Monday, January 1, 2018

Zohar: A poem about new beginnings

A poem about new beginnings for the new year. Originally posted 1 January 2008 to the JVoices blog which has been taken offline. Resurrecting the poem here for its tenth anniversary.

There is always fog
When the unformed forms.
First, it is a seamless thing,
Then it bulges and diffracts,
Shooting out worlds and barriers between worlds.

We do not see the flame as it is.
We trust the bad, mistrust the good.
Through persuasion and gratitude
In our left and right hands,
These daggers of radiance
Become feathers.

In you is a well of color.
Try to image the great beyond —
You can, though you are bound in clay.
Forty hues flow in your river,
And as many as you catch are yours.
So linger an hour in the presence.
If darkness scares you, stare and sprint.
Flare forth, lift skin, break veil.
Then will you see the well with which you see.

The eye sees color, but let the mind
Collapse in on the darkness,
Be at one, on fire again.

“Within the most hidden recess a dark flame issued from the mystery of eyn sof, the Infinite, like a fog forming in the unformed — enclosed in the ring of that sphere, neither white nor black, neither red nor green, of no color whatever. Only after this flame began to assume size and dimension, did it produce radiant colors. From the innermost center of the flame sprang forth a well out of which colors issued and spread upon everything beneath, hidden in the mysterious hiddenness of eyn sof. The well broke through and yet did not break through the ether [of the sphere]. It could not be recognized at all until a hidden, supernal point shone forth under the impact of the final breaking through.”
Zohar. English translation under supervision of Gershom G. Scholem, 1949.

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