Sunday, November 20, 2005

a particular joy

All the waters of life are a drop in your pool

And the heavens, moon a mere trace of the light of your face.

Through the long night, I long for the light,

For the moon of your face in the dark night of your hair.

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

Search word: water

Water was an idea that came to mind this morning (mainly because we've had some hot dry days and I must water my garden). I've met a new friend who has such an ebullient personality, I'm quite blown over. I long to embrace that joy. But then reality intrudes like a pall of gloom, a looming figure of sullen and sad despair. I am simply too old, too fat, too ugly, too toothless, to take part in life's carousel. Ah! My spirits are too high to listen to such nonsense.

I think Rumi is saying here that it takes a particular person, a particular beloved, one special focus of interest, to truly move one on. A general joie de vivre is like "all the waters of life". It has nothing on the specific: this glass of wine, this bowl of delicious pasta, this forum discussion, this day with its vast potential but eventual unfolding specificity. Let the moon of today's face come forth from its barely there and let me kiss its every moment, be it of joy or of despair.


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