Sunday, December 18, 2005

passion's dance

Listen only to what drunken lovers say,

And loosen passion's ties to mean and low.

Each tribe draws you into its own circle;

The parrot sings of sugar; of ruins, the crow.

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

This morning I woke to Grizzle Grouch, an inner personality that likes to complain that there is nothing to look forward to in life, that this and that is all wrong and no solutions are in sight. I decided to treat him as an honoured guest and listen to what he had to say for himself. A contrasting Optimist inside me then tried to bring some balance, but not too successfully. Sometimes self-hate overwhelms self-love and I can only hope and pray that the tide will turn again. A little distance from both moods goes a long way to assisting in maintaining sanity.

Rumi never complains. He is always happy, even when he is sad. I've been reading a small volume borrowed through the library, Look! This Is Love, Rumi translated by Annemarie Schimmel (with lovely illustrations by Ingrid Schaar). Here is a poem that sums it all up:

Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet.
Through Love all that is copper will be gold.
Through Love all dregs will turn to purest wine.
Through Love all pain will turn to medicine.
Through Love the dead will all become alive.
Through Love the king will turn into a slave!

And so, in my perplexity, I was attracted to today's first line, urging me to listen only to drunken lovers. It seems I woke with the crow in full song and when the parrot tried to sing back, the result was not entirely satisfactory. The two must learn to dance together, and apart, twirling and swirling passionately, until only the unified dancing is in evidence.

Flamenco dancer

Ingrid Shaar: Flamenco dancer, Cristina Hoyos @



At Monday, 19 December, 2005, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Duende. The happiness in sadness. What Lorca wrote for. I think.


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