Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Rumi

Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, a time to think about what the next year could bring and also the 801st anniversary of the birth of Rumi, the great Sufi poet and inspiration to the Whirling Dervishes who follow Rumi's belief that poetry, music, and dance can bring you enlightened wisdom. The convergence seems auspicious at this time in history when wars and economic fears keep our minds dark and worried about the mundane.

Rumi's life was transformed when his dear friend Shams was murdered. From sorrow and anger, he unleashed a flurry of beauty and depth. Here is his poem "I Throw It All Away":

You play with the great globe of union,
you that see everyone so clearly
and cannot be seen. Even universal

intelligence gets blurry when it thinks
you may leave. You came here alone,
but you create hundreds of new worlds.

Spring is a peacock flirting with
revelation. The rose gardens flame.
Ocean enters the boat. I throw
it all away, except this love for Shams.

As our own rose garden is in flames and the ocean enters our economic boat, this year may love bring union back to our globe, may we create hundreds of new worlds, and we be unafraid to throw away the material for the love of others.

What are your hopes for the next twelve months?