TENDING TWO SHOPS
Don’t run around this world
looking for a hole to hide in.
There are wild beasts in every cave!
If you live with mice,
the cat claws will find you.
The only real rest comes
when you’re alone with God.
Live in the nowhere that you came from,
even though you have an address here.
That’s why you see things in two ways.
Sometimes you look at a person
and see a cynical snake.
someone else see a joyful lover,
and you’re both right!
Everyone is half and half,
like the black and white ox.
Joseph looked ugly to his brothers,
and most handsome to his father.
You have eye that see from that nowhere,
and eyes that judge distances,
how high and how low.
You own two shops,
and you run back and forth.
Try to close the one that’s a fearful trap,
getting always smaller. Checkmate,
this way. Checkmate that.
Keep open the shop
where you’re not selling fishhooks anymore.
You are the free-swimming fish.
Imagine the time the particle you are
returns where it came from!
The family darling comes home. Wine,
without being contained in cups,
is handed around.
A red glint appears in ta granite outcrop,
and suddenly the whole cliff turns to ruby.
At dawn I walked along with a monk
on his way to the monastery.
“We do the same work,”
I told him. “We suffer the same.”
He gave me a bowl.
And I saw:
the soul has this shape.
Shams, you that teach us and actual sunlight,
help me now,
being in the middle of being partly in my self,
and partly outside.
Beauty surrounds us
but usually we need to be walking
in a garden to know it.
The body itself is a screen
to shield and partially reveal
the light that’s blazing
inside your presence.
Water, stories, the body,
all things we do, are mediums
that hide and show what’s hidden.
and enjoy this being washed
with a secret we sometimes know,
and then not.
This mirror inside me shows…
I can’t say what, but I can’t not know!
I run from body, I run from spirit.
I do not belong anywhere.
I’m not alive!
You smell the decay?
You talk about my craziness.
Listen rather to the honed-blade sanity I say.
This gourd head on top of a dervish robe,
do I look like someone you know?
~from Rumi, The Shape of My Tongue
I honor those who try
to rid themselves of any lying,
who empty the self
and have only clear being there.
~Rumi, The Core of Masculinity
image: Kate Moss in Moschino