Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Trace

You that give new life to this planet,
you that transcend logic, come.
I am only an arrow. Fill your bow with me
and let fly. Because of this love for you,
my bowl has fallen from the roof.
Put down a ladder and collect the pieces.

People ask, Which roof is your roof?
I answer, Wherever the soul came from
and wherever it goes back to at night,
my roof is in that direction.

From wherever spring arrives
to heal the ground, from wherever searching rises
in a human being. The looking itself is a trace
of what we are looking for.

But we have been more like the man
who sat on his donkey and asked the donkey where to go.

Be quiet now and wait. It may be the ocean one,
the one we want so to move into and become,
it may be that one wants us out here
on land a little longer
going our sundry roads to the shore.

*September 30 is Rumi's birthday, in 1207.


Lorenzo said...

The looking itself is a trace / of what we are looking for.

So beautiful and so true. At first I thought of trace as the remnant of something left behind and loved this quote. And then I think of it as trace as in copying the contours of an image on delicate see-through paper and love it even more.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, that is an incredible image. That we see what we are looking for through a film, through tracing paper, and we draw what we are looking for. Oh my.

Lorenzo said...

It would be nice to know if the two meanings are also possible in the Persian original. Ask Coleman Barks next time you talk to him.

Ruth said...

If we're lucky enough to get him to campus again, I'll do just that.

riya raj said...

Is this true that Rumi wrote this poem on his bday???

Ruth said...

Riya Raj, I don't necessarily think so. I just posted it on his birthday because that was the day it was in chronology in the daily readings book I took these from. You can see info about the book on the sidebar.