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THE DANCER IN THE RYE by Tadiya Dasi


This is a poem I wrote for the younger version of me...

As a teenager, I had a strong feeling that I needed something more than the "normal" daily life with its routines and I was tired of chasing the society's empty goals from the get-go. The daily bread wasn't enough then, and it's still not. 

I remember feeling frustrated that even the religion I was taught was offering me just platitudes instead of something real and experimental. Though there are references to Christianity in this poem, I mean no disrespect -- it's just how I experienced the faith then -- and I know that Christianity has a lot to offer to a many thoughtful and kind people.

The trouble was that I wasn't really sure what I needed - what would truly make me feel alive -  and therefore I felt alienated and fearful of the prospects of life. The "catcher in the rye" obviously refers to the book ;)

Now, I just want to hug the younger me and say, Don't worry, embrace the not-knowing, the search for something real, and know that good things can be hidden in sorrow and despair. 


 The Dancer in The Rye


I was the catcher in the rye
looking for what I know was missing
in me, my life, and everyone else's too

but I did not know how to proceed
from the plenty that was my life
but still lacking somehow

all I knew was that
love cannot be a lack

I needed a lot
then needed nothing, for a while
chased the nothing that's more
than the plenty
but still so empty

there's always the hole
that even the whole cannot fill

no returning to wholeness
is whole -  it always comes down to this:
there are cracks on the sidewalk and you

need I be fulfilled or can I go
on running on empty?

Can't be more than what I am
but I am less than I could be

I feel myself
sinking
flowing through my own backbone like hair
cascading
and dark

water sliding
I am pouring out
to somewhere
that's nowhere

I watch the days as they go
and come
rollling my way

what to do with them
that's the question that keeps me awake
and rolling in my sheets

how to answer the questionless
question life offers
me at every second?

And meanwhile the candle's  burning on both ends
Baby, come light my fire
but don't close the door just yet

I'm lying here
waiting for something more than me
to fill this room

the ceiling's high
and I've been reaching for
impossible heights all my life

only God could have
long enough of an arm to reach me now
but I don't call his name anymore
I barely know my own

I lie still
waiting to be grabbed
to be pulled from my indecision

I'm anticipating something more than me
to take me, to make me
Is there still time
to make my mark, to pass the dark?

While
looking at the sky
my heart's leaving without my consent

I watch it go in a swirl
like an escaped balloon from the hands of a frightened child
fear lifts me up
I'm impossible to reach now

The doors are closing
and baby, I'm still not on fire

I'm not here nor there

I plan new beginnings
just to take away the sting of that closed door
I start again the milionth time

I've got all my blues
put to perspective by the sky
that opens up into it's vastness above me

I say to the sky and all his rainbows:
Teach me possibility
stretch my imagination to your heights

meanwhile
I'm catching the rye for
the daily bread
that never was enough to feed my soul

I want to ask everyone I know:
Have you ever been lost?  Lost in a way that you've got
the car keys in your hand
but your soul has flown away
and you're looking at the sky
just floating
still putting one foot ahead of the other on the ground
that's just not there anymore?

Is there something drifting in you, pulling your heart from the sleeves
that keep slipping your secrets
out?
The secrets that
all say the same thing:

somehow I know I could be
more than this
could be
catching more than the rye;
the daily bread just not enough

Life has one thing to offer, really
and it's a chance that everyone's got

the choice to be alive

and that's the dancing in the rye.

And while the prayer of the asking,
for the daily bread and to the father
seems to me more  hollow than hallow

still the name you and I call on our knees
might just be more than our own

that silence

it's the unkown we came from
and go to
it's not foreign and far away
but close by and kind

Be with that emptiness long enough
to find it's full of something
you just have no name for

and the dark you now fear
could become a shelter

between you and the unknown
is the whole universe
waiting for the love you have to give
nothing lacking in that

Let go and let yourself be immersed by the dark.
By that stranger
who comes like a thief in the night,
and knew you before you were born

loved you long before your mother held you
and is there to catch you between the worlds
of here and there

you can now fall in those same arms again
feel the the night as it drapes itself around you
and kisses you goodnight

you and that dark one
could have such sweet dreams
together

Close your eyes to see more clearly,
become a dancer in the rye.
Photography by Lans Vandegoor

Tadiya dasi is a bhakti yogini who has always loved to write and read. Mostly she has read about religions, both as a student of Religious studies in university as well as a student of the Divine studying the Bhakti-scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavata Purana. She writes mostly for her own pleasure, for self-reflection and creativity. Recently, she has begun to give lectures on bhakti yoga. Her favorite place to practice bhakti yoga is in one of her teacher's ashrams, surrounded by beautiful nature and lots of cows. She, though, lives mostly in Helsinki, the capital city of Finland. Her inspiration to write and to share bhakti comes from her teacher Swami Tripurari. You can email Tadiya at tadiyadasi@yahoo.com



~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~  

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