Sunday, September 04, 2005

winners and losers

The friend to whom flower and thorn are one,

In whose faith, Koran and Cross are the same --

Why should we worry? To him it's all one:

The swiftest horse or a donkey that's lame.

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

Search word: thorn

Yesterday's competition day ended in defeat: others held the rose, we held the thorn side of things. Rumi sums up this contrast so clearly here: Islam is about winning, Christianity is about coming to terms with losing. We all desire to ride the swiftest horse, we all fear the indignity of riding a lame donkey. Well, I am Islamic in that sense. I can see that I've taken the defeat hard. I cannot yet transcend it, I cannot yet win through to the Christian victory over death.

I am a loser even in my handling of losing. Ah yes, I am so very Islamic in my defeat!


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