Thursday, 11 April 2013

Ah my friend, what have you brought me ? Rumi

Ah my friend, 
what have you brought me ?

You know 
a traveler should not arrive empty handed 
at the door of a friend like me. 
That's going to the grinding stone
without your wheat.

He will ask at the Resurrection,
'Did you bring Me a present? Did you forget?
Did you think you wouldn't see Me?'

Beloved kept teasing,
"Lets have it. I want my gift!"

The Friend began,
"You can't imagine how
I've looked for something for you.
Nothing seemed appropriate.
You don't take gold down into a goldmine, or a
drop of water to the Sea of Oman!

Everything I thought of was like
bringing cumin seed to Kirmanshah where
cumin comes from.

You have all seeds in your barn.
You even have my love and my soul,
so I can't even bring those.

I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself, and remember me."

He took the mirror out from his robe
where he was hiding it.

What is the mirror of being?

Always bring a mirror of non-existence
as a gift.
Any other present is foolish.

~ Rumi
Mathnawi, I,
Version by Coleman Barks
(Developed from the translation by Nicholson)
"The Essential Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 1995

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