What It’s Like

comments 14

Once I asked Hafiz
what it was like to be God
and Hafiz told me one night
when he should have been sleeping
he asked himself the very same question
and when he imagined what it was like to be God
he discovered God was imagining
what it was like to be Hafiz.
A psychic tremor occurred
in the air of his breath
like when you know your mother is calling
right before the phone rings,
and when Hafiz answered it
and said “Hello…”
the silence of ten thousand angels
holding the line
awoke him
from one cracking hangover of being.
He said that in that state
he couldn’t help but note
that a rose had appeared
in the dry earth
by the well.

Well, Hafiz said to me,
just like he’d told himself
while still holding the barren receiver
up to the side of his head
and witnessing the beauty all around him
in forms too countless to tally,
there could be many explanations
for a rose.

Sometimes for instance, at dawn,
the atmospheric conditions
are just right to produce the sort of dew
that no seed can deny,
and sometimes a seed is carried
to that unsuspecting spot
of dry and well-trodden earth
by the wind or the storks
or in the belly of a deer
when the deer’s belly,
unbeknownst to the deer,
glimpses the Beloved passing through
in the vessel of a perfect seed
and sculpts its enzymes
to clear a labyrinthine path
so the seed
can pass unharmed,

Hafiz told me,
sometimes the Beloved
takes the most direct route possible,
bypassing the wind and the storks and the deer,
so that a rose can occur
not for any particular reason
but for every reason at once,
as if out of nowhere.
This usually happens, he said,
when you imagine what it might be like
to be God imagining what it might be like
to be you.

And you don’t look away.

Then you get that rose
by the well in the dry earth,
you receive, unbidden,
the urge to forgive everything
that ever was or will be,
but in either case
by the time the townspeople
gather their water
and trek to their homes
and wash their babies
and water their goats
and tidy up the kitchen
they forget they ever saw
that rose (or forgave the world)
until later,
at dinner,
with a Friend,
when the light is gentle
and desires are sated
and candles are flickering in the corners,
they get a fuzzy tickle
in the back of their minds
and they wonder
if this is what it’s really like…

…what it’s really like
to be a thought
inside of God
that’s actually
thinking back.


  1. Beautiful examination of a question that often occurs in my mind Michael. May your existence encounter many roses in the dry earth and in your heart.


    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Linda! It’s fun sometimes to imagine that what we take for granted is actually the rich, interwoven space of inter-being. I think transformation is so often about re-sculpting our mental habits… so we can be aware of what already is…


      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Julie. Glad this piece met you where you are… There’s joy in the realization we are each of us holy… 🙂



  2. Yes, this idea is really fundamental to both ACIM and ACOL. It’s an interesting thing to try and imagine, or to say you’ve experienced. We think sometimes if we were truly one we would read one another’s thoughts all the time or something, but we mistake thought for something personal I think. I think our oneness is deeper than thought perhaps. Thought seems to be something in which we’re drifting that isn’t quite ours at all…

    With Love

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes Michael, I agree that oneness is deeper than thought, as you say; also thought is something we all experience and share in a non-personal way. Beyond that is our essence…and a lot of mystery as to ‘how’ our connectedness is experienced. Your words are often very comforting. I don’t know a whole lot about ACOL, but started reading.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. There was a moment when I finished reading this poem that I felt the connection, like a worm hole in space and time. Like the time I saw the long-stemmed yellow flower growing out of the bricks that make up my church. I’ll never forget that. Thank you for the connection and the memory.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, JoAnna. Please excuse my delay in responding. We had a death in the family shortly after this piece was posted, and a simultaneous colliding of work deadlines. All is well, I’ve just not had much time to write and respond as I normally might. I love the image of the flower growing out of the bricks at church. Such a symbol of life’s enduring power and sweetness…


      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with a death and the work challenges, but glad all is well. Please take care of you! Peace to you, Michael.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As I read this, I was reminded of a branch that fell from a very old tall maple during a wind storm and fell in just the perfect place in the seam between sidewalk pieces. It stood straight up even though it was about 3+ feet tall and the seam was only about a half inch thick, there it stood like “look at me, look what I accomplished” and I left it there as I took it as an incredible sign of awesomeness. What were the odds? but then again, with the hand of the universe involved, anything and everything is possible and happening when least expected. Loved this piece Michael and thank you yet again for this gift of your words. Always inspiring me to ponder and believe, and of course, smile 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Kim! I love your story of the tree branch standing up even as it has fallen. The perfect strangeness of grace revealed in every day life for those who have eyes to see… which you eminently do… Thanks for reading and sharing your heart here. Hope all is well…

      With Love

      Liked by 1 person

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