There’s someone swaying by your
side, lips that say Mashallah
Mashalla wonderful, god inside
attraction, a spring no one knew
of wells up on the valley floor,
lights inside a tent lovers move
toward. The refuse of Damascus
gets turned over in the sun; be
like that yourself. Say mercy,
mercy to the one who guides your
soul, who keeps time. Move, make
a mistake, look up. Checkmate. 

I fear. I fear upsetting people, making people wait, frustrating people, disrupting people. I fear being thought inept, silly, irrelevant, stupid, tedious. I fear being found guilty. I fear shame. I fear having my life work defined by a mistake. I fear a loss of reputation; I fear not having one. I fear being disgraced. I fear losing all confidence. I fear being forgotten. I fear exiting in disgrace. And I fear staying in ignominy.

What all of this is, of course, is refuse. It’s the wet, uncomposted litter lying at the bottom of my soul. It’s the stuff that needs to be turned over in the sun. It needs to be moved, stirred up. And yes, in the process there is risk. Mistakes will be made…

…but what the hell, is there not mercy enough? If the refuse is left, nothing grows. No chance. No possible valley floor with surprising springs. No love, no light in the tent, no swaying, no lips whispering divinity in your ear.

Damn fine of Rumi to point all this out don’t you think?

muttartsm (34)

(Mashallah: may the Divine stir and grow and keep you.)

1 Comment

  1. damn fine of you to translate Rumi into accessible and personal (and of course still poetic) English for those of us uninclined to take the time for Rumi!

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