Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rumi's poem about aging:

Why does a date-palm lose its leaves in autumn?

Why does every beautiful face grow in old age?
Wrinkled like the back of a libyan lizard?
Why does a full head of hair get bald?
Why is the tall, straight figure
That divided the ranks like a spear
Now bent alomost double?
Why is it that the
Lion strength weakens to nothing?
The wrestler who could hold anyone down
Is led out with two people supporting him,
Their shoulders under his arms?
God answers,
"They put on borrowed robes
and pretended they were theirs.
I take the beautiful clothes back,
so that you will learn the robe
of appearance is only a loan."
Your lamp was lit from another lamp.
All God wants is your gratitude for that.

For Rumi, it is not aging that is loss. On contrary, life itself is loss, a nostalgia for our Origin from which we find ourselves separated. For Jalal ad-Din, the"last of life" is that for which "the first was made," even includes death itself:

Inside the Great Mystery that is, we don't really own anything. What is this competition we feel then, before we go, one at a time, through the same gate.


Anonymous irving said...

Thank you. I am of an age where this is really a worthy reminder :)

Ya Haqq!

11:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How true when you think about it. When one is young, strength and power are taken as ones right as if own. That is the time one thinks the robes are one's ownership only to to realize them being shed as one ages. Power and strength diminish and yes two people may have to help this once mighty strong and powerful person. So the lesson to learn is that nothing is yours - everything is loaned to you. Be humble to recognize it.

2:29 am  

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