Sunday, October 23, 2005

moon blindness

You're sitting beside the road that you seek.

Blinded by moonlight, you search for the moon.

Why seek Joseph's beauty, that dimpled chin?

You yourself are love; Joseph, you are him.

#1714: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

I abandoned search words today and simply browsed through first lines, looking for one that seemed apt. Given my recent lack of direction, I chose today's verse for its reference to this theme. Rumi seems to be saying that the answer is right under my nose. And yet I can't see it.

The story of Joseph is told in detail in the Koran, Surah 12, titled Yusuf, and I believe it was the inspiration for Cat Stevens to become a Muslim and adopt Yusuf as his name. This conversion has greatly fascinated me for I see the artistry of the pre-Islamic personality as classy and I don't see the Koran like that. To me, it has been a sinking and an abandonment of talent. Perhaps he was burnt out and needed more stability to his life, something that Islam does promise and can deliver. Daily prayers and rituals, the yearly cycle, the pilgrimage to Mecca, these provide a powerful framework for the sacred.

This verse is one I'll need to mull on. I remain blinded by the moonlight.


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