Sunday, July 10, 2005

good news, bad news

The messenger brings sad news,

But words cannot obscure the truth:

Write 'prison' on the garden gate;

That word does not a prison make.

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

Search words: heal, recover, return, news

I've been ill but healing, recovery, return are here. What's new? What's in the news? The London bombings have been in the news. Yet another strike on the West from Islam.

Here is an enigmatic verse from Rumi. He asks that his reader apply some logic here, or an argument by analogy. A label cannot turn a garden into a prison. Sad news cannot turn a beautiful world into a bad one.

Yesterday I finished reading Dan Brown's Digital Fortress and my son (Terminal) and I worked on solving the final mystery, the decoding of the string of numbers at the end. We needed the hints given on Brown's website.

So there is some world news, some personal and family news, some of it sad and some of it satisfying. My mood is buoyant because the "better" family news is closer to home but also because the London bombings represent some release of tension. It's been known for a long time now that London would be targetted by Al Qaida related terrorists. It's a relief that it was only so bad, only dozens killed, not hundreds or thousands or even millions.

I feel certain that this quatrain relates to a particular incident, a specific item of sad news conveyed to Rumi. I don't know what that is or was but I do miss the connection, the small daily details that triggered his verses. They can't have been entirely disconnected from his everyday life. I can't access his particulars but I can access my own and thus weave my own news into his verse on news.

So long as stories continue, whether with news of good or news of bad, then life goes on and the roses in the garden continue to bud forth.


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