Mar 20 2015
just hatched, the entire world
is a spring day
/ Image by Tristam Brelstaff /
Happy spring! It is also the new moon and an eclipse today. A potent time to look up. Or look within. Or look around in appreciation of the new life emerging everywhere…
Among my deepest satisfactions in my Poetry Chaikhana work is being able to read the emails you send me. I get to savor your thoughts on spirituality, wisdom, enlightenment, and art. The most touching to me are your notes about how much a particular poem or commentary has meant to you. Even when I am unable to respond, I read and cherish your messages. That is a big part of what fuels my commitment to the Poetry Chaikhana.
But, although it is difficult to admit, I am struggling right now.
It always feels uncomfortable to bring up directly, but I need to request more financial support from the Poetry Chaikhana community.
While I do have a regular job, I can only work so many hours before chronic fatigue patterns kick in, especially when I also dedicate so much time and energy to the Poetry Chaikhana. During the past year, I have been pushing myself in my day job to work through exhaustion in order to meet my basic expenses. While exercising that sort of steely determination has its own practical and spiritual values, it also has made it difficult for me to focus with full energy on the Poetry Chaikhana.
You may have noticed that the Poetry Chaikhana emails have not been as regular in recent weeks.
Donations and Publications
I am working to shift the Poetry Chaikhana’s dependence on donations over to income from publishing, but that is a long-term goal. And while your enthusiastic reception of The Longing in Between was a huge help at the beginning of the year, book sales have dipped now that it has been out for several months — which is entirely natural. I do have plans for additional anthologies and future publications but, of course, those take time and significant energy to bring to completion.
For the moment, at least, the Poetry Chaikhana is still primarily dependent on your financial donations.
The Poetry Chaikhana Community
I am still amazed to be able to say that we have 9,000 people on this email list! Another 5,000 follow the Facebook page. With such a large community, I believe that collectively we can support my continuing work with the Poetry Chaikhana.
Without enough community support, I may have to drastically trim back the time I dedicate to the Poetry Chaikhana, which would be a shame. Even though I will continue forward with the Poetry Chaikhana in some fashion, such as future publications, I have always felt that the regular communication with you through these emails is the heart of the Poetry Chaikhana. For me, these emails feel personal, a long-term conversation with you on the nature of spirit and art, and how the two interweave and contribute to each other — enlivening us all in the process. While much of that conversation can take place through the patient medium of books, I would miss the immediacy and friendly dialog of our emails.
Around the World
/ Photo by woodleywonderworks /
One of the purposes of the Poetry Chaikhana is to help us recognize the unity behind the world’s religions as expressed through the poetry of mystics. Poetry, being a very personal medium that is largely free from dogma, reaches across cultural divides, softens prejudices, and sheds light on misunderstandings. Sacred poetry can be a powerful healing balm when cultures clash.
Also, it is worth remembering that, through the Poetry Chaikhana’s global community, each of us is connected to people and places all over this world we share. The Poetry Chaikhana has had visits from more than 220 different countries and territories! That’s nearly every country in North America, South America, Europe, and across all of Asia. We’re only missing a few countries in central Africa, and we’re also waiting for that first visit from Antarctica. (Any poetic penguins out there?)
As I have said in a previous email… The next time a poem touches that warm ember deep in your chest, and your thoughts stop, and your mind clears, and a quiet smile spreads across your face… reach out and feel who else on this planet is feeling exactly the same thing. It could be someone who wears different clothes or has different colored skin, someone who speaks with a different accent or an entirely different language, someone who sits or kneels or bows to worship. Reach out and recognize that person as a brother or sister who, like us all, is walking through the human journey, pausing occasionally to sing songs of the Divine.
The Poetry Chaikhana is an important resource for people all over the world seeking to more deeply understand their own wisdom traditions as well as the spirituality of other cultures in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
It is a joy to do all of this, but it isn’t easy, and I can use your help.
For me to keep doing this work, I need the support of the Poetry Chaikhana community.
If you feel a connection to the Poetry Chaikhana, please consider making a donation.
Please, never contribute more than you can comfortably afford, however. A modest amount from many people is immensely helpful. Many contributions from many people makes the Poetry Chaikhana a stronger community project, maintained by many helping hands.
/ Photo by SaxX69 /
Ways you can contribute:
– You can make a secure online donation in any amount through PayPal by clicking the “Donate” button on the Poetry Chaikhana home page at www.poetry-chaikhana.com
- You can sign up for a voluntary monthly donation of $2/month or $10/month by clicking either the “Subscribe” or “Support” PayPal button.
(A regular monthly amount is often easier on your pocketbook — and easier to justify as less than the cost of one snack or drink per month.)
- You can send a check or money order in US funds, addressed to:
PO Box 2320
Boulder, CO 80306
- Purchasing copies of The Longing in Between and Real Thirst is another excellent way to help. You also support the Poetry Chaikhana when you purchase other books through the links on the Poetry Chaikhana website.
I want to also make sure I gratefully acknowledge that several of you have been generous with your contributions to the Poetry Chaikhana in the past, through donations, through notes of thanks, through supportive thoughts and prayers. Every contribution, whether financial or energetic, is sincerely appreciated.
Heartfelt thanks to everyone! And have a beautiful beginning to your springtime!
|Ivan M. Granger|