Wake Up, It’s Rumi’s Birthday

I walked out this morning, the sky just turning a lighter blue-gray with clouds cushioning the very top, rounding the sides of the sky, and I looked up, a slight bend back to see, and there I saw a crescent moon I’d thought Rumi might particularly like, today, on his birthday! ‘There, your birthday moon; it is so nice; isn’t it?’

Happy birthday! You were born many years ago, many years before I was born, in 1207 AD in Balkh, Afghanistan, and turn 814 today, having written a river of poems of passion, direction and great affection that made their way far and wide over the earth, and I think also heaven. 😊

And there is another poet with a birthday today as well, also passed away; I’d posted about his book The Moon Before Morning, which Peeko liked hearing many poems read to him from it, with their even, yet playful Zen-like composed verses. Yes! W.S Merwin got a sky on his birthday too with a softly glowing slice of the moon for the day at the very top center of it. Happy birthday!

I did not know I’d find my way into morning tea with the beaming of yesterday but of course that is an inherent glow even through difficulty… and those early flu-like symptoms, getting tested today with appointment.

And I did feel like Rumi had a truly great surprise for me, on his own birthday! While he was chewing sugarcane, just the day before I’d told of myself chewing basil—one post happened to follow the next! And I’d never read of Rumi chewing anything in a poem; it was fun. And before that line? Blush, you know!

It is hard to read just one great short poem. Usually I may want to read a second after, and a third…And I found another true favorite by Rumi. (Poems that are very top can be a rare treasure for me and doesn’t reflect that there aren’t many great poems… you know what I mean.)

I found and read this poem yesterday for the first time and the closing imagery I’d say was somehow illustrated in a creative way as I stepped out of my door in Massachusetts in 2021, early morning sky light and cushioned, and looked up.

MOVING WATER

When you do things 
from your soul, you feel a river 
moving in you, a joy.
When actions come from 
another section, 
the feeling disappears.
Don't let others lead you. 
They may be blind or, worse, vultures.
Reach for the rope of God. 
And what is that? 
Putting aside self-will.
Because of willfulness 
people sit in jail, 
the trapped bird's wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.
The anger of police
is willfulness. 
You've seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment.
Now see the invisible. 

If you could leave your selfishness, 
you would see how you've been torturing your soul. 
We are born and live 
inside black water in a well.
How could we know 
what an open field of sunlight is?
Don't insist on going where you think you want to go. 
Ask the way to the spring. 
Your living pieces will form a harmony.
There is a moving palace that floats in the air with balconies and clear water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained under a single tent.

—Rumi

*

Credit: https://www.best-poems.net/rumi/moving-water.html

Previously, let’s celebrate some more with another newfound Rumi poem:

A Little Early Birthday Gift for Rumi, for You

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