Late, by myself, in the boat of myself,
no light and no land anywhere,
cloudcover thick. I try to stay
just above the surface, yet I’m already under
and living within the ocean.
For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Come to the orchard in the spring.
There is light and wine, and sweethearts and pomegranate flowers.
If you do not come, these do not matter.
If you do come, these do not matter.
For a while we lived with people,
but we saw no sign in them of the faithfulness we wanted.
It’s better to hide completely within
as water hides in metal, as fire hides in rock.
In pain, I breathe easier.
The scared child is running from the house, screaming.
I hear the gentleness.
Under nine layers of illusion, whatever the light,
on the face of any object, in the ground itself,
I see your face.
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.
Open Secret: Versions of Rumi
trans. John Moyne and Coleman Barks
“The mystery does not get clearer by repeating the question”