Sunday, November 13, 2005

present joy

We are drunk on the essence without even tasting the wine,

Filled with light in the morning, and joyful into the night.

They say our path leads nowhere--that's alright:

There's joy enough right here to fill all time.

#1319: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: wine

I'm suffering from a hangover, having drunk far too much wine at the gathering last night. The bright light of morning is adding to my pain. Last night, I enjoyed the wine, I enjoyed the food, I enjoyed the company, but most of all, I enjoyed the saqis or cup-bearers, the young men who held trays of drinks and passed them around to the guests. There is a special pleasure in being served like that, it's just not the same when one pours one's own wine into a glass. It is a great indulgence to be served thus.

Appreciation. At any moment of the day or night, I can appreciate. It's really really easy if one is but open to it. Last night, I declared: "It's all crap!" but I was drunk and exclaimed it so joyously, I guess you could say I was thankful for the opportunity to see through all the crap.

It's funny how Rumi shrugs off the idea of purpose. Live for each moment, that's all. And yet elsewhere he encourages us to take up some purposeful work, in a piece that has deservedly become very popular.

These spiritual window-shoppers,
who idly ask, 'How much is that?' Oh, I'm just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.

Where did you go? "Nowhere."
What did you have to eat? "Nothing much."

Even if you don't know what you want,
buy _something,_ to be part of the exchanging flow.

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.

Rumi, 'We Are Three', Mathnawi VI, 831-845

So, it's fine to be aimless and it's great to be involved in making something, no matter what it is, no matter how foolish. There are times to be aimless and times to be purposeful and each is fine in God's eyes. It's all joyous, foolish crap.


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