When you have had a drink of love …

Jan 18, 2016

When you have had a drink of love …

Category | Pleasure & Love,

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of love:*

This opening line from Hafiz, the 4th century Persian poet, always slays me. When I don’t take a drink of love, life can become harder, threatening and brittle. But what happens when I do? 

Love is not only received from someone else. It also comes from doing what we love.  I call this ‘creating love’.

I had an immersion in a drink of love this past weekend at my first-of-the-year writer’s retreat. The retreat was a joint venture, something I knew I’d prefer doing with other people. So I gathered three writing buddies, and we stayed at the lakeside rural home of two of them. 

Three days of following my creative instincts, hour by hour – even if that meant napping, or hanging out on my friends’ starring couch to watch the birds outside.

scene from the couch

I’ve done a few facilitated writing workshops but this was my first self-directed event, the purpose being to create space to write. Each of us had a writing project – two people working on poetry, one capturing stories from her life for her children and myself exploring pleasure through in-depth writing sessions.

We attended to our own work, while enjoying the support of others. We started each day with a group writing exercise, opening with poetry and then discussion. From there, we went off to our separate spaces to dive into our projects. Between the 2-hour writing cycles, we shared tea, meals and movement exercises or solitary walks and naps. I loved it all, and was pleased to discover I could be productive on my writing within a group of friends. 

Resting in nature

I had a good long drink of love – that was deeply pleasurable – through experiencing all the things that I love. The result? I felt held, supported, kinder and fulfilled, while producing some good work.

What is a drink of love for you?

*I know the way you can get

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:

Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
And nose.

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.

Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
The innocent
And into one’s self.

O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:

You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.

You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.

You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once

I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love’s

- Hafiz.
From: I Heard God Laughing - Renderings of Hafiz. Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

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Madeline combines her experience as a gifted teacher and facilitator with her exquisite sensitivity to guide us into unlocking pleasure. In her gentle way she helps us to make friends with our bodies, softening the places where we feel resistance, shame and pain and learn how to tune into the myriad sensations of pleasure. She embodies her teaching and the expression of her own pleasure is contagious. Madeline creates a safe space to (re)discover that we are wired for pleasure and can overcome the negative conditioning of fear, trauma, and messages of “not good enough”.

Ingrid Schirrholz, – Senior Faculty. Pathwork Vermont, Burlington, Vermont