Monday, January 11, 2016

an early disappointment

Christmas, done. 2016, had marched in into every one's life with varying degrees of fanfare and expectation.

i will not deny it. i have very high hopes that the early days, the first two weeks of January will bring me gladness of heart and fulfillment.  i have been so positive.  December 31, i was at work.  an hour before the advent of the new year, i cloistered myself at a quiet corner of our office pantry and closed my eyes.  focused my attention at the center of my forehead, a finger's breadth above my eyebrows.  the Sages say this is where the Soul is seated. with utmost love and reverence, i silently offered my prayer of thanks for the blessings I got for 2015 --
      thank you, Beloved, for the fortitude and strength and health you gave me and my family to overcome and hurdle life's challenges; for the joy of camaraderie and friendship, and for keeping us in Thy Holy Company ....

then, i continued with my plea for this new year --

      O Infinite, dear Beloved, you know my heart's aspirations more than i do, but at this particular moment, this i humbly ask of Thee.  i know you gave me a gift of song.  without much effort, You allow me to create melodies, tunes.   i believe You gave me this so i can be an instrument of Thine to share warmth and lightness of heart to fellow beings.  for many years now i kept this only for myself uncaring that i have not attempted to become the instrument you designed me to be.  But now, this is what i did, Lord, i entered two songs to a songwriting competition.  this is my attempt to submit to Thy will.  i know this is a sure way to share Thy gift of song.  if it is Thy will, let at least one of these songs to be considered ...

i ended my plea with thankful reverence and surrendered it to the bosom of the Universe.  it has been taught that once you have released your prayer or plea to the Infinite you need not think anymore about it.  let the Universe determine what is appropriate.

It is the second week of January 2016 now and i believe the songwriting competition is over.  the top twenty finalists have been chosen.  not any of my songs was considered. 

 i felt sad. 

 my daughter comforted me.  she said, " i was able to hear some of the chosen songs, Father, and your tunes were nowhere near the format of the melodies the judges preferred. "

" do you think i should create such like tunes? " i asked her.

" well, i know you can do it, but, if you follow their formula just so you can be chosen, i don't think you'll be happy, Father.  You should create music you love .. there are other songwriting competitions, let's try to find others where your songs will fit, where you need not follow others' formula .. "

she's absolutely right.  well, this is an early disappointment but the year is young and 

the Infinite has made known its will for this time.

i will just whistle my tune for now, and wait ... and look for other chances ..

if any one of you out there had experienced an early disappointment like i did, just let it be,

whistle a tune for now, and wait for other opportunities ...  


Christopher Dos Santos said...

Namaste brother Sito; the distance between desire and our reality. Your story reminds me of the words of a great poet. Although we are speaking of music, I believe this response in a letter is most appropriate.

In 1902, a 19-year-old aspiring poet named Franz Kappus sent a letter and some of his work to the hugely influential Bohemian-Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, and politely asked for some feedback. Some months later, the following invaluable response reached Kappus, and it didn't end there — over the course of the next 5 years, Rilke continued to write to him with advice.

In 1929, three years after his idol's death, Franz Kappus published Rilke's ten letters in a book.

(Source: Letters to a Young Poet; Image: Rainer Maria Rilke, via The BBC.)

February 17th, 1903

Your letter only reached me a few days ago. I want to thank you for its great and kind confidence. I can hardly do more. I cannot go into the nature of your verses; for all critical intention is too far from me. With nothing can one approach a work of art so little as with critical words: they always come down to more or less happy misunderstandings. Things are not all so comprehensible and expressible as one would mostly have us believe; most events are inexpressible, taking place in a realm which no word has ever entered, and more inexpressible than all else are works of art, myterious existences, the life of which, while ours passes away, endures.

After these prefatory remarks, let me only tell you further that your verses have no individual style, although they do show quiet and hidden beginnings of something personal. I feel this most clearly in the last peom, "My Soul." There something of your own wants to come through to word and melody. And in the lovely peom "To Leopardi" there does perhaps grow up a sort of kinship with that great solitary man. Nevertheless the poems are not yet anything on their own account, nothing independent, even the last and the one to Leopardi. Your kind letter, which accompanied them, does not fail to make clear to me various shortcomings which I felt in reading your verses without however being able to specifically name them.

Christopher Dos Santos said...


You ask whether your verses are good. You ask me. You have asked others before. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are disturbed when certain editors reject your efforts. Now (since you have allowed me to advise you ) I beg you to give up all that. You are looking outward, and that above all you should not do now. Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all—ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple, "I must," then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it. Then draw near to Nature. Then try, like some first human being, to say what you see and experience and love and lose. Do not write love-poems; avoid at first those forms that are too facile or commonplace: they are the most difficult, for it takes a great, fully matured power to give something of your own where good and even excellent traditions come to mind in quantity. Therefore save yourself from these general themes and seek those which your own everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, passing thoughts and the belief in some sort of beauty—describe all these with loving, quiet, humble sincerity, and use, to express yourself, the things in your environment, the images from your dreams, and the objects of your memory. If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place. And if you were in some prison the walls of which let none of the sounds of the world come to your senses—would you not then still have your childhood, that precious, kingly possesion, that treasure-house of memories? Turn your attention thither. Try to raise the submerged sensations of that ample past; your personality will grow more firm, your solitude will widen and will become a dusky dwelling past which the noise of others goes by far away.—And if out of this turning inward, out of this absorption into your own world, verses come, then it will not occur to you to ask anyone whether they are good verses. Nor will you try to interest magazines in your poems: for you will see in them your fond natural possession, a fragment and a voice of your life. A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity. In this nature of its origin lies the judgement of it: there is no other. Therefore, my dear sir, I know no advice for you save this: to go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it. Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what recompense might from outside. For the creator must be a world for himself and find everything in himself and in Nature to whom he has attached himself.

Christopher Dos Santos said...


But perhaps after this descent into yourself and into your inner solitude you will have to give up becoming a poet; (it is enough, as I said, to feel that one could live without writing: then one must not attempt it at all.) But even then this inward searching which I ask of you will not have been in vain. Your life will in any case find its own way thence, and that they may be good, rich and wide I wish you more than I can say.

What more shall I say to you? Everything seems to me to have its just emphasis; and after all I do only want to advise you to keep growing quietly and seriously throughout your whole development; you cannot disturb it more rudely than by looking outward and expecting from the outside replies to questions that only your inmost feeling in your most hushed hour can perhaps answer.

It was a pleasure to me to find in your letter the name of Professor Horacek; I keep for that lovable and learned man a great veneration and a gratitiude that endures through the years. Will you, please, tell him how I feel; it is very good of him still to think of me, and I know how to appreciate it.

The verses which you kindly entrusted to me I am returning at the same time. And I thank you once more for your great and sincere confidence, of which I have tried, through this honest answer given to the best of my knowledge, to make myself a little worthier than, as a stranger, I really am.

Yours faithfully and with all sympathy:

Rainer Maria Rilke

In Lak' ech dear brother Sito. Prosper with knowledge... live with joy...

sito saguid said...

Dearest Brother Chris

You never fail to find the right words to guide me. Upon reading this, I couldn't help but shed some tears. I actually have a copy of this book and it just now when you posted this comment that I appreciated the wisdom of Rilke's advice. Thank you so much. A great burden has been unleashed from my heart. I have gone into the depths of my inner world and and I know what I need to pursue. I will keep on writing and will go on creating and expressing my feelings and thoughts as honestly as I can. Fame nor Fortune will not be the measure but inner joy, that secret smile that the Infinite bestows upon my heart every time I am able to express ...

Thank you so much.

captron52 said...

Hi Sito The advice you received from Chris is just spot on. There is not much I can add to his words. But I will say this as to your writing. Once upon a time I was having my works published in different magazines and I thought my destiny was to make a living by writing. Later on I finally realized if I wrote just for the sake of getting published I was only feeding my little ego self. I was able to then start on a completely different journey with my writing. Now I only write when "Spirit" tells me to. Even more importantly I now expect no "payment" of any kind except to know that maybe even one person will gather something good from my works. Each day I try to make sure my ego is under control and is not making my decisions for me. Now when I do write it just feels "right". I'm not saying one should not try to publish their writings I'm just saying it becomes much easier when one writes from a state of Love for everyone. I feel sure your path you choose to be on will be one that helps bring a little more love and peace into this world. So I wish you well in all your endeavors my friend. Continue to let your love light shine brightly in all you do.

sito saguid said...

Dear friend captron52,

Thanks so much for the visit and I much appreciate your kind advice.same as brother Chris your words have cleared my sudden befuddlement with our craft of writing. we are, dear friend, wordsmiths, and I love this coming from you -- " l'm just saying it becomes much easier when one writes from a state of Love for everyone " --

Life, Light, and Love.