Saturday, July 23, 2005

home and hosed

You're the road of love, and at the end, my home,

One of the crowd, and yet I see you crowned;

I see you in stars, in the sun, in the moon,

Here in the green leaves, and high on the throne.

#1369: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search words: home

I feel "home and hosed" today. I figured Rumi would respond to the home but not the hosed and wondered where that the phrase came from. It appears to have arisen from the horse racing world and refers to the hosing down of a horse after a race. It is first taken back to its box or "home" and then hosed down. The phrase is usually used before or during a race to mean that the horse is a certain winner, already "home and hosed" while the race is still to be completed. In my case, there are still one or two loose ends to tie up but I foresee my situation stabilising soon and financial security especially setting in.

I really do have Rumi, in part, to thank for this for the discipline and steady emotional commitment to this task has built up in me a core of confidence as well as a light hearted approach to life, both of which have been essential to success. In this quatrain he expresses a similar gratitude to his "you" which shifts among Shams, a feminine figure and Allah himself. In Jungian jargon these are the shadow, the anima and the Self in turn. The shadow is often something to overcome, an arch enemy or rival. Rumi envisages it as a lover and this makes him quite unique as a mystic and poet. We all know we should love God, we all know about the romantic love for the contrasexual beloved. But how often do we hear of love for the same sex alter ego? The pal, the friend, the sibling, teacher, student, co-worker and colleague of the same sex? Or just another person in which the gender is just irrelevant? Any asexual relationship can lead to intense emotional commitment, a love that may be a very necessary glue in human community.

I love the images of high and low in this verse: the ordinary person in the crowd and the leader or crowned king; the heavenly bodies high in the sky and plain leaves right in front of one's nose. The final image is of love "high on the throne" just after we've been brought back down to the earth with leaves. The throne is heavy and earthy but its height gives it authority and lightness comes from the leaves that introduce it. Heavy and light, heaven and earth, leader and led, the road and the destination. All of these opposites are wrapped up in this simple four line verse. And it's all done originally in Persian and then translated into English seven centuries later. It has to be an eternal message precisely fit to reach me today.

Besides Rumi, I also want to thank Tim Boucher for his inspiration through the story-systems project. That's what got me started on this blog in the first place. The continued connection to the small but vital community that has built up around his main site has kept my own project fueled. Tim and his circle of friends have definitely been part of my own road of love, my own process of finding home.


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