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the big three / a writing prompt

Posted on November 12, 2017 at 11:30 AM

Day 11 of #bahaiblogging

Last night I dreamed a writing prompt! First time ever doing that. A friend of mine, Mbala, was in the dream.

The prompt is to write a poem that includes three elements: mountain, bell, and blue.

The image of a mountain needs to be included in the poem (not necessarily the word, although it can be included).

The words bell and and blue do not need to be in the poem either, but there must be a reference in the poem to some related emotion(s) or action(s).

Examples: for 'bell' the word or idea 'alarm,' 'warn,' or 'startled' would qualify.

I hope to write such a poem before I die.

Coincidentally (probably causally rather than casually) I decided last night to write about the trio of The Bab, Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha. Baha'is, inlcuding me, often share quotes from these three personages, and I'm pretty sure the relationships between them must be a little confusing to people outside the Faith. So here goes...

If I had to choose one symbol for each of them, I would use the mountain for Baha'u'llah, because of the vastness of His Revelation/Writings. By vastness I mean:

a) the broad scope/subject matter of His Teachings,

b) the length of time (about 30 years if you start from the year of His Declaration in 1863, until His death in May 1892) during which He wrote the various texts, which are still being translated at the Baha'i World Center, and

c) the 'height' of His Teachings - an elevated vision of both individual and social moral ideals and structures.

For The Bab, I would choose the bell, symbolizing a warning or signal. The Bab was the forerunner of Baha'u'llah, a lot like John the Baptist was in relation to Jesus. Bab means 'gate'. The date when the Bab's identity (as the Gate) was made known to His first disciple is considered the date of the birth of the Baha'i Faith (May 24, 1844). The Bab died young (like Jesus, he was killed/martyred for sounding the alarm for the Day of the Kingdom of God). Baha'u'llah was one of the first to accept the Bab's message, and Baha'u'llah Himself, in 1863, declared He was the "Promised One of all Religions" prophesized by the Bab.

That leaves blue for 'Abdu'l-Baha (Baha'u'llah's first son, and the authorized interpreter of His Writings)... And that's interesting, because the emotion most commonly associated with the word blue is sadness. But 'Abdu'l-Baha is a source of happiness (if you've been reading this blog you may remember that). But words can have so many different meanings, eh? Blue is a favorite color for most people (according to color researchers) and like a blue sky, blue denotes freedom, calmness, and possibility.

Two coincidences link the births of these extraordinary people.

'Abdu'l-Baha was born the very night of the birth of the Baha'i Faith, in 1844.

The Bab / gate / bell was born on the 1st day of the 1st month of the Muslim year (1819) and Baha'u'llah was born on the 2nd day of that month, in 1817. So the bell rings, a wake-up call is made to all the peoples of the earth, and the next 'day' we can see that the tip of the mountain of the Faith has already begun to rise up into the brilliant blue spiritual spaces around the globe.

I am one happy woman today. Peace, Niki

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