Thursday, October 13, 2005

the bird of destiny

This blooming branch will bend with fruit one day.

This falcon too will seek its prey one day.

His thoughts of you approach, then fly away,

Until at last they'll come to rest one day.

#1759: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: fruit

This morning, my son and I were keen to find out about the Apple launch which happened overnight. I thought it would be kinky to see what Rumi had to say about apples or, failing that, about fruit in general. It's a long hop from a video-capable iPod to Persian mysticism but I'll plunge in undaunted.

Today's quatrain circles around the theme of fulfillment, of becoming what we have it in us to become, of doing what we have it in us to do. It is also nicely connected to yesterday's theme through the metaphor of flying and resting. The bird here represents the thoughts of the beloved and union with the beloved is the lover's goal and a prime image of fulfillment. When at last the lovers are together, the feeling resembles that when a goal is accomplished, a task is completed, or an achievement attained. Here and there throughout our lives, we catch a glimpse of this fulfillment. Some life development will feel especially significant. Common contenders here, of course, are meeting one's future spouse, becoming a parent for the first time, obtaining a critical career opening or study opportunity. Winning the lottery will do too.

Rumi passed away on the evening of December 17, 1273, a time traditionally known as his 'wedding night,' for he was now completely united with god.


A life is not fulfilled until the end which is why some see death as the consummate lover. Until then, the bird of destiny visits us ever so briefly to remind us why we are here. The most we can do is make it welcome and offer it a friendly branch to land on. It cannot be captured or caged, it cannot be greedily grasped. We can but be thankful when it comes, we can but pause to reflect on the wonder of our lives.

Shrine of Jalaluddin Rumi, Konya @



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