Friday, February 25, 2011

My Worst Habit

My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I'm with.

If you are not here, nothing grows.
I lack clarity. My words
tangle and knot up.

How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.
How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.

When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,
dig a way out through the bottom
to the ocean. There is a secret medicine
given only to those who hurt so hard
they can't hope.

The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.

Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back toward you.


Elisabeth said...

Poignant words, here. If only it were so easy to cure ourselves of our bad habits, through love.

Ruth said...

Love is attention. It comes, I think.

I do not tire of winter, but I do have bad habits.

The last stanza here moves me, the determination to keep after "the friend" even when their presence is not felt.

I also think of the myth of Demeter and Persephone, how Demeter looked for her daughter and in her grief denied things growing, causing winter. Perhaps we cause winter around us when we abandon our true place, looking for something outside ourselves. What a balance it takes, to give attention and love to what is here in our life, and to what we want that has seemingly left.

ds said...

Not yet tired of winter, but the rest fits. I am a mass of bad habits.
That last stanza pierces...

The Solitary Walker said...

Oh dear! I'm tired of winter AND I have bad habits. Is there hope?

Anonymous said...

The Friend Rumi is referring to is God.

Ruth said...

Yes, must be. I like how it works for both God, and an earthly friend, too.