Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Year's Greeting: Photo by Margaret Dodd, Poem by Rumi

Vestal Virgin by Rosandic, 1935, in the White Garden, Sissinghurst Gardens, Kent, England. Photography © 1991 Margaret Kay Dodd. All rights reserved.

I received a new year's greeting from my friend Margaret Dodd in Santa Barbara which included this photo along with a poem by Rumi. I enjoyed it so much that I asked for her permission to share it here, and she graciously agreed.

Why does the soul not fly
when it hears the call?
Why does a fish, gasping on land,
but near the water,
not move back into the sea?
What keeps us from joining the dance
the dust particles do?
Look at their subtle motions
in sunlight.
We are out of our cages
with our wings spread,
yet we do not lift off.
We keep collecting rocks and broken bits
of pottery like children
pretending they are merchants.
We should split the sack
of this culture
and stick our heads out.
Look around.
Leave your childhood.
Reach your right hand up
and take this book from the air.
You do know right from left, don’t you?
A voice speaks to your clarity.
Move into the moment of your death.
Consider what you truly want.
Now call out commands yourself.
You are the king. Phrase your question,
And expect the grace of an answer.

Rumi