Friday, January 7, 2011

Rumi: Gnats and Other Small Things

Love rests on no foundation.
It is an endless ocean,
with no beginning or end.

 -- Rumi
Today's guidance from The Rumi Card Book:
Transformation Card:  Through love, disaster becomes good fortune.  Through love, a prison becomes a garden.  The way from defeat to victory runs through love:  Things are never as bad as you imagine them to be.
Category explanation from the book:  In the universe of Love, all things are in perpetual metamorphosis.  Love powers an endless evolution and a cosmic dance in which all things constantly are born and die and change shape.
Today's recording is special as it features both Coleman Barks and Robert Bly (poet, author, activist and leader of the mythopoetic men's movement) reading Rumi.  There is a repeat of "Inside Water" from an earlier post (but do we ever get tired of hearing him?) and Bly reads "Come to the orchard in spring" one of my favorites.

Gnats Inside the Wind

Some gnats come from the grass to speak with Solomon.
O Solomon, you are the champion of the oppressed.
You give justice to the little guys, and they don't get
any littler than us. We are tiny metaphors
for frailty. Can you defend us'
Who has mistreated you'
Our complaint is against the wind.
Well, says Solomon, you have pretty voices,
you gnats, but remember, a judge cannot listen
to just one side. I must hear both litigants.
Of course, agree the gnats.
Summon the East Wind, calls out Solomon,
and the wind arrives almost immediately.
What happened to the gnat plaintiffs' Gone.
Such is the way of every seeker who comes to complain
at the High Court. When the presence of God arrives,
where are the seekers' First there's dying,

then union, like gnats inside the wind.

Come to the orchard in Spring.
There is light and wine, and sweethearts        
in the pomegranate flowers.

If you do not come, these do not matter.
If you do come, these do not matter.

More about Coleman Barks:  


  1. I really like how Bly shows the difference between "matter" and "are not important". It's more than skill; it's that intuitive sense of sound and meaning, which Barks has in abundance, that make his translations so fine.

  2. This card today -- it is exactly what I desperately needed.

    Thank you.