Friday, April 05, 2013

[Sunlight] Blessed Laughter



When you go to buy a pomegranate,
pick the one that's laughing,
that has its rind cleft,
so that through its broken-open-ness
you get some information
about the seeds.
Listen for the laughter
that shows the inside,
that cracks the casket-shell
and lets you see the pearl.
There's another kind, an unhappy laughing
like the red anemone's that shows
its inner blackness.
But pomegranate-laughter is blessed,
like the companionship of good people.
Even if you're a common rock,
when you join them,
you'll become a precious stone.
Keep the love of holy laughing in you.
Don't visit sad neighborhoods. Let
laughter lead you to the right people.
Your body-wantings will take you out of the sunlight
into dark and dank places. Feed on the conversation
of a lover. Look for spiritual growth from one
who is farther along than you.

There was once a Christian gospel
that had in it some mention of Muhammed,
his courage and his fasting.
Whenever a group of Christians studied
this gospel, they bowed and kissed the words
of that passage. Without knowing it,
they were looking for refuge
inside that light, and with its power
it befriended and helped them.

-- Mathnawi, I, 718-733
Version by Coleman Barks
"Feeling the Shoulder of the Lion"
Threshold Books, 1991




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