Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"There's courage involved if you want to become truth."

I am still keeping vigil by my grandmother's bedside, so I have little space in my mind these days for ponderings of an intellectual variety, less so to craft a blog post of any interest. Moreover, despite the seeming simplicity of the days, time is passing with incredible speed.

As the days pass, quietly amidst family, all of us patiently caring for my grandmother and preparing for our loss of her, I am thinking, of course, about life and death. I am thinking too about family and love and home, and contemplating my luck in this life and the blessings that I can't even count. There is a great deal I could say on those topics, I'm sure. But instead, for this evening, I will simply post this poem that I rediscovered today. Apropos of nothing, I think it's a beautiful, honest, and direct poem that speaks volumes about life and its sometimes brutal quality. It is a poem about the courage and strength it takes to live an honest and full life.

Not Here
by Rumi

There's courage involved
if you want to become truth

There is a broken-open place
in a lover

Where are those qualities
of bravery and sharp compassion?

What's the use
of old and frozen thought?

I want a howling hurt

This is not a treasury
where gold is stored;
this is for copper.

We alchemists look for talent
that can heat up and change.

Lukewarm won't do.

Halfhearted holding back,
well-enough getting by?

Not here. 

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