Archive for January, 2011

Don’t go back to sleep

Greetings and Happy New Year! Welcome to my new blog.

My first blog post focuses on my thoughts about the poem you may have just read in my New Year’s e-card and animation. If you didn’t read it, you might want to now…… Click here.

What attracts me to this poem?

First, I am always awed when I read Rumi: a window into the consciousness of a man who lived so long ago (1207-1273). I am amazed that his poetry still strikes a chord.

There are two ideas in this poem that interest me.

One is the notion of “threshold.” I think of a threshold as specific and solid as well as mysterious and ephemeral. The literal meaning is “the sill of a doorway; the entrance to a house or building.” Pretty reliable. I see it with my eyes. I can touch it. I enter into the room.

But it also means… “any place or point of entering or beginning.” According to whom, I wonder. I might experience an event as a beginning whereas you might not. Let’s say you take a train from New York to Washington, DC. I get on in Philadelphia. For me, Philly is the beginning of the journey. For you, New York is the beginning. Is there a second beginning for you, when I get in the train? Perhaps, if we are friends. But probably not, if we don’t know one another. My trip from Philadelphia to DC might herald a whole new business opportunity. Or not. Is this a beginning now? How do I tell?

Another definition of “threshold” is, “the point at which a stimulus is of sufficient intensity to produce an effect.” This suggests, to me, a surge after a collection of energy… It could be a sad or dangerous threshold: a pain threshold, a threshold of anger, or it could be a happy one: a discovery to benefit the greater good finally comes to fruition after enough research data is collected; or, we cross a threshold together, when enough trust has been earned to transform our friendship into a bonded, loving relationship.

We have just been swept across the threshold, into the New Year of 2011. Yet, the change might still feel ambiguous and dreamy. Some may not have given it a second thought, except to write 2011 instead of 2010. But we have a choice about how we think about this New Year.

That’s where the second idea of interest comes in… “going back to sleep.” Rumi says, “Don’t do it! Don’t go back to sleep.” To me, this means, “stay conscious.” I want to be awake and alert when I cross a threshold, even if it takes me a while to realize that I’ve crossed one. I want to be awake to notice the tender shoots that may be stirring and emerging…so I may nurture them. I am curious to discover the entrances and the energy collecting. Are we about to discover something new or different? I’d like to be aware and attuned to the natural processes of growth, to the beauty of everyday changes, as well as to the awe of significant transformation.

I wish all of you a year of interesting “thresholds” – thresholds that are reliable and easy and obvious to cross as well as thresholds that are dreamy and exciting to decipher. And I wish you many conscious glimpses of the beauty and the awe along the way.


Martha Lask’s Blog

Occasional musings about books, articles or tools that might be of interest; I welcome your comments.

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