Thursday, 8 December 2011

what inspires the inspirational: ivan m. granger

ivan m. granger is a poet and the creator of one of our favourite poetry websites, poetry chaikhana. ivan joyfully shares the sacred poetry of cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions from around the world. in particular, poetry chaikhana has a middle eastern theme, honouring the vibrantly, devotional, irreverent, and truly profound sacred poetry the region has given to the world. but ivan also says there is another important reason for this middle eastern flavour: to counter the miserably limited portrayal of middle eastern cultures and religion we are given in the west. he says “although i am not a muslim or sufi, it is desperately important to remind the western world of the rich spirituality the middle east has given to us”.

so what’s the deal with the un-pronounceable name?  well, my fellow philistines,  “chaikhana is a teahouse along the legendary silk road pilgrimage and trading route linking china to the middle east and europe. it is a place of rest along the journey, to sip tea, and to gather together to sing songs of the divine”.

ivan lives in colorado with his wife michelle. the man’s a mystic - sign up to the chaikhana poetry mail out and you will concur i'm sure.  

listening to: liszt's ‘la campanella’, i keep returning to this piano solo piece. it manages to be delicate and a bit agitated, while also surprisingly serene. i've also been listening to radiohead's ‘creep’.

reading: the yoga tradition by georg fuerstein. and the novel musashi, by eiji yoshikawa. of course, i have a stack (literally) of poetry books all around my desk.

watching: cadfael - a medieval monk solving murders. now why does that feel so cosy?

eating: gluten-free pumpkin pie. well, i would be if there was any left...

loving:the sunny day with snow glistening on the ground. inspires moments of stillness.

loathing: am i loathing anything? i hope not. though i have to admit to a few things i’d like to see changed. do you think we can set the world to rights with a list of 25 items or less?

tired of: institutions that have forgotten what it means to be a human in the world.

bored of: too much is purposeful. it can become a compulsion. i know i'm doing something right when i have moments of boredom in my day.

scared of: plenty. but facing those fears, isn't that what makes for a good adventure?

dreaming of: i used to dream i was fighting zombies. or flying above rooftops at twilight. lately i've been travelling through strange lands, labyrinthine buildings, following vaguely familiar pathways to unknown destinations. every time i think i know my dream landscape well, new, strange vistas open up.

visit the website at :

[aine herlihy]

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