Tuesday, July 12, 2005

being in love

By nightfall, dawn's memory has vanished.

When love's sincere, disgrace's fear is banished.

You cry that you've been burnt by love - don't gripe.

You're not burnt! You're not yet even ripe.

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

Search words: dawn

The days are getting longer and this morning I caught the dawn, a deep bright lolly pink at the base of a rosey glow on the horizon. Dawn creeps up among the foliage of trees at some distance, trees that fill the gap between a low-rise block of units and an old house that face me across the street. It is a pretty dawn, a lacey dawn, a shyly peeping through dawn.

It's true that the dawn finds us refreshed by the night's sleep and dreaming and that later in the day we forget what we'd aspired to then. Sadness and cynicism set in then. Human beings experience depression most reliably at sunset as death, the end, loss, doom and darkness approach. And yet it is the journey through that death and darkness that effects the rejuvenation leading to a new dawn. We aspire, we reach up; we weaken, fail and droop; we descend in despair toward the final curtain; only to rise up yet again. Our whole life is one grand circle, with smaller circles within.

Love starts out like this rosey dawn, a first flush of enthusiasm, a wild and immature crush on the loved one. As time wears on, the sincerity of my commitment keeps me moving or, perhaps, it is the very constancy of movement that creates that sincerity, day by day. I fell in love with Rumi and he feeds my love day by day. Never failing. Today he speaks of love's disgrace, the shame we can readily fear over loving. This is especially true of unrequited love. We make such fools of ourselves when we love one who doesn't love in return. Or when we love impossibly, when we yearn after some distant lover, like a celebrity (a star in the heavens?) or someone already married, already committed in love. Or, in this case, someone already even dead for several centuries. And yet, love tells me I can still receive his love letters and, somehow, he can also hear my own responses. How so? I don't know. There is a curious timing to these verses of Rumi's. He is urging me on here, warning me that if I think I've got it bad, just wait and see how bad it can really get. Be prepared for much, much more pain and bliss combined.

Whatever comes next, I can but resign myself to it for I've come too far now to be able to return to the safety and sanity of not being in love at all.


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