Poetry, Interviews, Pressing Questions, and Current Work
"The Trouble with Dervishes" (forthcoming in Soul-Lit)
Potter recently completed a novel exploring the firendship and love between Meryam, a prophet of Israel, and Zipporah, a Midyanite, as they travel the wilderness together after leaving Egypt. She is currently working her way into a new novel and working on a book of creative nonfiction essays exploring the challenges of living as bodies-mind-spirits in a dualist-leaning world.
Questions, Prophets, Mystics, and Stories
The question is not What do you love? The question is Whom do you love? Saint Augustine
What is the work of a mystic, a friend of God? To become fully human. The work of a lover of God is also to bring people to God and God to people.
Like the prophet, the mystic serves as a messenger and mediator, shuttling back and forth across the divides. For both the prophet and the mystic, the path is toward HaMakom, The Place, the place where lovingkindness and truth meet, where righteousness and shalom kiss.
Yet there is this difference: The tone of the prophet, in all communications back and forth, is one of truth and righteousness; the tone of the mystic is lovingkindness and shalom. The prophet walks a fierce way, living a life jealous for the glory of the One that bends wanderers back to the straight path and God’s memory back to God’s own compassion. The mystic practices a sweet way, living a life so fragrant with love for the One that it makes people fall in love with God and God fall in love with people. Like a wooden lattice entwined with roses, the mystic way draws people near to peer at the Beloved intoxicated with joy, and God near to peer at the beloved—whose beauty may be hidden by tarnish or filth--scented with love.
You could say it this way: a mystic is one who persuades human beings to fall in love with God and God to fall in love with human beings.
Stories can do this work, too. Elie Wiesel says, “God made man because he loves stories.” Stories can reveal the One to human beings; they can also reveal the beauty and fragility of human beings so that God--as well as others--comes to love them.
The lover of God who writes lives toward this direction: to write stories that help people find and fall in love with God and God fall in love with people.