the business of dropping keys

Gold Antique Kyes, photography by Am Sala


So much… my heart is full full full of new magnificent space.

We doubt ourselves so often. And so much. Though the idea of being brave has been such an huge one for me recently, sometimes when you are out there being brave, you wonder if what you’re doing has any real merit or purpose. If what you are doing will have any kind of lasting significance.

Which is when, I have found, Grace so often steps in and opens our eyes to the world around us and we see that in actuality we aren’t walking a highwire alone in the terrifying vastness of sky, (as it so often feels) but are in fact walking the perfectly sturdy floor of a huge and gorgeously appointed room, in the company of people who are more our brothers and sisters than those who share our blood.

Alright, Kiker, get to the point and stop being all metaphysical.

Here’s the deal. I watched a TEDx video by Chris Guillebeau the other day. I realize it’s a little long, but if you have a chance… it will be worth your time to watch it. (plus, he talks about crocodiles, killer whales and eating strawberries… rocking your world all the while) 


There were any number of great moments in the talk, but I think it’s around minute 15, that he quotes a poem by the Sufi master, Hafiz. And in the space of … 30 seconds, the truth and beauty of that poem beat on the divine timpani of my soul in ever-increasing power. Have you ever had moments like that? When you come across something external to yourself which seems to come from the very depths of your own unexplored heart?

Thing is, sometimes (often) I question the truth of me because I feel such hope; because I am consumed by such endless jubilee. I think of the writers I love and, see hope there, and attempt to silence my doubts. But doubt is a persistent animal. (Am I not being honest enough? Don’t I need to battle depression and despair to discover the truth of the human condition ((this may come, I realize … everything may come)) Am I being naïve and falsely optimistic when, despite intense personal suffering, I believe the universe to be full of beauty and wonder and light?)

So much of current culture- this postmodern wasteland of words and thoughts and ideologies and expectations- is empty of love and kindness and faith of any kind. So many are walking through existential forests and have chosen to set up camp there, so to speak. To deconstruct and to tear down all that they show to be meaningless. Which is good. I believe it to be good. But I do not believe it to be the end.

In the ontological pursuits of finding meaning, it is not enough to unmask the villains. We have to have the courage to, after proving them vacant and faceless (without form, and void), walk away from them entirely and dig for meaning elsewhere, awash in the hope of the possible.

What I am attempting to say, is that I have been questioning myself and the type of (it has been called ‘uplifting’ and ‘inspirational’… which is fine… but makes me think of a motivational speaker or some kind of greeting card) writing that has recently been trailing from my pen. And, although affirmation is never necessary, I have been given permission to continue. Permission to extend hope to the world (in whatever small way I am permitted); given permission by a 700 year old monk whose master would not stop referring to as a pregnant woman.

Here is my permission slip:


I want to be in the business of dropping keys.

It need not trouble me if they are picked up or left be, it need not trouble me that I sometimes, in the deep of night, bump my head against the moon. I need not give heed to the fancy, shining cages some of my contemporaries are constructing. It need not even trouble me that I must do this alone, or in the dark.

I need only be troubled with digging up Truth (if it is indeed the Truth which makes us free), fashioning it into keys, and dropping them among the cages at night.

And why? … for love, of course.

For the soul-consuming love of all the





8 responses to “the business of dropping keys

  1. I have not listened to the TEDx clip, but I have listened to you. I am not a stranger to personal suffering (and who is?) and it’s very difficult to crawl through miles of shit and come out clean (if you’ll forgive the Shoreshank Redemption allusion here), but I learnt a long time ago that cleanliness comes from within – that is where the shit doesn’t stick – and you, my friend, SHINE.

    Thank you for these words of Hafiz, and thank you for dropping a key for me.

  2. i love that poem by hafiz. one of my favorites. i wrote a post recently about a character i love throwing keys to the caged. that was inspired by hafiz’s poem. in fact, instead of saying my character had to duck the moon, i said she moved aside treetops. i don’t mind getting my inspiration from a master like hafiz, or learning and re-working some of his tricks.
    great post. go out and get the gift by hafiz.

    • i have ‘the gift’ right here next to me. (i combed the shelves of my local used bookstore… and came up with gold) it is devastatinglly luminous. i can’t even begin to think how his words and thoughts will trickle down into stories and poems and ideas for me.
      what’s the name of the piece you wrote? or paste a link here so everyone can hop over and read. i cant wait to hear your reworking of hafiz.

  3. What a gorgeous post! Oh thank you for commenting on my blog and thereby directing me here. You write beautifully. Thank you, also, for that Hafiz poem. Isn’t he magical?

    • completely. (here’s today’s installment: i do not/ want to step so quickly/ over this sacred place on God’s body/ that is right beneath your/ own foot/ as i/ dance with/ precious life/ today. — *deep sigh… undoing.)
      and i was so happy to have re-found your site. i was directed there some time ago by a friend, but shortly after, took a longish break from the blog scene entirely. when i started back up, i remembered you (your blog name is brilliant) and was so glad to dive back into your words.
      thank you so much for reading!

  4. there are no rules about the timing of this call to ‘arms’, but thirty-three years old is common to the theme,,,if you’re going to start a social revolution, the call to arms is about twenty-one (i guess you have to be old enough to vote, or drink)…i’ll write to you at length otherwheres…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s