I walked into to the office of a client yesterday and on the desk where I usually sit was The Essential Rumi, wrapped in a bright orange ribbon. Tucked beneath the bow were two golden puakinikini flowers, joined at the stem, and a card that read “To a Beautiful Mother.”
That night Jeb has a bad dream while clouds thunder and jolts of electricity splinter the sky. I let him crawl into bed with me, to drift back to sleep and sprawl his legs all over. 1:30am and storming, I was up for hours.
This morning I grab slipping darkness, it’s nearly six o’clock as Jeb still sleeps. My writing hour will quickly seep to sunshine.
Not much time to dip into the well of my own and stir. I turn towards a master. Flip to one random page and see what Rumi has to say.
Unfold Your Own Myth
Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?
Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms?
Who comes to a spring thirsty
and sees the moon reflected in it?
Who, like Jacob blind with grief and age,
smells the shirt of his lost son
and can see again?
Who lets a bucket down and brings up
a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?
Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,
and opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there’s a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.
Chase a deer and end up everywhere!
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow one drop.
Now there’s a pearl.
A vagrant wanders empty ruins.
Suddenly he’s wealthy.
But don’t be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.
Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes a moment
of feeling the wings you’ve grown,
translated by Coleman Barks and John Moyne