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We Have Not Come to Take Prisoners

We have not come here to take prisoners,
But to surrender ever more deeply
To freedom and joy.

We have not come into this exquisite world
To hold ourselves hostage from love.

Run my dear,
From anything
That may not strengthen
Your precious budding wings.

Run like hell my dear,
From anyone likely
To put a sharp knife
Into the sacred, tender vision
Of your beautiful heart.

We have a duty to befriend
Those aspects of obedience
That stand outside of our house
And shout to our reason
“O please, O please,
Come out and play.”

For we have not come here to take prisoners
Or to confine our wondrous spirits,

But to experience ever and ever more deeply
Our divine courage, freedom and

-Hafiz (received in my Panhala email today)

(photo from Chesterman Beach in Tofino)

I adore Hafiz’s poetry, always playful and profound.  He was a Sufi poet of the 14th century and apparently the name Hafiz is given to those who learn the entire Qu’ran by heart. 

I love the closing lines: “For we have not come here to take prisoners / Or to confine our wondrous spirits, / But to experience ever and ever more deeply / Our divine courage, freedom and /Light!”

Wouldn’t that make a wonderful new year’s commitment?  To experience our divine courage, freedom, and light more deeply!  To surrender more deeply to freedom and joy?

What are the habits or patterns of your life that confine your wondrous spirit?  What would it mean for you to release into the gift of yourself hidden deep in the heart of your being? 

Imagine the path of light that would shimmer with your every step.  Then imagine a thousand paths of light when we all commit to this together.  The earth would tremble beneath our joy.

-Christine Valters Paintner

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5 Responses

  1. Wonderful poem and thought for the new year! I know that 2007 is going to be a wonderful year full of love and light.

  2. ahh….prayer and the elements. beautiful for your first book! elememtal prayer :) look forward to your stamp designs.

  3. Thanks Bette, I love your addition of the stars and the darkness! I am quite fond of this photo as well. One of my projects for my sabbatical is to start work on a self-published book with prose and art. I think my first one is going to be on praying with the four elements because over my trip I carved four stamps for them, which I will share in a couple of days.

  4. What an oasis of poetry, prose, and photography today. Yes! I accept light in my every step….playful, glistening light beneath my feet….and when night comes, all you will see are stars walking out into the darkness of my soul. I am in love with this photo of Chesterman Beach. Your photos and prose need to be in a book, my dear.
    Peace and hugs,