Saturday, July 30, 2005

in search of a friend

I rush here and there in search of a friend.

Still I dream, though my life has reached its end.

And yes, one day I will find my friend,

But how will I find the life that is spent?

#1154: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search words: tired, wash, exhaust, satisfied, proud, friend

I woke tired, washed out, exhausted but satisfied, even proud, of my recent achievements. I've managed to get through to the bureaucratic bullies and found enough release to finally return to the gnosis articles, this time on the theme of God as friend. And here is Rumi searching for a friend.

I really cannot know how Rumi sounds in Persian but in Zara Houshmand's English translation there is much wordplay in this verse. Is Rumi's life drawing to a close? Or has he achieved his purpose or fulfilled his destiny? Presumably he'll find his friend Shams on the day he dies for the two will then be joined in death. However, at that point, his life will be behind him, lost for ever. Or is he wondering how he will assess his life at that final moment?

Starting out in life, coming to the end of our lives, dreaming about the future, assessing the past, searching for and finding a friend, all of these are eternally present states of mind, at least in potential. They come to the fore whenever appropriate and each state contains the opposite as a necessary complement. Every beginning is an end, every dream is launched through an assessment of the past, and God, the greatest of all friends to search for, is the search itself.


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