Song for Vidya

Watch for me when you sleep —
dreams can be masterful fortune-tellers.
There is no distance too great, too far,
that wishes cannot traverse as mountain travellers.

Think of me when you wake —
there will be other fond remembrances.
Dreams cannot deceive; there is no substance
to your fears. I will come for you.

I will be in the farthest stormcloud.
Listen to the thunder — there will be my words.
Look upon the mountains, unyielding to the seasons —
there will be the rocks that turn to birds.

Talk to me in your wishes —
hearts can hear where ears cannot.
Time is but an obstacle which can be overtaken.
Wishes will bring nourishment as if holy waters.

Watch for me when you are worried —
dreams can be revealing sources.
There is no distance that is so far
that wishes cannot cross like hallways.

I will be as the waves on the ocean.
Listen to the thunder, there will be my words.
Look upon the mountains, unyielding to the elements —
there will be the rocks that we will turn to birds.

27 JUL 1991

Sometimes, a word can have a myriad of meanings. Take “vidya” for example, which in Sanskrit means knowledge, when spelled with a small ‘v’, or denotes knowledge leading to liberation, i.e. to the realization of Ultimate Reality, when spelled with a capital ‘V’. When I wrote this song, it was for a girl with that name — I did not know of its other connotations. But reading it now, almost fifteen years later, some of that deeper meaning seems to seep through in what I said then.

Sometimes, we surprise ourselves with epiphanies that cannot be rationally explained. It is these flashes that illuminate a darkness, and can pierce shadows we didn’t even know existed. For poets, I suppose, these are “Rumi” or “Kabir” moments, that result in creations that are intended as simple love songs directed to a single person, but in reality illustrate a devotion to something much greater than the individual subject.

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