Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ruminations on...well, Rumi

I have recently been reading the book, "Open Secret: Versions of Rumi" by, John Moyne and Coleman Barks.  Okay, really brief lesson.  Rumi was born in 1207 in what is now Afghanistan and lived until 1273.  For most of his life, he was believed to be a teacher.  End lesson.

The remarkable thing about his work is that he doesn't say anything I don't already know, but it is so stunningly simple and clear that it just blows my mind!  Example 1, "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."  Example 2, "Who sees inside from outside?  Who finds hundreds of mysteries even where minds are deranged?  See through his eyes what he sees.  Who then is looking out from his eyes?"  Okay, last one, "The clear bead at the center changes everything.  There are no edges to my loving now.  I've heard it said there's a window that opens from one mind to another, but if there's no wall, there's no need for fitting the window, or the latch."

What he ACTUALLY says on paper is nothing fancy, no remarkable alliteration, no $50 words - - but what he is REALLY saying is quite profound.  I suppose the challenge is to recognize the meaningful in what most would deem meaningless.  That is pretty darned close to how I feel about poetry as a whole.  It is something oft overlooked and thought of as nonsense or useless.  However, it can be emotional, important, and lasting.

At any rate, I am liking what I have read so far of Rumi's works and am looking forward to finishing up this particular book.

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