a community of lovers
Thanks to all who made it to Bradford on Saturday despite stormy weather (this is becoming a theme of our Ruminations!) We had a wonderful afternoon sharing lots of poetry followed by a music set in the evening by one of our group, Da Vida. Check out some pictures on our Facebook page. Thanks to The New Bradford Playhouse for allowing us to use the pop-up shop on Market Street and for providing hot drinks and yummy cakes!
Readings from the day:
You may try a hundred things but love alone will release you from yourself.
So never flee from love, not even in an earthly guise,
for it is a preparation for the supreme truth.
WISE MEN KEEP TALKING ABOUT
Time is the shop
Where everyone works hard
To build enough love
To break the
Wise men keep talking about
Wanting to meet Her.
Women sometimes pronounce the word God
A little differently:
They can use more feeling and skill
With the heart-lute.
All the world’s movements,
Apparent chaos, and suffering I now know happen
In the Splendid Unison:
Our tambourines are striking
The same thigh.
At a juncture in this poem.
There are a thousand new wheels I could craft
On a wagon
And place you in –
Lead you to a glimpse of the culture
And seasons in another dimension.
Yet again God
Will have to drop you back at the shop
Where you still have work
STOP BEING SO RELIGIOUS
Do sad people have in
They have all built a shrine
To the past
And often go there
And do a strange wail and
What is the beginning of
It is to stop being
Though we sleep and rest in the dark,
doesn’t the dark contain the water of life?
Be refreshed in the darkness.
Doesn’t a moment of silence
restore beauty to the voice?
Opposites manifest through opposites:
in the black core of the heart
God created the eternal light of love.
[Mevlana Rumi, Mathnawi I, 3861-65, The Pocket Rumi, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski]
You that love lovers,
this is your home. Welcome!
In the midst of making form, love
made this form that melts form,
with love for the door,
soul the vestibule.
Watch the dust grains moving
in the light near the window.
Their dance is our dance.
We rarely hear the inward music,
but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless,
directed by the one who teaches us,
the pure joy of the sun,
our music master.
When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.
We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute
of eternity. We are pain
and what cures pain, both. We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
I want to hold you close like a lute,
so we can cry out with loving.
You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror, and here are the stones.
[The Essential Rumi, tr. by Coleman Barks with John Moyne]
The desire in the female for the male
is so that they may perfect each other’s work.
God put desire in man and woman
in order that the world
should be preserved by this union.
God instills the desire of every part for the other:
from their union, creation results.
And so night and day are in mutual embrace:
they appear to be opposites, even enemies,
but the truth they serve is one,
each desiring the other like kin,
for the perfection of their work.
Both serve one purpose, for without night,
human nature would receive no income:
what then could day expend?
[Mathnawi III, 4414–4420, Love’s Ripening, tr. by Kabir Helminski & Ahmed Rezwani]
The moment I first heard of love
I gave up my soul, my heart and my eyes.
I wondered, could it be that
the lover and the beloved are two?
No, they have always been one.
It is I who have been seeing double…
[Rubaiyat 1246, Pocket Rumi, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski with Lida Saedian]
Should Love’s heart rejoice unless I burn?
For my heart is Love’s dwelling.
If You will burn Your house, burn it, Love!
Who will say, “It’s not allowed”?
Burn this house thoroughly!
The lover’s house improves with fire.
From now on I will make burning my aim,
for I am like the candle: burning only makes me brighter.
Abandon sleep tonight; traverse for one night
the region of the sleepless.
Look upon these lovers who have become distraught
and like moths have died in union with the One Beloved.
Look upon this ship of God’s creatures
and see how it is sunk in Love.
[Mathnawi VI, 617-623, Jewels of Remembrance, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski]
THE DRUNKARDS AND THE TAVERN
I’m drunk and you’re insane,
who’s going to take us home?
How many times did they say,
“Drink just a little, only two or three at most?”
In this city no one I see is conscious;
one is worse off than the next,
frenzied and insane.
Dear one, come to the tavern of ruin
and experience the pleasures of the soul.
What happiness can there be apart
from this intimate conversation
with the Beloved, the Soul of souls?
In every corner there are drunkards, arm in arm,
while the Server pours the wine
from a royal decanter to every particle of being.
You belong to the tavern: your income is wine,
and wine is all you ever buy.
Don’t give even a second away
to the concerns of the merely sober.
O lute player, are you more drunk, or am I?
In the presence of one as drunk as you, my magic is a myth.
When I went outside the house,
some drunk approached me,
and in his eyes I saw
hundreds of hidden gardens and sanctuaries.
Like a ship without an anchor,
he rocked this way and that.
Hundreds of intellectuals and wise men
could die from a taste of his yearning.
I asked, “Where are you from?”
He laughed and said, “O soul,
half of me is from Turkestan
and half from Farghana.
Half of me is water and mud, half heart and soul;
half of me is the ocean’s shore, half is all pearl.”
“Be my friend,” I pleaded,
“I’m one of your family.”
“I know the difference between family and outsiders.”
I’ve neither a heart nor a turban,
and here in this house of hangovers
my breast is filled with unspoken words.
Shall I try to explain or not?
Have I lived among the lame for so long
that I’ve begun to limp myself?
And yet no slap of pain could disturb
a drunkenness like this.
Listen, can you hear a wail
arising from the pillar of grief?
Shams al-Haqq of Tabriz, where are you now,
after all the mischief you’ve stirred in our hearts?
[Mevlana Rumi Ghazel, The Pocket Rumi, tr. by K. Helminski, A. Godlas, and L. Saedian]
“The range of the human mind, the scale and depth of the metaphors the mind is capable of manufacturing as it grapples with the universe, stand in stunning contrast to the belief that there is only one reality, which is man’s, or worse, that only one culture among the many on earth possesses the truth.
To allow mystery, which is to say to yourself, “There could be more, there could be things we don’t understand,” is not to damn knowledge. It is to take a wider view. It is to permit yourself an extraordinary freedom: someone else does not have to be wrong in order that you may be right.”
Once Mother Theresa was asked what she said when she prayed. She answered that she didn’t say anything, she listened. When asked what God said to her, she said that God didn’t say anything; He listened back. She added that if you didn’t understand, she couldn’t explain it further.