Friday, January 14, 2011

The Mill

 Mill Dam in Traunstein, William Stanley Haseltine

The heart is a wheatgrain. We are the mill
where this body is a millstone
and thought, the moving river.

The body asks the river why it runs on so.
The river says, Ask the miller who made
the millrace that directs my falling
that turns your stone.

The miller says, You that love bread,
if this turning were not happening,
what would you dip in your broth?

So a lot of questioning goes on
around the milling of wheat,
but what really is this breadmaking work?

Now let silence ask about wheat and the river,
about the miller and the stone
and the taste of bread dipped in soup,
and this listening we do at the mill.

*The mill is one of Rumi's images for the process whereby individual grains get crushed to make something less separate, more communally useful (bread). Thought (the riverwater) and the body (the millstone) are part of this work, as are the miller (creative intelligence) and the customer (desire), who wants a piece of bread for his soup. (Note by Coleman Barks)


Ruth said...

I'm grateful for this circle of breadmaking, something we in the developed world think little of any more. If we made our own bread, beginning with gathering the seeds from wheat, planting the seeds, harvesting, grinding, combining with liquid and yeast, baking, all before eating . . . I wonder if our own more abstract processes of thought would be more meaningful.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

This is so evocative and teeming with possibilities. Definitely adds new meaning and glow to the term "wonderbread"!