Thursday, August 04, 2005

love's rage

I want a trouble-maker for a lover,

Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame,

Who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate,

Who burns like fire on the rushing sea.

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

Search word: make

My ambition today is to make a start on making sheets for our beds, nice 100% cotton sheets with decorative edges. All very homely and humble. This verse found through make makes quite a contrast!

I do very much identify as a trouble-maker but I'm definitely squeamish about the spilling of blood, let alone the drinking of it. This is strong imagery. It occurs to me that I do deal in blood every day: I cut up a sheep kidney to serve to my cat and the blood oozes out onto the plate and this is the first thing she licks up. We also drink or consume blood whenever we eat red meat which is, after all, soaked in it.

I am currently resting from my battles and hoping that the last one was the last. However, there is a warrior inside me and she will not rest, not ever. She stands ever ready to do battle. Gustav Klimt has nicely captured her eternal quality below.

Pallas Athene

Gustav Klimt: Pallas Athene, 1898 @ nga

Rumi is envisaging a robust lover who closely resembles the Islamic warrior engaged in jihad. His quarrel is clearly not with his fellow man, as so many modern Islamist fighters seem to see it. Rather his quarrel is with God and he is in the mood to have it out with Him more stoutly than did poor Job.

Rumi's final image of "fire on the rushing sea" is one that baffles me. The best sense I can make of it is to envisage stormy seas with waves crashing against coastal cliffs and the spray rising up to the heavens, as if to rejoin the water-laden clouds. Fire and rushing sea are both images of anger, of fury, of a destructive energy that sweeps all before it. This is clearly a part of God's arsenal of emotions and therefore also a part of humanity's. It is the energy that drives all conflict and war. It is not an energy one would normally associate with lovers. However, this is Rumi speaking here and he is no pansy. He's right, too: a full-blooded love must contain conflict. Love grows deeper with every weathering of a storm. And love of God, love between man and God, or even man and man, must needs include some rage.


At Friday, 05 August, 2005, Blogger none said...

Wonderful post; I love those trouble-maker verses - I had never read them before. So true - who wants to commune with a coward? Rebellion is so attractive.

At Friday, 05 August, 2005, Blogger Arizona said...

Hello, fellow trouble-maker. ;)


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