I discovered that I liked the poems of Rumi and had been wanting to learn more about him. Recently I bought Rumi: The Book of Love by Coleman Barks. As part of this morning’s quiet time, I opened the book. Barks says this of Rumi in his introduction: “Through Rumi comes a transmission of the divine to this planet in the regions of love. His poetry is a record of his enduring the experience of living at the core. In each human being there is a meeting with the divine. That intersection is the heart.” How delicious is that?
I was drawn to the section on Sudden Wholeness. What a beautiful, sweet feeling to read this man’s work and connect with shared feelings and experiences of love and nature and life. What amazing power words have to connect us…me and this Persian Sufi who lived from 1207 to 1273.
One poem, in particular, settled with me as truth: The Music We Are. It ends with the line: Poems are rough notations for the music we are. What a perfect description! When I think about my writing, especially during my cancer diagnosis and treatment, it’s clear to me that my scribbling was my soul expressing itself, a calling out to be heard and understood. When I tried to polish what I’d written, at some point I began to erase the perfection of the imperfect song.
The Music We Are by Rumi
Did you hear that winter is over? The basil
and the carnations cannot control their
laughter. The nightingale, back from his
wandering, has been made singing master
over the birds. The trees reach out their
congratulations. The soul goes dancing
through the king’s doorway. Anemones blush
because they have seen the rose naked.
Spring, the only fair judge, walks in the
courtroom, and several December thieves steal
away. Last year’s miracles will soon be
forgotten. New creatures whirl in from non-
existence, galaxies scattered around their
feet. Have you met them? Do you hear the
bud of Jesus crooning in the cradle? A single
narcissus flower has been appointed Inspector
of Kingdoms. A feast is set. Listen: the
wind is pouring wine! Love used to hide
inside images: no more! The orchard hangs
out its lanterns. The dead come stumbling by
in shrouds. Nothing can stay bound or be
imprisoned. You say, “End this poem here,
and wait for what’s next.” I will. Poems
are rough notations for the music we are.