Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I am the stone

I love that Canada is surrounded by such great diversity and culture.

I came across this poem last November, posted up on the inside of the bus, as I travelled to an exam. Its quite a different scenario from travelling in a bus in South Africa (which I would probably be too afraid to attempt anyway). But if I did, I would be bombarded by issues on public health, AIDS, immunisation etc. Actually in South Africa, it has its place and plays an important role in educating the many people who take public transport, and did not grow up knowing basic things that a lot of us take for granted.
But it was a nice change, an unexpected bit of pleasantness, taking the bus and being surrounded by Canadian poetry. I would sit on one side of the bus, read the poetry along the opposite side, then switch sides to read the the poetry along the other side. It made a dreary bus trip an enjoyable one.
This is a poem by George Faludy, said to be one of Hungary's greatest poets. He lived in Toronto from 1967 - 1989, before returning to Hungary, and passing away in 2006. It is entitled 'Michelangelo's Last Prayer.'

Your anvil is the earth, and with your right arm
You span the arc of heaven like the sun.
Eight decades on this scaffolding a - lifetime -
I sought a sign of you, but there was none

Under my chisel marble fell to stonedust,
But only torsos, idols would be born.
I found you not, elusive, radiant, sunburst,
Who glowed there pulsing under every stone.

I have myself become an ancient stone block,
Split by vines, a still, curmudgeonly old rock,
But in my soul the old flame yet burns on

How can I shed this flesh that holds me prisoner?
Strike me, if you can love a hoary sinner,
Divine Sculptor, My God. I am the stone.

It's nice to be able to sit in a bus and have a realisation related your spiritual life.

I am the stone - rough, hard, plain, uninspired, uninspiring.
I pray that Krsna, as my Divine Sculptor, can shape me into the type of devotee He wants me to be, the type of devotee I should be.
I pray that I see all my life experiences, whether painful or pleasant, joyful or heartbreaking, as Krsna shaping me, chiseling away at my false ego, my pride and my material attachments; smoothing away my imperfections; carving out a devotee who is worthy of serving Him, not only in this lifetime, but in all my lifetimes to come.

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