Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ruminations with Rumi...thoughts on a child's birthday and what it means...

April 11, 2010

Ruminations with Rumi
There are countless poets whose writings resonate with me; Mary Oliver, Edna St. Millay, Allen Ginsberg, and Pablo Neruda to name a few, just off the top of my pointy little head. As I ponder my youngest child’s birthday this week, marveling at all that she is and all that she is to me, I’m especially struck by the work of another favorite – the fabulous *Sufi philosopher, Rumi.

Arguably one of the most well-known poets in the world, it is astonishing how compellingly his poetry still speaks to us, with its honesty, its wisdom, its emotional charge. He was born somewhere around the time of 1207 in ancient Persia, which is now Afghanistan, and the story goes that he was a scholar, theologian and spiritual leader who was transformed spiritually, which led to a mind-boggling body of work.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Rumi’s poetry, take a second and cruise on out to the information highway, making a pitstop at one of the many websites devoted to Rumi and his work. Just reading his words is chill-engendering and, dare I say, even transformational to the individual contemplating his timeless messages.

The poem I’m sharing today may be most aptly applied to a lover, but it resonates for me as expressing the love I feel for my daughter, who has inspired me to dance both literally and figuratively. (Sometimes, she has even said, “Could you NOT dance in public, then?”) She is a beautiful miracle for whom early predictions of “gloom and doom” about her health would prove all for naught and that is a celebration we share together, every year. In the beginning it was just she and I, battling the odds, and now it’s she and I, rejoicing in the victory that is her beautiful being.

Art as Flirtation and Surrender

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.

As an aside, this is what that “Sufi” distinction means:

*What is a Sufi?One who does not separate himself from others by opinion or dogma; and who realizes the heart as the Shrine of God.

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