Imagine That You Are Loved

comments 35

We’re going to perform
a thought experiment,
Hafiz announces.

What wonders to behold,
I answer.

(Why does he always assume
that just because he
wants to do experiments,
I do as well?)

(What irks me most
is that I do, of course.)

Hafiz bounces a rubber ball
off of the wall and catches it
with the same hand,
without really even being aware
that he’s done so,
then holds it over his mouth
like an apple,
tapping it on his lips.
He flips through the notes
from our previous session.

Imagine that you are loved,
he says.

I purse my brow in concentration.
He takes a bite of the apple
and the juice runs down his chin.

By whom?
I ask.

He waves his hand with an artful
twirl of his fingers,
as if trying to fling
a daub of peanut butter
into the sun.

I take a breath.
The bad guy in Die Hard,
Alan Rickman’s character,
comes to mind. Hans.

Bruce Willis has acquired the detonators somehow
and Hans’s plans for the evening
are not turning out quite as planned.
This is very frustrating to him.
He is about to shoot another hostage
because the last one
–that mouthy guy–
was clearly full of himself in the worst way
and had nothing to say worth hearing
and if Hans hadn’t shut him up then
certainly someone else would’ve,
and what options does Hans really have
in this pathetic, imbecilic, movie-theater world,
when I call him on his cell phone.

I imagine that he’s expecting a call,
so that he answers.

Hello, I say.


(He’s always talking like that,
letting his words peter out
into eerie moans and groans
like his voice is bleeding out of the air itself,
falling over the edge of an invisible horizon.)

What is it? he hisses.

Then I begin.
I imagine that he loves me.
His love for me is a revelation.
He wants us to go fishing together,
or hike up the side of an Alp
with seal skins on our feet
and skis on our backs
and jokes on our breath
to a view that sucks the wind
right out of you,
leaving you pregnant with

I can tell it’s working
because he clears his throat
and then goes speechless
with the phone in his hand.
His eyes are blank.
He’s not seeing anything.
There’s very little air
moving in or out of his body.
We are witnessing, together,
the quiet power
of nature.

Hafiz, I say,
does he know what I look like?
Or just that he loves me?

(Hafiz, unfortunately, will never talk to me
during the experiments.
He’s just an observer, as he likes to say.)

Alan Rickman’s character
sets the phone down on the desk.
He gets the other bad guys together
in the lobby area by the fountain
and tells them they are dismissed.
Let all the hostages go.
Then he comes back to the phone
and holds it to his ear.

But why, Hans?
(They’re following him
from room to room.)
What are we doing!?
(They are very confused.)

Alan Rickman croaks at them
like a disgusted frog, and they obey.
The hostages are freed.

I go visit him in prison now.
We chat for a little while
and laugh at things that are only funny
if you have the kind of history that we have
together. I realize I miss him
even though he is right there.

Hafiz bounces the ball on the floor
and catches it on the return.

How’d it go?
I ask.

He’s making a few notes.
He takes a bite of the apple.

Imagine that you are loved,
he says.


  1. Thoughts made me think about the dog and the lion….chasing thoughts…I think about definitions of love and the boxes…it’s all love as some say sending you loving kindness and now I’m in my hedy head 🤓☺️😀 sending you joy ~ Hedy

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! Years ago when my friend who left the conventional world to become a Buddhist monk gave me his library 📚 and apartment, I found Rumi and later Hafiz and hadn’t been the same since! 🤟🕊🔥🌪🌈 I’m recovering well from my recent spin at the hospital. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Excellent, Ka! I remember when I first heard Rumi’s poetry. It was pretty amazing. I was at a conference on the work and life of Walter Russell, and in the evening Gabrielle Young gave a live recitation of poetry translations from Rumi and Hafiz for about an hour. I felt like I was on fire when I walked out of that room… I have Sea of Splendor in my audio library, and love to listen to it still…

          Liked by 1 person

          • I immediately looked up Walter Russell, and found him and his wife to be fascinating. It was a nice, temporary distraction from my day-to-day. I see you went to an entire conference on his life and works, so I imagine you have a lot more information about his life and works at your immediate disposal (that from your mind and memories). That said, I listened a little bit to Gabrielle Young and it didn’t spark me. I will listen again at another time. I’m so glad that you get a lot from her poetry reading, and have that audio library to support you 🙂 Sometimes I have resistance to listening to poetry being read. It all depends. Plus, you know, tastes change! So – thanks so much for sharing all of this! My best wishes ~ Ka

            Liked by 1 person

            • No worries, Ka! We each find things that resonate with us in the moment, and they can vary tremendously, just like you said. As to Russell, I’ve read most of his books and found them quite interesting. I think modern science has moved on in some ways from the language and collective awareness that was prevalent at the time he wrote, but the principles he described are timeless… His work remains a source of inspiration to me, for sure!

              Hope this finds you well, Ka!
              Many blessings to you!


        • There are some samples on her website. Try the track “Tender Words” on her CD Naked Awareness, which has a sample with her speaking… Sea of Splendor has that same type of feel… 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Apples! I think I like Hafiz even better now, Michael. 🙂 My favorite line here was
    “He waves his hand with an artful
    twirl of his fingers,
    as if trying to fling
    a daub of peanut butter
    into the sun.”
    I love your imagination in these pieces. And sometimes I put some of your words in my pocket and carry them like loose change, when things get gloomier, it is good to take them out, like some old crumbled luck from a fortune cookie, and read: “Imagine you are loved” 🙂
    Peace and Apples,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kristina! I’m honored to have a few coined tokens of joy rattling around in your pocket for when they’re needed. Imagination is a powerful tool, isn’t it? We can change our perspective completely when we imagine things are not always as they appear… Wishing you joy and a glass of local cider this evening…!


      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a delight to eavesdrop into this conversation, and with any conversation that one eavesdrops in, there’s always that sentence or two that stays in your mind, the one you keep if you want to tell someone else about the conversation. “Imagine you are loved”.

    Peace bro’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, I’ve fallen behind! Yes, I suppose at some point the contrast arises, David. It can be a painful dichotomy at times. The miracle is the remembrance that brings us back to the truth of who we all are…



  4. Late to the party, skidding in to see if anyone is still here, but it doesn’t matter because I love Hafiz. I was thinking he seemed a bit stern in directing this experiment, flipping through the notes and all, but then the whole thing being about imagining you are loved, eating a juicy apple that was recently a rubber ball, and flinging a daub of peanut butter into the sun makes me see he is still as fun and clever as ever. I am relinquishing the urge to keep going back to check if the ball really became an apple and then a ball again or if I just imagined that, because Hafiz would laugh at me and I would laugh with him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, lots of laughing would occur! I’m so glad you visited and enjoyed a moment with our mutual friend here. He is a master of gently pointing out where things have gone a little sideways… and bringing us back without guilt or doubt or fear of what comes next!


      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lorrie! The storm is hitting us pretty good. We’ve had about a foot of snow so far, and possibly another to go…? I’m not sure. The weather predictions are hopelessly confused at the moment. The Weather Channel app is suggesting we only received 5 inches so far, and having just stepped into an open field of snow that came nearly up to my knee I can attest to the fact that they are promulgating fake weather. I’m guessing a whole lot of moisture is hitting a whole lot of cold about 3,000 feet straight up, and we don’t really know quite what all’s going to happen!

      But you see, it is an equal opportunity moment to remember we are loved!


      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes a nice little BLIZZARD gives us the opportunity to sit and relax with loved one…maybe by a fire? I sure hope you have a fireplace 😉 Stay warm…
        sounds like the snow will be too deep for a snow angel!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thankfully this last blizzard, though the snow totals where I live were higher than the previous, didn’t come with as many power outages. There have been people working double-shifts for probably three weeks straight to restore power in New England since the previous storm… We stayed warm and dry! And I got some much needed exercise clearing away the snow! Ha!


          • Good to hear from you, my friend! I have thought about you, and as I had a little taste of the north recently AND FROZE MY…well, how about just FROZE!! 😉
            Glad you stayed warm…and be mindful of that snow shoveling!!
            I was very happy to get back to 80 degrees…that’s my number.
            Hope today finds you peaceful, rested, and happy ❤

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    The chatter inside your head is so hysterical – gossiping about Hafiz in your own mind. And after all that, such a simple repeated request. And your descriptions, magnificent. “He waves his hand with an artful
    twirl of his fingers,as if trying to fling a daub of peanut butter into the sun.” I can totally see it.” And the stories, haha! Beautiful, Michael. You are brilliant. And I love everyone’s comments!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mary. Much appreciated. I love them, too! And yours! Simple things can lead to big feelings and big memories and as it says in A Course in Miracles, All expressions of love are maximal. Sending some snow your way!

      With Love

      Liked by 1 person

  6. fun, fun and even more fun. What’s not to love about Rickman by the way? Always a favorite of mine in all movies. Hafiz is a wise soul, balls to apples and back to balls once more, round and round we go asking the often unasked questions ❤


    • There’s nothing not to love about Alan Rickman. 🙂 He definitely had a unique style and voice, and had some great roles. It’s interesting to play that ambiguously dark character I think. What you must learn as an actor putting on these characters! Hafiz was playing hardball this time. Haha!


      Liked by 1 person

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