Poem for Today, by Mirabai
Use the Geometry
He left His fingerprint on a glass the
Every religion has studied it.
Churches and temples use the geometry of those lines
to establish rites and laws and prayers
and our ideas of the
I guess there is just no telling how out of hand—and wonderfully wild—
things will get
when our lips catch up to
Mira, or Mirabai (1489 – 1550)
I opened the book this morning to this poem. I’d marked it before. But it struck me today as it simply puts something I believe passionately—that religion gives us rules and roads, the “geometry of those lines” to lead towards faith and the more-than-us, but that these rules and roads are not actually either faith or more-than-us.
In this poem and in the few others of Mirabai’s that I have read, there’s a metaphor of embodiment and an allusion to sexuality to make her point about god, or, the more-than-us. Besides our through embodied selves, how else do we know anything? If we are lucky, we know that we come from love, that we are made to love, that love is our way to more-than-us. Our bodies—all bodies—are intricately tied to love.
In the wake of the Orlando massacre, made in the name of hatred, and against acceptance and freedom to love, specifically in the LGBTQ community, I am trying to see beyond the fingerprints on the glass.
I am so sad, so disappointed in our world where we continuously war and destroy people we fear and who we don’t understand. I am trying to see beyond the fingerprints on the glass.
I talked to a man from Tel Aviv last night, and Orlando came up. He said, what’s happening here, now, reminds him of growing up in Israel in the 80s and 90s. This horror show of guns and hatred and control isn’t new, but it is happening more often and more visibly in the United States. I am trying to see beyond the fingerprints on the glass.
I am trying not to despair. I know that there is potential for the “wonderfully wild” in us. But I think we all need to believe in it more and to try to catch up to god.