April 21, 2009

Heavy Load?

My dear friend and Rakadu compatriot, Melissa, sent this Rumi poem to me. She said she was reminded of me--how my fire experience has lead me to be more selective with collecting/accepting things only if I love them. I hope you find this persian loveliness as delivering and helpful (and less ruinous than a fire).

If you're lugging a heavy bag,
don't fail to look inside it
to see whether what is inside is bitter or sweet.
If it's really worth bringing along, bring it;
otherwise, empty your sack
and redeem yourself from fruitless effort and disgrace.
Only put into your sack
that which is worth bringing to a righteous sovereign.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Chon javâli bas gerân mi bari
zân na-bâyad kam keh dar vay be-negari
Keh cheh dâri dar javâl az talkh o khvosh
gar hami arzad kashidan-râ be-kash
Var nah khâli kon javâlet-râ ze sang
bâz khar khvod-râ azin bigâr o nang
Dar javâl ân kon keh mi bâyad kashid
su-ye soltânân o shâhân-e rashid

-- Mathnawi IV: 1574-1577
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra

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