Shopping, making plans, sitting in airports, jotting down our new year’s resolutions. So much hustle and bustle in a season that’s about peace and goodwill.
(H & B + P & G)
We know they co-habitate. They are all us. At once.
Sometimes we’re sure of it. Sure of That.
Paradoxical yet true. We’re mysterious.
H & B:
getting out of our routine to make our
special traditions happen in our
thoroughly modern way.
Often, through it all, magically radiating the P & G.
This isn’t deep or esoteric.
Hannukah. Kwanzaa. Christmas.
Pancha Ganapati (in honor of Ganesha).
Each seasonal tradition holds it’s own unique mystery in its stories and rituals.
But what I’m talking about now, and Rumi and Coleman
(my college English professor) portray below is The Mystery that peeks through so many moments of everyday life.
They’re quite simple. Close. All-natural.
The so-called “little things” we take for granted.
It’s us that makes them “little,”
yet we know they can grow so big.
Show Rumi a grand tradition binding people together for aeons and he’ll show you the everyday sparkle that the tradition is made of.
What’s the sparkle made of?
You know, that. Keep reading. Enjoy.
“What was Told, That”
by Jalal al-Din Rumi,
translated by Coleman Barks, my college English Professor
What was said to the rose that made it open was said to me here in my chest. What was told the cypress that made it strong and straight, what was whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made sugarcane sweet, whatever was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in Turkestan that makes them so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush like a human face, that is being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in language, that's happening here. The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude, chewing a piece of sugarcane, in love with the one to whom every that belongs!
– Rumi –
(translated by Coleman Barks, my former English Professor in Athens, Georgia
& a major influence on me)
I love the plain-spoken mystery
he found in his translation of this poem.
whatever it is, that is what I love.
I’m gonna be looking for some of that this holiday, what about you?