Friday, April 22, 2005

NOT A CARAVAN OF DESPAIR

The following poem was given to me by a fascinating practitioner of the aesthetic, British actor Robert Lloyd, no doubt after I had failed grandly at some thing or another.

I enjoy reading it often. The author’s name, Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi, stands for Love and ecstatic flight into the infinite. Rumi is one of the great spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of mankind and was the founder of the Mawlawi Sufi order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam.

He was born in Wakhsh (Tajikistan) in 30 September 1207 to a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family traveled extensivly in the Muslim lands, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of Seljuk Empire.

If there is any general idea underlying Rumi's poetry, it's the absolute love of God. His influence on thought, literature and all forms of aesthetic expression in the world of Islam cannot be overrated. And, he remains an inspirational poet today.

Here's the poem Bob Lloyd gave me on one of my dark days:

Come.

Come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of learning,
It doesn’t matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times.
Come, come yet again.

Come.
____________________________________________________.