March 11, 2009

Rumi Lifts Another Mirror

Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you’re bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look, and instead
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you’d be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as bird wings.

Rumi

Rumi begin with the grief for what was lost - a phrase that surely gets my attention. But Rumi says that this grief lifts a mirror. I recognize this is an amazing truth, a beautiful and enlarging insight. This mirror shows us where we are working, bravely working. Things look their worst in grief. And yet, there in the dark bitterness is the kindness of a friend, a lily in bloom, the soft satin of the blanket's edge. These signs work on me, and in my imaginings I connect with the essence of God; it is a fleeting feeling of being held, a feeling of hopefulness and of greatness enveloping me. I feel my sad, dragging, crying, loathsome self begin to soften, to look, to open to this light, and to the warmth of connection. I stretch my hand/heart open, just a little at first, then close again. Then, feeling a soft breeze upon my face, move to open again. I expand, and then contract, and somewhere within this slight movement is where I settle, balanced in a faint flutter.

4 comments:

ici said...

Beautifully put...

David said...

Wow. Beautiful.

Kathy Monkman said...

So beautiful--I just shared this with many of my friends as well. Your commentary makes this poem come so alive for me. Thank you.

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