The Prophet, the Movie

I am a poet, once more lifted up to my calling— by a movie! A movie with Poetry at its heart –what hope enters me, to witness this rare phenomenon in the contemporary world. Kahlil Gibran’s poetry is portrayed in the film, The Prophet, as a treasured gift, even as an heroic character itself. I am grateful to have lived long enough to have some last vestiges of my youthful cynicism swept away, in the revelation of love and oneness shown in this simple yet complex story.

Adding a central story frame to one of the most popular collections of poetry ever published, in the movie the exiled poet, Mustafa, is both followed and assisted by a working class single mother and her mute troublemaking daughter. When Mustafa’s death is seen through by the child, the veil becomes transparent to the dreaming self within each viewer as well. In her brilliant directorial debut, Salma Hayek takes a cluster approach by putting various directors in charge of the eight poem segments of the story. Hayek says, “We wanted to make a film about freedom and unity and everybody connecting together. That’s why we picked animators who were so different from each other, from different parts of the world, with different belief systems, different ages, different styles. Every single animator who worked on one of the poems had complete creative freedom.”

That a woman Director made this film of Kahlil Gibran’s work her labor of love, makes an interesting parallel with another woman who silently supported Gibran. Mary Haskell financed Gibran’s artistic development, editing his English works and significantly affecting his writing.

Haskell was an educated, strong-willed and independent woman and an active champion of women’s liberation. Mary persuaded Gibran to refrain from translating his Arabic works to English and concentrate instead on writing in English directly. Mary’s collaboration and editing of his various English works polished Gibran’s work, most of which first underwent Mary’s editing before going to the publishers. She would spend hours with Gibran, going over his wording, correcting his mistakes and suggesting new ideas to his writings. She even attempted learning Arabic to gain a better grasp of Gibran’s language and his thoughts…The significance of Mary’s relationship with Gibran is revealed through her diaries, in which she recorded Gibran’s artistic development, their personal and intellectual conversations and his innermost thoughts for over seventeen years. (http://leb.net/gibran/)

 Gibran himself summarized The Prophet to Mary Haskell, saying: “The whole Prophet is saying one thing: ‘you are far, far greater than you know — and all is well.”

As for me, experiencing The Prophet the movie helps me dissolve final remnants of all manner of ‘protective’ negative thinking from my past. I am reminded that what has sometimes seemed to give me security in the world is actually a constriction of my Source self. Being moved by this unusual film to cease living small, I affirm and claim my true nature, my true size. I had recently been asking to be reminded of my purpose this lifetime— Granted! I am a poet, once more lifted up to my calling.

Next post up: How Ricki and the Flash with Meryl Streep is like The Prophet. (Can you guess?)

The Women Singing

The women singing
covered me with a quilt of harmony.
The Swannanoa River
skipped shallow over rocks,
bopping a fairy rhythm.
The ground under the oak tree
graciously took my weight–
Gladly I gave myself away.
On this bed of contentment,
I rested from thoughts,
from oughts, from plannings.

The women singing their cherished songs
penetrated the shield of my skin.
The women singing
came into my body like rainbow air
carried by my blood
to the edges of my skin.
The women singing
turned me into a shimmer of water.
Dissolved into earth like a rain of light,
I lay in the afternoon grass,
and I was nowhere else.

©Susa Silvermarie 2015

Susa and Annelinde blessing the Swannanoa River
Susa and Annelinde blessing the Swannanoa River

The poem’s backstory is that the call went out from Annelinde Metzner, Choir Director Extraordinaire:

“Re: our yearly concert, Blessings on the River: I have the Friends Meeting House in Black Mountain reserved for the afternoon of August 22nd. I am not up to giving a full-fledged concert, so let’s call this a party! Past and present members of Sahara Peace Choir, and your friends and relatives, choose a Sahara song or two which you would like to have fun singing. I’ve got lots of copies, and can bring my keyboard. Part of the afternoon will be to go down to the beautiful Swannanoa River and cast popcorn on the waters, to bless and envision pure and abundant water everywhere.”

And the call was answered by some 25 of us this past Saturday. We sang our hearts out for hours, we shared the abundance of healthy food, and we blessed each other and the waters with much love.  After the water blessing, I chose to lie down outside, to experience the blending of the voices as another blessing. No one wanted to go home, so the women sang some more, and we ended the afternoon in an exuberant dance!

 

Another Bend in the River

The meandering Peruvian Amazon

My life has taken another turn. Costa Rica was beautiful but I got sick and had to return before the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course was over. Physical challenges (like the heat, and the walking distance to the school, and no stove in my “apartment”) combined with the demanding schedule to do me in. I didn’t feel like myself, and my electrolytes were likely way off. So I hauled myself home. Big disappointment, though a success in listening to my body about physical needs.

I have today received a sweet offer from Costa Rica inviting me to finish the TEFL course by skyping in on the next training, and having the Director  skype in on me teaching here. Looks like that will probably work out.

Life has taken me on lots of bends and even some hairpin turns in the last six months, but I am deeply grateful. Though I thought my time in Asheville was finished, the Blue Ridge Mountains and, a new start with an old love, have called me to stay after all. I have my balance back and I’m feeling rich with life in every way. Stay tuned!

back to balance
back to balance

 

 

The Quietly Singing Thing

IMG_4893When aloneness looms
like a giant shadow on the ceiling,
when it windmills its wings
and it screams in both your ears–
connection is still the true thing,
the quietly singing thing.
As air is always there in your lungs,
belonging is always close and true.
When you have dangled singly,
and flailed as if
separation could be credible;
when you have foolishly forgotten
your own dear clan of earthlings,
when, myopic, you have imagined
you are a star without a neighbor in the cosmos,
then above all, you must listen,
and deliberately fix your attention.
For belonging will call you,
though it be by whisper or by sign.
Connection will beckon you softly back
into the big-bodied whole.IMG_4928