Friday, October 14, 2005

drinking like grass

Deep thoughts and sadness dim and do not last

Where wine and song and good kebab are found.

Drink the pleasure, friends, that never ends:

Drink the kiss of water's lips, like flowers do, like grass.

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

Search word: sad

Often, early in the morning while I'm just waking, my grouchy side emerges, grizzling because it's cosy inside the bed and cold out. It moans and groans, whines and whinges, claiming that every task for the day is arduous, every event boring, and generally speaking, there is no fun to be had today. Rumi doesn't use words like grouch or grump, so sad has to stand in.


Oscar the Grouch peering out from his trash can @

Well, today's verse veritably starts as an "eat, drink and be merry" exhortation: so long as there is plenty of wine and good meat in the larder, we want of nothing more. Oh yes, there is a song in there too. We all need a good song. If the numbering of these quatrains reflects the order in which they were written then this very early one shows an astonishing recovery from the grief of Rumi's loss of Shams. It veritably explodes with messages like: "Life is for living", "Get on with your life", "The best things in life are free". Just get on with it, live your life, enjoy every moment, throw your worries and cares away into the trash can. Embrace every cliché of happy optimism and invent one more: drinking the kiss of water's lips, like flowers do, like grass. Soak up the simple joys of sheer existence.

Meanwhile, poor Oscar will crouch lower and lower, pressing his trashcan lid more and more firmly down. Groan, he moans, how silly is all that?


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