Today, on Easter Sunday, I will begin sharing the poetry of Sufi mystics. For me, their poetry captures the essence of joy and what is means to celebrate a Risen Life, whether that of Jesus two thousand years ago, new grass in the field each spring, or the sun each morning. Life, light and Love are everywhere. Just look! Just listen! Just Love the possibilities within you!
Joesph has come, the handsome one of this age,
a victory banner floating over spring flowers.
Those of you whose work it is to wake the dead, get up. This is a work day.
The lion that hunts lions charges into the meadow.
Yesterday and the day before are gone.
The beautiful coin of now slaps down in your hand.
Start the drumbeat. Everything we have said about the Friend is true. The beauty of that peacefulness makes the whole world restless.
Spread your love-robe out to catch
what shifts down from the ninth level.
Your heart closed up in a chest, open,
for the Friend is entering you.
You feet, it is time to dance.
Don’t talk about the old man.
He is young again. And don’t mention
The past. Do you understand?
The beloved is here.
I knew from the very start of the month I wanted to use this poem, but here’s a funny story about it. After Christmas this year, Finn had asked me about a book for daily meditation, or reading. I showed him several on my bookshelf, but only begrudgingly my A Year with Rumi, not because I didn’t think he’d like it, but because I was feeling territorial. I had read the book on a daily basis for years, and though I was on a “break,” I wasn’t sure I wanted to let it go. But of course, that was the text Finn chose and I gave it willingly, but when It was time to copy this poem the book was gone.
Yesterday, when we arrived at my parents’ house, where Finn lives, I snuck up to his room to look for it. I found it on his desk, with a book mark placed at today’s date, but a dozen pages or more were marked with sticky notes, some written on, some not, some corresponding to my own dog-eared and underlined pages, some completely his own. Unsurprising to me, this page had both.
I don’t know who “Joseph” was to Rumi, though he shows up often in his poems. I don’t know what to make of the “lion that hunts lions.” I do know what it means to “have the beautiful coin of now” stepped down in your hand. Be present! Right here! Right now! You will never have another moment like this one. Don’t squander it away on screens, or chores, or anxiety and critique. Drum, dance, wake the dead with the exuberance of your life!
My favorite line?
“Your heart closed up in your chest , open, for the Friend is entering you.”
Truly, this is the only path to new life – letting the Friend, the Source of Love and Light, enter and open the darkness that binds us and keeps us entombed (en-wombed?) until we are ready to be born again and help make the world new.
Peace and love today friends.
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As you would probably guess, poetry is not my long suit and as always you push me out of my comfort zone.Thanks for making my lent so much more than it would have been without poetry.
Always, always happy to share poetry with people who don’t (know they) love it! Thanks for the words of encouragement, Mike!