and being petted with complete love and tenderness.  Taking a walk close to nature, like in the park, the beach, or the forest.
We are so lucky to live in a city that contains these amazing pockets of nature amidst the concrete and the skyscrapers, like tasty bits of chicken in my dinner bowl.  I love the feel of soil (or the rocks or the sand, depending on where we are) beneath the pads of my feet.  I have to tiptoe around wet, muddy patches because I dont like getting my feet wet, and my mother wont always carry me.  I love the smells of the different trees, the sounds of rustling leaves as the sneaky squirrels try to avoid me, the sight of the sun streaming through tree branches like stained glass in a cathedral.  My mother and I can walk for hours without speaking.   The world is such a sacred place.

If we are constantly thinking or talking or doing things, then we are not paying attention to what is around us and more importantly, what is within us.  The great thing about being a dog is that I am not expected to speak.  I can be silent.  I bet people wish they could be dogs too.