Wake

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If I flinched at every grief, I

would be an intelligent idiot.  If

 

I were not the sun, I’d ebb and

flow like sadness.  If you were not

 

my guide, I’d wander lost in Sanai.

If there were no light, I’d keep

 

opening and closing the door.  If

there were no rose garden, where

 

would the morning breezes go?  If

love did not want music and laughter,

 

and poetry, what would I say?  If

you were not medicine, I would look

 

sick and skinny.  If there were no

leafy limbs in the air, there would

 

be no wet roots.  If no gifts were

given, I’d grow arrogant and cruel.

 

If there were no way into God, I

would not have lain in the grave of

 

this body so long.  If there were no

way from left to right, I could not

 

be swaying with the grasses.  If

there were no grace and no kindness,

 

conversation would be useless, and

nothing we do would matter.  Listen

 

to the new stories that begin every

day.  If light were not beginning

 

again in the east, I would not now

wake and walk out inside this dawn.

~ Rumi

from The Soul of Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

 

 

Dawn at Tswalu, in the Kalahari Desert.  These words were written, it seems, for this moment.  Or perhaps the moment recalled the words.  In any case, I’m grateful for both.

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