Monday, July 18, 2005

keeping up the work

Don't walk away, for I will pay your price.

Look inside me: I light up in your sight.

Don't tire of me, I am your marketplace.

Come work with me, your work through me shines bright.

#1328: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search words: nerve, early, pay

Family nerves are on edge as early rising is needed so as to venture forth to do work that will pay. I've been reassessing my employment situation. I don't want to be paid for the work I love to do and I want to be free to do it. I've been begging as a consequence (receiving social security payments) and failing even to find paid work that is near to or resembles what I'd do for no pay.

Today's quatrain was chosen on the word pay but it has an eerie feeling of being unexpectedly relevant, directly communicative. It resonates so strongly with my current psychic state, with where I'm at right now. Rumi seems to invite me to get to know him better. Stay with him, keep lighting him up, don't give up, keep doing this work that I love best. I wonder if the translator, Zara Houshmand, got this feeling while doing her translation. Surely her own work is revelant to this piece since she makes Rumi accessible to a wider audience.

A voice inside me says: Get a hold of yerself. Read this like anyone would read it. Surely Rumi is writing with the supreme confidence of a teacher, guide and poet. He is identifying with the light that shows the true path. And yet, he is telling his reader that the light can only be revealed through the reader's own input. And that input does involve work, not simply looking. I think Rumi means here that simply reading his verses gets you only so far. The really valuable work comes in writing or otherwise creatively expressing the insights gained from the reading. It is only then that you truly make it your own.

This is what I've been doing and this is what I will continue to do, even if sometimes I wonder what the point is. If ever I do feel like that I'll return to this verse for its wise encouragement.


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