Tag Archives: Rumi


I catch the movie Meet Joe Black and finally see it beginning to end–I’ve only ever seen the ending. I am stunned by Brad Pitt’s beauty. He’s playing Death, and I think, what if death really is this beautiful?

It’s over, Anthony Hopkins’ character says. He means his life. The words reverberate. What a moment that must be: when you know to your core that you are going to die. Does that realization change you? Cleanse you? Purify? Electrify? What? It seems like it would have to shade the acts of living a precious vibrant purple, a bold, deliberate red.

And at the end, before Hopkins walks away with beautiful death, he says to the people gathered to celebrate his birthday, I want nothing more.

I’m reminded of a Sufi poem by Rumi:

On the day I die, when I’m being carried toward the grave

don’t weep,

don’t say “he’s gone! he’s gone!”

 Death has nothing to do with going away.

The sun sets and the moon sets

but they’re not gone.

 Death is a coming together.

The tomb looks like a prison 

But it’s really release into Union.

 The human seed goes down in the ground

like a bucket into the well where Joseph is.

It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty.

 Your mouth closes here

and immediately opens with a shout of joy



new year

Keep walking though there’s no place to get to….

Don’t try to see through

the distances….

That’s not for

human beings….



But don’t

move the way

fear makes

you move……

Poetry from the 13th century mystic poet Rumi….advice for a new year. I like it that there is some place in our calendar where we may stop, take note, take a deep breath, and try again. At living, I mean. The older I am, the less whirlwind there is in day to day life, the more I am left with myself. With the internal of myself. When I was a young woman, I fled that internal because the words it spoke, words I wasn’t conscious of, cut so deeply. I carried knives whose blades I never saw but from which I was always running.

What does your internal say? If it hurts, is it true? If it isn’t true, how wonderful. If it is, then begin the change so the words are false. Be the beauty you really are…. a goal for 2012………….

sweet again

I found this quote from Rumi, and it stopped me in my tracks:

Make me sweet again,

fragant and fresh and wild,

and thankful for any small event.

How I want that. It’s harder as I age. I can feel the faintest tinge of bitterness always there to shade its color in me….an is that all there is? Or…I knew you’d do that….as if too much life experience or being around people long enough has given me an inevitable edge of distrust.

I want to be the best of the girl I was: open, trusting, assuming good would happen. A wise man once asked a group of us, what is good? That which is nondisturbing? That which pleases you? What if that isn’t good to another? What then is good?

Ah. That brings God/higher power/universe aspects into the picture. The old Zen story of the boy who broke his leg (bad, right?) only that meant he couldn’t be dragged away from his family to be a solider when an army passed through. Or the rain that floods one place and heals another. The truth is I don’t know what good is, nor bad, at a bigger level, from a larger gaze that takes in more than me.

So I want to be sweet again, fragant and fresh and wild, and thankful for any small event. That, now, is good.

singing myself

Words from a Unity prayer caught my attention this week….I go about fulfilling that for which I was designed, which is to sing myself and try to share the loveliness of which I am aware….I was struck by “sing myself” because that’s what writing fiction is, and I often tremble at my own boldness to dare it. I don’t know the song when I begin a new project. I have to pull it all from inside onto the page. The inherent audacity in that frightens some feeble part of me. Interestingly enough, words from Rumi also uncovered themselves from among the stacks of files, books, and papers that are my office:

Today, like every other day, we

wake up empty and frightened.

Don’t open the door to the study

and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss

the ground.

Isn’t that lovely? That our very creativity is a act of kneeling and kissing the ground? That our very life, living it, is also….sharing not the fear and anger, but the loveliness….