Sada Hadur Hai

by Rachel Creager Ireland

So there was that man in church who spoke
of his daily quiet time. He would meditate
and ask, What direction is my life moving in?
Where is God leading me?
He was a successful businessman
so I thought I’d probably do well to
learn from his advice, but I can’t meditate. My brain
goes wandering off like a bemused toddler.
Similarly, my life has no direction in particular. Nothing
I expected even looks likely.
And that was before I had to take out that car loan
and hustle more massage business to pay for it, before
the dryer died, my hair falling out from that thyroid thing,
the cracked pipe flooding motel room 6.
I still do yoga,
when I can collect myself. It takes a while.
I put on some peaceful yoga music, a Sikh chant: Moh mohia,
[Infatuated with emotional attachment]
janai dur hai. [we think that enlightenment
is a long journey away.] Koho Nanak, [something about a guru]
sada hadur hai.
[but really it’s here, now.]
I sing along. I lose count
of the sun salutations.
I stand on the mat in mountain pose, looking out
the leaky patio doors, wondering what enlightenment
is, and whether it’s something I really want,
anyway. I have too much to do to allow myself
to be distracted by the Eternal. Moh mohia.
My sick thirteen-year-old coughing on the couch.
She doesn’t like the repetition,
but Dilpreet and I know it takes a thousand
times before you really get it. Janai dur hai.
Triangle pose. Breathe. Forward bend. Bridge.
Ten-year-old watching instructions
for how to make a champion paper airplane.
When I get to final savasana, I try to listen to my breath.
An actual corpse wouldn’t cling to the body so.
Would melt into the floor. Would not notice
that paper airplane flying overhead.
Listen to the breath.
Coughing on the couch. Moh mohia. There’s so much
distraction and noise, I can’t even hear my breath.
And in this moment I see that God is leading me to write poetry.
All this noise, it’s not distraction, it’s the It, it’s the All, it’s the
What it all is. I am to be a poet, navigator of
incomprehensible juxtapositions. Surfer
on the waves of ego, emotion, and event. Witness and scribe
of this body, this being, this
Sada hadur hai.