Sometimes (well, oftentimes), I feel totally alone in my state of mind. My thinking. In the way that I view the world. I seek constantly to open my eyes. To transcend mere momentary experience. I want more than breath and eyes. I look for meaning. I try, even amidst the common cesspool of everyday life and of meaningless interactions and of the spew of social media bullshit, always I try to dive down, deep, and find something there worth reflection.
It seems it is the times in my life when I do feel most alone that I, somehow, chance upon a book. I open that book and inside I find a friend (or two) that I never knew existed, but that I had all along nonetheless.
Maybe I'm a deep thinker or a daydreamer or just a believer but more and more it seems I'm having to find a likeness to humanity from within the pages of a book. Perhaps it's just this old rundown, nowhere town. And smite me if you are from this area or not, but I'm struggling to find like-minded, open-minded, knowledge-seeking, loving, forgiving people from where I am right now. This old gray, cracked, sad little town has offered me nothing in the way of growth. The bible belt is a very uninspiring corner of the earth for which to reside.
But I know my people are out there. The explorers, the dreamers, the makers, the believers, the lovers, the healers, the writers and readers. People with soul. And I'm not talking sermon. I'm talking, soul. Real soul people who feel and remember and explain and partake in the sweet, simple mysteries of life and understand that the simple is really the grandeur. People who know to reach out with open hands, to extend some gratitude. Those with eyes open to all the little wonders of this vast and sparkling universe.
Soul people are magical people. Oftentimes reflected upon by the simpletons to be about as entertaining as a circus sideshow. Simple pay-check pushing, penny-reveling, greedy people who seek the limelight and instant gratification will never understand the sweet experience of merely sitting in a chair, hand over their heart, feeling their blood pulse and understanding how phenomenal and rare that one experience is, let alone the whole thread-spool of life. But people with real soul do get it. They live it and seek it and write about it and live the dream of it every single day.
No, I am not finding soul in the people whose paths I'm stumbling across lately. But I know there are those out there like me. And it seems I always find them when I'm starting to believe there's no one left like me at all.
Today I chose a book at random. I have a subscription to Scribd (netflix for ebooks, really is what it is). And, having been dealing with some hard issues of my own lately. Personal issues really, questions of life and fate and reason, I was faltering. And so in my search for answers, or for at least something cheery, something to really assist me in making sense of this life, I stumbled across a book titled A Year With Rumi. I will tell you, I have not yet even made it past the forward...but I know I've found a friend. A fellow troubadour in Coleman Banks (and a whole montage of others whose voices appear in this book). The first few pages, alone, have reassured me that there are those in this world who still have soul.
There is a passage inside the book, referring to the soul people, my people, myself: If this scruffy, thoughtful, ecstatic crowd needs a name, call them them DUMS, the Disreputable Unaffiliated Mystics, though most are not at all disreputable, and many are devoutly affiliated. Vitalists. Advocates of a perennial philosophy. Pan-somethings or other. Whatever you dub these bright beings, they recognize one another across the centuries and cultures...
Yes. With a deep breath, and a sigh of relief, I will begin my year of inspirational readings of Rumi and his poetry. I will allow his teachings to continue to teach me. To breach the centuries with mere words: for the soul is timeless, ever-changing, yet steadily the same. And found inside so few people these days.