from the life and mind
of children's book author
Barbara Jean Hicks
For readers and writers, research can be endlessly seductive. I rediscovered this recently when I finished reading my friend Gwen Dandridge's children's novel The Stone Lions, set in the Alhambra in 14th century Spain.
The research Gwen did for this intriguing story set me off on a path of my own. After a Saturday night in the local coffeeshop with my laptop, here's the poem that describes my latest seduction (complete with links!):
HOT DATE WITH WIKIPEDIA
I gave him a goodnight kiss at Neoplatonism,
"a school of mystical philosophy
based on the teachings of Plato."
(I could have let him take me on to
not to be confused with Pantheism--
but I didn't want to give him the wrong idea.
I'm just not ready.
Really. I'm not that kind of girl.)
Anyway, at Neoplatonism he informed me
of the Primeval Source of Being
(The One and the Infinite),
the nous (the perfect image of the One),
the world-soul that embraces all souls
and generates and pervades the phenomenal world...
I could go on.
He DID go on.
What brought us to Neoplatonism in the first place
was dancing at Meister Eckhart,
"one of the most influential 13th century
Christian Neoplatonists in his day,"
according to Wiki;
a German theologian, philosopher, mystic
whose central theme was "the presence of God
in the individual soul,"
who taught the content of the gospels as
and was accused of heresy for it.
(There were many places other than
the kiss at Neoplatonism
we might have gone from here.
Wiki let me choose.)
We got to dancing at Meister Eckhart
via dinner at Mysticism,
"the pursuit of communion with,
identity with, or conscious awareness of
an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth or God
through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight."
A mouthful, even for Wiki.
From here we might have gone to Meditation
or Contemplative Prayer,
but since in Western Christianity
(according to Wiki),
Mysticism is best known
from the writings of Meister Eckhart,
and I'd stumbled across his name
in O'Donohue's Anam Cara just the week before,
I almost shouted:
"Oh, let's go dancing there!"
We got to dinner at Mysticism
after the first "Hello" at Sufism,
defined by its adherents--
so Wiki says--
as "Islam's inner and mystical dimension,"
though some believe it to be
"a perennial philosophy of existence
that predates religion."
we met at Sufism because I asked him to meet me there.
I'd been reading a novel about a Sufi mathemagician,
a term I thought the author had coined
until Wiki told me otherwise,
and I was intrigued.
Just who were these Sufis?
Hello at Sufi,
dinner at Mysticism,
dancing at Meister Eckhart,
a goodnight kiss at Neoplatonism:
All in all, an interesting Saturday night.
If Wiki calls again--
and I'm pretty sure he will--
I'll say Yes, I'd love to.
I wonder where we'll go next time?