Saturday, May 28, 2005

rose and thorn

If you hope for a moment of peace in love,

You don't belong in the ranks of lovers here.

Be hardy like the thorn, of single point,

That the rose may grow beside you, near and dear.

#673: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

I've been troubled of late by the drama of conflict (both at FFI and at F2C), upset because things have taken a nasty turn. I searched under drama and then peace and this verse speaks to me of needing to tolerate both. The rose is tender and vulnerable and it needs the thorn to protect it. Masculine aggressive values (like doing and fighting) are needed to protect feminine passive values like simple being. The rose needs the thorn.

I feel strengthened by this small reminder that relationship always contains drama and conflict and would be insipid or vacuous otherwise. Usually the thorn is seen as something dangerous to avoid but Rumi here instructs me to identify with the thorn, be hardy like the thorn, really to value the thorn as an appropriate partner for the rose. I long to return to the fray and use it.


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