Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Remembering A Rumi Poem

Reading the Rumi poem "Begin" reminded me of the time in my life when I often read his poems when I lead workshops for men in the 1990's. My favorite poem to recite was:

These spiritual window-shoppers,
who idly ask, 'How much is that?' Oh, I'm just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.

Where did you go? "Nowhere."
What did you have to eat? "Nothing much."

Even if you don't know what you want,
buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.

Those last lines aways surprised people and blew me away when I first read them. Of course, they were counter to everything my Minnesota Lutheran "nice boy" upbringing had taught me. It has been a longtime challenge to get to a place even close to living Rumi's words ... "It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you."

As far as starting "a huge foolish project, like Noah," I haven't identified a metaphorical "ark" to build yet (or the water hasn't risen high enough -- or gotten deep enough -- for me to get the message!).

Have you created "a huge foolish project" during your lifetime? No matter how it turned out, I encourage you to write about it in your ethical will. And, if you have such a project in mind, get it started ... and make it part of your life legacy!

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Gunnar Berg said...

And this blog isn't an ark?

Todd said...

No, this blog doesn't qualify (not foolish enough ... yet?). At least your blog has a little wood bark "on top" to use if you'd like to start building a Gunnar ark.