I came across this excerpt from the works of a Sufi poet today. He went by the name Ibn El- Arabi, and these lines were featured in his work ‘Tarjuman al- Ashwaq’. He speaks of his muse, and has the following to say-
“If I bow to her as is my duty
And if she never returns my salutation
Have I just cause for complaint?
Lovely woman feel no obligation.”
It struck me that there is no room for expectations in a thing of beauty that inspires you. As go the famous lines from the poem by Keats, it remains a joy forever. It may seem to most that it has nothing to offer in return- no affection, no admiration, no compassion. Unrequited love, it may seem so to another’s eye. But the inspired finds all his joy in that single object of his adoration. Its very existence arouses in him, an urge to appreciate. It allows him to find that reservoir of energy in himself that is shared by those kinds of men and women who have found within themselves the authenticity and courage to create. A remarkable, tangible piece of expression that bares their soul to the world, thereby communicating the emotions that the muse compels in their hearts.
Such is perhaps the joy of finding in yourself, love, for another person. Your love for them has nothing to do with their actions, their morals, or any possible aspect of theirs that human judgment could be passed upon. It has to do with just their being. You wish for whatever helps to perpetuate their being- if it is found in their happiness, so may be it; if it is found in their death and in mortal destruction, then it may happen so that you could commit to a life that is an ode to the profundity of their erstwhile existence. Nothing perturbs the ultimate truth of what they brought out in you, and so it shall continue to be regardless of what any heart might desire. Nobody puts it better than Joan Baez in her soulful rendering of this old folk song.