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Moon Language

By Catherine Arveseth

I’m in the mood for some poetry. You? Let’s try Hafiz. A persian poet who left an impression on some of the greatest Western writers like Thoreau, Geothe, and Emerson. This particular poem was translated by Daniel Ladinsky.



Admit something:

Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”

Of course you do not do this out loud; Otherwise, someone would call the cops.

 Still though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.

 Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye that is always saying, with that sweet moon language, what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

That sweet moon language that we’re all dying to hear? Now, come on. This is embarrassing. No one wants to hear that we’re all desperate to be loved. Do they?

My husband and I celebrated 15 years of marriage over the weekend. And maybe we dare not admit it, but I think Hafiz is right. There is, in us, this gigantic pull, to connect. Below words, below skin, beyond the neon embers of romance. We just want to be loved. For who we are, frailties included.

What we are longing for, I believe, is godly love. Because we have known it before. We have felt its sweetness and non-judgement, its absoluteness. That is the thing we want most. So what does God say? Give it away. Give others the very thing you are looking for.

He is so wise.  Self-love doesn’t work. Have you noticed that? Efforts to “love ourselves” are well and good; of course we need to pay attention to our inner needs, take care of our health, and our spirit. But self-love doesn’t fix things. Doesn’t really succeed.

It is love that vaunteth not itself, seeketh not its own, beareth all things, and endureth all things (I Corinthians 13: 4-7) that makes the world right, makes relationships work, changes us, fixes us.

The moon always speaks to me. She reminds me who I am and that love is  God’s to give. It is his gift, his characteristic. And it moves through us when we ask for it.

So, would you like to join me for an experiment today? Let’s try and meet others with Hafiz’ bright orbs in our eyes. Full moons that speak that sweet language of acceptance, not criticism. So we can say what the people in our lives are aching to hear.

How do you interpret Hafiz’s poem? What  language is he talking about? What keeps us from gifting this kind of love?

About Catherine Arveseth

Catherine Arveseth is mother to five children, including two sets of twins. She is an exercise physiologist by profession, writer by passion, loves hiking with her family, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and the edge of an ocean. She and her husband, Doug, began their family in Virginia but now live in Salt Lake City, Utah. She blogs at wildnprecious.com.

8 thoughts on “Moon Language”

  1. If I lived in a time, with a people, that worshipped either the sun or the moon, I would be with the moon crowd. I imagine that the moon is more sentimental about its life than the sun. It's more tender, almost erotic, and the sun is overwhelming: you can't look at it, but you can bask in its warmth. The moon language might reflect this.

  2. That is beautiful Lauren. I'm with you. In the moon crowd. I hadn't applied the physics of light here, but you are exactly right. Unlike the sun, you can look the moon straight in the face. It is soft and kind. As we should be. Thank you!

  3. my whole life i feel like i've walked around speaking moon language and feeling like no one got me and in fact fled the other way. but every blue moon i meet someone else who does, and those are the happiest moments.

  4. I don't know if I've ever heard this point made in church, but it's interesting to me that Matthew 5:48, the scripture that makes us cringe about being commanded to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect, follows the "litmus test of love" verses, loving those who hate you and persecute you.
    Perhaps the Savior is giving us the path to being able to love perfectly and completely as Father does. The ultimate in "loving others". Perhaps there is no other way to being like Him except by finally loving as He loves. By seeing all His children through those eyes described in the poem. Only a thought.

  5. Moon language, indeed. To know we are loved warms us, lights us up from the inside no matter the distance between the lover and loved.

    I love this piece also by Hafiz:
    Even after all this time
    the sun never says
    "You owe me."
    Look what happens
    with a love like that,
    It lights the
    whole sky.

    Congratulations on your anniversary!

  6. Blue – could a blue moon be more fitting of anyone? Your rare gift to love so unconditionally is a blessing to all of us who know you. Continuing prayers your way dear friend.

    Our Nana – Ah, the discussion of perfection. You are right. Too often our definition of this is a flawed one that pushes us to excel, even compete, in things that aren't important. But loving perfectly, wholly, yes – that feels somewhat attainable, doesn't it? So appreciated your comment here.

    Kel – to never say, "you owe me" – now that kind of love would light up the sky. Beautiful. So grand. Thank you.

    Cristie – and I you. xoxo

    Sage – what better prayer ought we to offer each morning? thank you for commenting.


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