A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. ~Oscar Wilde

Posts tagged ‘dreams’

Is your list ready?

Here it is. Once again. Like clockwork. Inevitably. A New Year. There are a few more Earth days to 2016, but the world is busy planning for that moment just past midnight which we will label 2016. Is it the Westernised world only? Let us just accept that a majority of the world, regardless of the calendar they culturally follow, are thinking to some extent of their New Year resolutions, with regard to the moment that 31 December 2015 will roll into 1 January 2016.

Sure enough, on the blogs I follow, and in the emails I receive, many people talking about what they hope to achieve in 2016, how best to do so, and some are even sharing some of what they dared to wish for and did achieve in 2015.

There are the “doers” like Tony Robbins (e.g. New Year New You, although this is a video from a while ago, I am guessing that his advice would be the same today), the practical spiritualists like Slade Robinson (Bite sized goals),  the dreamers like Nina Lamy (The Pollyanna Plan) and let us never forget the totally “out there”, “taking it to the extreme”, Abraham (one site you can find them on) who are proponents of the “Feel Good” path to your dreams.

There is a constant tug of minds between the so called scientifically minded, and the supposedly opposite spiritually inclined, as well as the whole gamut of people who are sort of inclined towards one path, while also believing in the other path as well. But everyone, possibly, agrees on one thing. They all agree that all people wish for their tomorrows to be more spectacularly fun than their yesterdays.

So you have those who tell you to dream big. Write it all down. Make a list, or many. Break it down into chunks. Go hell for leather. Aim for the stars and you will at least reach the clouds.

Others tell you to go the more cautious way. Dream big, but not too big, as you may be setting yourself up for failure. Follow step one, two, three….

There are those, and these people catch the most flak, who say that ALL you have to do is to feel great. Happy. Joyous. In love with what you already have. Expect what you wish for to manifest. ALL of what you wish for. This is perhaps the most difficult recommendation to swallow. For our life experience tells us a completely different story. If we want to have a drink of water, we have to get off our backside, walk to the tap, fill out a tumbler, and drink it. Or we have to ask someone for it. Point is, something needs to DONE before something happens. No pain, no gain. We need to push ourselves to just those 2 mm over our limit to get that extraordinary life. Besides, who can remain constantly happy in the face of the barrage of “evils” that life can throw at us?

Of course, the answer to this, we hear, is that our experience has been shaped by our expectations. And so the dialogue continues. Does our expectation shape our manifestation, or do we expect what has manifested?

We are always  eager to manifest so much, right now. Our education has taught us that we need to work hard in order to get anything. I think therein lies the problem. As soon as we say work “hard” we paint what can be a joyous experience in ugly colours. Hard. Difficult. Strenuous. Sweaty. Sleepless hours. Straining muscles. Aching head. “GMMMPPPFFFFH!” Every thing that is un-fun, scary and horrible.

Let us consider, in our cynicism, that we will never achieve a hundred percent of our dreams. That it is all too hard, too distant, perhaps even too unworthy. Let us then consider whether we enjoy being bogged down by that cynicism. As we live our day to day lives entwined in the mundane, do we have to ignore all the small wonders that lift our hearts and make our spirits sing? Even in the darkest hours is there not always something that we can look to, and say “Thank you for being here, right in this moment, to remind me that all is not lost”?

Let us consider, again, what that recognition of the small beauties leads to. It leads us to feel better, and even more than that, feel good. Is there not always that chance that this good feeling will make us more attuned to the other scattered bits of magic around us? May not this awareness lead us to seek more? More feeling good, more noticing the divine in the mundane?

Death_to_stock_communicate_hands_1Does that mean that there is a possibility that, by the end of 2016, we will have reached a place of more beauty through a journey of more adventure? Does that mean that the advice of the stalwarts may actually carry a grain of sense? Or two? Why not give it a try? Why not choose a path, there are many, to our own fun? Santa has made his list, and he has delivered. Now is the time for us to make our list, and the beauty is, that the Universe will deliver. Before you argue the point, is your list ready?

 

photo credit: Death to the Stock Photos

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Translations and trans life

There are some tasks which are so difficult that the mere thought of completing them can paralyse. I don’t know whether the difficulty of this particular task has been built up in my mind to it’s incapacitating proportions, or whether the task is indeed very, very difficult.

For as long as I can remember, it seems from Nursery Rhyme days,  I have been a worshipper of Bengali poet and philosopher, winner of The Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, the inimitable, the wizard of words and sorcerer of ideas, Rabindranath Tagore. I have long admired his poetry, even before I began to understand it, because I could recite it end to end without any idea of what the poetry meant. The words knit into each other so well, the rhythm flows so beautifully, that the poems wield themselves into memory easily and effortlessly. As a child I could, as now, recite his poetry, and more often his songs ( I have a flat line voice which does not lend itself to singing) and be lost in the rhythm and the flow paying no particular attention to the meaning. The words fit into each other in a lilting seamless jigsaw puzzle with such precision that if one was to be removed, a substitute is not possible. This is as true of his poetry as of his prose.

This is not to say that the works themselves were superficial or meaningless. In fact much the opposite. Tagore, above all, was a philosopher. His works major and minor, are all artistic philosophy at its best. This is why translating him is such a behemoth task.

It is a great pity, there is no translation of Tagore into English that I have read that brings me to within a hoi of the original. Dare I say it? Even Tagore’s own English translations fall woefully short of the magic his Bengali works invoke. Even the philosophy behind his works gets only partial justice, let alone the raw poetry and imagery of his Bengali words. There are many who do translate his works, and very skilfully so, but …. but….

As a person who can grow emotional over skilful use of words, and as a person who has always admired the power words have in creating images, I have long wanted to translate Tagore’s “Geetabeetan”, his collection of songs. First I had to mature much to even begin to do justice to the philosophy, and I do not believe I have the depth of understanding even now. I also feel that I do not have the power to create that poetry in English.

I feel, that in order to convey the songs of Tagore to a twenty first century world, I need to be able to transcend the century that has passed since his writing, and yet show the timeless beauty of his poetry. Many songs that he wrote seem to be written specifically for today, and yet there is no way I am able to bring this this to the world. I just don’t have the words. Nor the oomph. I have tried.

I often say to myself that if reincarnation is really a thing, I do not want to be born again. But perhaps I should. Perhaps, if I were born again, and I tried more single mindedly, I could actually translate Tagore into English, and pay due tribute to a human who has brought me overwhelming joy. In the meantime, in this life, I can continue to listen, hum, and sway to his songs, feeling their glory in each cell of my body.

What a pity, only some of the very few Bengali readers of this will understand why I am having such a fan girl moment.

In the meantime here are a few translated lines from Tagore’s own pen, for a small taste of the words that reach deep into the soul, the original of which is one of my favourite songs.

The World today is wild with the delirium of hatred,

the conflicts are cruel and unceasing in anguish,

crooked are its paths, tangled its bonds of greed.

All creatures are crying for a new birth of thine,

O Thou of boundless life,

save them, rouse thine eternal voice of hope,

Rabindranath, by himself

Rabindranath, by himself

Let Love’s lotus with its inexhaustible treasure of honey

open its petals in thy light.

O Serene, O Free,

in thine immeasurable mercy and goodness

wipe away all dark stains from the heart of this earth.

Thou giver of immortal gifts

give us the power of renunciation

and claim from us our pride.

In the splendour of a new sunrise of wisdom

let the blind gain their sight

and let life come to the souls that are dead.

O Serene, O Free,

in thine immeasurable mercy and goodness

wipe away all dark stains from the heart of this earth.

Man’s heart is anguished with the fever of unrest,

with the poison of self-seeking,

with a thirst that knows no end.

Countries far and wide flaunt on their foreheads

the blood-red mark of hatred.

Touch them with thy right hand,

make them one in spirit,

bring harmony into their life,

bring rhythm of beauty.

O Serene, O Free,

in thine immeasurable mercy and goodness

wipe away all dark stains from the heart of this earth.

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