22 February 2024: Why Am I So Blessed?

Why Am I So Blessed?

~ by Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks

You keep coming out of my chest into visibility,
singing songs, telling tangled stories.
With one breath a universe whirls into being.
You wash the world.
You tighten the string around my finger.
But why am I so blessed,
with a Joseph and a Job on every side, whose houses have been broken into and their sweet-smelling linens stolen?
Now you lead a procession into the cemetery
as though it is a garden.
You shout, Rise and dance,
and they do, the ancient dead, the newly dead,
so happy to be out in the air again,
the graveyard looks like a marketplace on holiday.
I am not saying these things to appear visionary and spiritual.
I have seen this happen in ways I cannot express.
Always test a high-sounding remark.
If someone claims, I have left all that, see if his shirt is torn in the back.
Tell the word-men to quit talking
and listen to the grief a lover feels.
Be relentless in your looking, because you are the one you seek.

Rumi, The Big Red Book, translation by Colman Barks, p. 194