love poems & stories ukraine

Sweet Moon Language

A friend of mine sent me this poem a few days ago and while it touched me then, it continues to seep into my soul in an unexpected way.

With That Moon Language

With That Moon Language
Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?


The poem speaks of giving others, through our eyes, the love that we all long to receive. Since reading it, I had been trying to do that by walking the streets here in Ukraine and seeing others with loving eyes, attempting to actually give to them that love, albeit silently and anonymously.

What I had missed in a way though was the earlier part of the poem that talks about actually feeling the yearning for the love we all yearn for, for connection to other people. So this morning, as I was waiting for the aftobus (trolley car) which would take me to the train station (I’m writing this from that train which I very nearly missed – train rolling out of the station, employee yelling in Russian for my ticket, hoisting my suitcase up, tweaking my back, clambering aboard, etc.) I practiced looking at others with my own eyes yearning for love, feeling my own desire for connection with others. The experience very quickly became intensely strong. It surprised me how strong that yearning really is in me, that yearning to be loved by and connected to other people. It’s not a complete surprise but the strength of it was surprising. It was much easier to actually see others with loving eyes, giving others what they need, rather than to feel my own need.

This is definitely insightful for me as I think it points to how I cover up my own need with a posture of being more generous with my love. I seek to love everybody, and have learned to be much more loving, but am I actually open to feeling my own need for such love?

It’s almost terrifying to fully allow this feeling because it has an accelerating quality to it, much like that of a dam breaking more and more open from the increasing pressure of the water, or beginning a slide off a treacherous cliff. There is also a hint of shame in it too, as if it is faulty to need or long for love and connection. I find this very curious and I wonder if others have a similar experience or are they the other way around where it is harder for them to love others than to acknowledge their own needs. This may help to explain how I can be in relationship too, for why should I open my own heart up to others when my experience of the need would be of an accelerating or out-of-control need? I would have to trust someone else to a great extent to really open that part of myself. The risk of course is that should I open up and allow my own need, there is a chance that I would not be attended to, or worse yet, that I would be abandoned. Ugh, this stuff is difficult.

I just saw something very interesting: It has become almost cliché to say that in order to love another person we have to learn to love ourselves first. I think a closer truth is that in order to love another we need to be in touch with our own need for love. If we can recognize that need in ourselves then we are more able to give our love to the place in the other person that needs and yearns for love. Without that capability, loving another is perhaps not as other-focused as it could be. At the very least, I would say that loving another in recognition of the depth of our own yearning is likely a much more generous love.

Since reading the poem, I have tried seeing others with my own yearning eyes a few different times, most recently this morning while waiting for the aftobus at several different locations (different instructions from different people coupled with my own lack of understanding which lead to my running through the aforementioned train station) and I noticed that I couldn’t do it for very long without being distracted. I’ve learned through past experience that I more easily get distracted when I subconsciously feel uncomfortable. I’ll continue to practice this, but I tell you it is sooooooooooo much easier for me to give love to others than to acknowledge my own need.

I love how sometimes it takes a Persian mystic/poet who lived 700 years ago to point to something that remains so elusive in our culture and more specifically within me.

5 replies on “Sweet Moon Language”


Can you describe the difference between loving another when one is “in touch with their own need” versus loving another when one is “out of touch?” The reason I am asking is because I don't know that I totally agree with the concept: that in order to love another we need to be in touch with our own need for love.

For me:
I believe we can love deeply because it is instinctive… this allows every being to experience it regardless of their awareness. It is often the experiences of love that take us off guard, that feel the most profound; touching us in areas of our psyche we didn't know existed; peeling the layers of our being back, and baring the foundation of who may now become.

Another aspect to this is that when you are aware and thus potentially seeking something, it seems the most elusive; not because it isn't out there, but because our preconceived notions of what it is come into play.

I had someone ask me today, “how do you know when you have touched people's lives without the benefit of hindsight?” I tried to explain that it's a feeling of connection… a subtle resonance that the simplest gesture can impart. Then of course the conversation turned to “how much is enough” …to which I wasn't certain how to reply because it is something you “just know” when you experience it. Like an embrace, where we allow ourselves to be guided by the connection; life can be like this when we are open to simply breathing it in.

I just wanted to say that I have been enjoying your posts immensely.

My hectic life, balancing kids/spouse/friends/work/etc, is very different from yours. However, reading your journey and exploration gives me time to reflect and see how it relates to my journey. You have a gift with words that makes your writing insightful, soothing, and not “self-obsessively circular” (if that makes sense). You're always growing and moving forward. So much thought goes into each post (theme, photos, writing), yet you make it look effortless.

I'm replying “anonymously” not because I'm a coward, but because I do not want you to have external readers influence your journey. I think you may have many readers who feel the same as I do. Your post on writing in “one voice” was a brave one (as with all these posts). I don't think I could be so open without worrying about what my relatives thought. As we get older, we gain the self-confidence to be more comfortable with ourselves.

I am a “distant acquaintance” and thank you for contributing to my life via your journey. Hopefully, I'll be able to give back to you in some other way in the future. Keep up your work and know you have silent supporters who read your blog diligently!

I seek connection… to love and to be loved… just about every day, and offer myself and my eyes to others, usually, as a gift and as a bridge. Thanks for sharing — I liked the poem too. I speak that language very well…

4dabirds – I appreciate your comments very much. To answer your question, the difference, in my opinion, between loving someone when we are in touch with our own need and loving someone when we are not, is perhaps the degree of the depth of our generosity with that love. I actually agree that love in very pure and that it doesn't need our own self-awareness of our need to be expressed and lived fully. What I think I'm trying to say (or at least understand for myself) is that when we touch the depths of our own need for connection, then I think our desire to be generous with our love can grow, for we then can better identify the receptive need in others. When we know someone is hungry, we want to feed them. If they are hungrier, we want even more to feed them. Maybe better said, it can become more about giving nourishment to others through our love than simply loving.

Anonymous – thank you for your support. It means more than you can know. You are gifted with writing, awareness and expressing yourself as well. Would always love to hear more.

Gregg – that's great. You've always been a marvel of connection and community. To me there is a difference between seeking connection as you say, and feeling our own yearning or need for connection. I'm curious about your experience with that.

Ted… thank you for the expansion on your thoughts – I've been reading your blog as part of my own mindful approach to gain insight on what barriers people face to being more open. Your choice to articulate this journey, allows me to key into important areas that I perhaps take for granted.

I have always been a pretty open person, so it befuddles me a bit, how others are NOT like this. It's not even that they are closed per se, it's more that many run on a kind of auto-pilot.

When you said, “when we know someone is hungry, we want to feed them,” it strikes a chord with me. Coming from the way I have always been, their hunger is palpable. It's like a whitenoise that we begin tuning out at some point, and forget to tune back into.

Even on our darkest days, there are rays of sunshine peeking through the clouds to nourish us if we are willing to simply look about and SEE them… some days I'm more the sunshine, and others, I benefit from the kindness of other benevolent benefactors that take the shape of people, places, creatures big and small… even a song or scent that brings back the rush of an experience and changes the tide from ebb back to flow.

So keep putting it out there Ted – the water's warm and safe 🙂

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