Monday, February 27, 2012

[Sunlight] Dying, Laughing



Dying, Laughing

A lover was telling his beloved
how much he loved her, how faithful
he had been, how self-sacrificing, getting
wealth and strength and fame, all for her.

There was a fire in him.
He didn't know where it came from,
but it made him weep and melt like a candle.

"You've done well," she said, " but listen to me.
All this is the décor of love, the branches
and leaves and blossoms. You must live
at the root to be a true lover."

"Where is that!
Tell me!"
"You've done the outward acts,
but you haven't died. You must die."

When he heard that, he lay back on the ground
laughing, and died. He opened like a rose
that drops to the ground and died laughing.

That laughter was his freedom
and his gift to the eternal.

As moonlight shines back at the sun,
he heard the call to come home, and went.

When light returns to its source
it takes nothing of what is has illuminated.

It may have sone on a garbage dump, or a garden,
or in the center of a human eye. No matter.

It goes, and when it does
the open plain becomes passionately desolate,
wanting it back.

- Mathnawi V: 1242-64
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Essential Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 1995




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