Tuesday, January 10, 2006

shaded lovers

If you wander far from lovers' shade

You'll suffer in the glare of the sun.

Like a shadow, stick close to lovers' side

Till you glow like the moon or the sun.

#1674: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Key word: wander

My son returns today from his wanderings. He has started out already and will spend a long day, about half of it in the air and half waiting around at airports. As I track his progress, it will be a long day for me too.

Rumi is dispensing a general wisdom in today's quatrain, advising keeping close about one's love. Until something strong has grown from it, it is best to keep it under covers, to stick to the closeness, the intimacy and privacy, of love-making. As soon as one ventures out into the glare of the public gaze, the faults and frailties of one's love are there for all to see and comment on. One is left vulnerable and easily hurt. Every good thing has a shadow side, a down side, but it's best to discover and absorb that gently and gradually, not be pushed into it by others' carelessness or indifference.

The idea of shade and lovers brings to mind one of my favourite childhood photos, in which I shelter in the shade of my beloved grandfather. More than 50 years later, I still wonder whether I'm ready to glow like the moon or the sun.

shade on the beach

shade on the beach



At Wednesday, 11 January, 2006, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Great photo!


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