Fall in Love the Rumi Way

Intimacy with other people and with the divine is more about friendship--and hard work--than romance.

Continued from page 2

The harsh, severe Rumi [poems] may be the ones that have been neglected. He does the sweetness so well that when he scolds us...

We turn to the next page.

Right (laughs).

There's definitely great love and happiness in the poems, but sadness too.

Rumi says, "Try to be like a duck, with its joyful body paddling along in the loving water of the river. Just enjoy that" -that delight in buoyancy. There's a kind of happy ease.

But he says that grief is very important too. It's only someone who feels the disconnect, who's had some sense of being in this wholeness of holy, who has the longing to change and be somewhere different. He says "give me that longing." There's a mixture of fulfillment and grief. He doesn't neglect either one of these visions.

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Another idea is thinking of all of creation as a garden, and watching it grow. We can't understand why all these things flourish and then die, but we can

watch

it and enjoy it. That's what a human being is. We don't know how or why--the purposes of our songs and dances-but they

do

have one, and we just can't say it. We're like that duck--we can just ride it. We're good at that.

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Interview with Coleman Barks
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