Thursday, October 11, 2007

[Sunlight] "The qualities of expansion and contraction"


Today, Sunlight offers Mathnawi verses, in a version by
Camille and Kabir Helminski, which is accompanied by a Persian
transliteration, and in a version by Professor Coleman Barks.


Observe the qualities of expansion and contraction
in the fingers of your hand:
surely after the closing of the fist comes the opening.
If the fingers were always closed or always open,
the owner would be crippled.
Your movement is governed by these two qualities:
they are as necessary to you
as two wings are to a bird.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In do vasf az panjeh-ye dast be-bin
ba`d qabz mosht bast âyad yaqin
Panjeh-râ gar qabz bâshad dâyemâ
yâ hameh bast u bovad chon mobtelâ
Zin do vasfesh kâr o maksab montazem
chon par-e morgh in do hâl u-râ mohemm

-- Mathnawi III:3762-3766
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra)



Your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror
up to where you're bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here's the joyful face you've been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small
contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balances and coordinated
as birdwings.

-- Mathnawi III: 3769-3766
Coleman Barks
The Essential Rumi
HarperSanFrancisco, 1995



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