Monday, December 15, 2014

BOOKS! (Symphony of the Soul)

After a class at Red Lotus back in August, I was perusing the selection of books that the studio was selling when I came across this one. I picked it up, thumbed through it, and decided to buy it. My class's instructor noticed my choice and told me that I'd made a very good decision; the book's author was very deep, insightful, and particularly observant of the workings of nature. Up until then she'd been happily chatting with an Indian man who'd also been in the class, and he smiled and agreed with her interjection. She then asked me if I would like my copy autographed. Autographed?  "Yeah, he wrote it!", she giggled and indicated the aforementioned Indian man. That man turned out to be Bhupinder Singh. I'd been in the midst of an author/poet and I didn't even know! "Really? Would you mind?" I asked him. He smiled again and assured me, "Not at all." Then he took my copy and signed it (before I'd even paid for it yet), writing:
Dear Danielle, 

I hope this book will inspired you on your journey.
Aug 08, 2014 
And there you have it. The story of the first time that I ever got a book personally signed by its author.

Symphony of the Soul: Melodies for a soulful life by Bhupinder Singh

Many writers and enthusiasts take poetry and music to be similar, if not one and the same. Singh takes this approach in treating all of his poems as songs, and all of the lines as melodies. Furthermore the vast majority of these "songs" are about love and intense connection. Rather than romantic love, however, this love is
indicative of oneness with God. And since this is a book by a yogi, there are also poems about freedom, openness, feeling more than thinking, releasing attachments, forgiveness, peace, quiet and stillness, self-discovery, and do on. He even muses on music itself. But love and the Creator are undoubtedly the most consistent threads in this work. And how fitting, seeing as how this book of poetry concerns itself with matters of the soul?

I also appreciate how Bhupinder recognizes that while writing is a profound experience, you never really grasp what it is you mean to say. You get superbly close, but you aren't actually able to get there. A natural response to this would be, Well then, why write at all? However, rather than the futility of writing, I think Bhupinder speaks to a beautifully humbling duality in which poetry conveys with so much depth, and yet experience and emotions are still too vast and multidimensional to be fully encapsulated by words. A poet who recognizes his limits, but writes anyway. I can dig that.

There are too many poems in this book (just under 160) for me to pick a favorite, so as usual here are a couple favorite quotes instead:

"All that is not love evaporates in no time
All that is not love evaporates in no time" (Cup of Love, p. 15)

"We see 
the world
as we know it
We miss
what is true

We look for
as we know him
We miss 
right in front
of our open eyes" (God, p. 155)

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