It's not many things that keep my mercurial attention for so long, but Rumi has been a constant companion, in the form of any one of the many books of his poetry stuffed into my bag at all times, and a personality that is always at hand-- a teacher, best friend, and kindred spirit. Humorous, full of joy and anguish at the same time, exuding the kind of reckless enthusiasm that gets you into trouble with everyone. Like me, but he really ran with it. And he can use words like nobody's business, while I'm most often unable to say a syllable about the things that really move me.
Rumi lead me on a wild goose chase that brought me to the doorstep of the whirling dervishes, the dancers of the dance he started centuries ago. When I put my foot in place the very first time, I crossed a threshold, I met Rumi on his home turf. The others I found there with their feet on the same path had the same feeling, that Rumi is a companion, and his is a call to dance they couldn't not answer.
Top photo: a dervish in the doorway after the Ithaca sema in December. Second: initiated dervishes in traditional dress in Ithaca. Below: my first class at Kripalu in January a year before.
Sometimes you hear a voice through
the door calling you, as fish out of
water hear the waves, or a hunting
falcon hears the drum's come back.
This turning toward what you deeply
love saves you. Children fill their
shirts with rocks and carry them
around. We're not children anymore.
Read the book of your life which has
been given you. A voice comes to
your soul saying, Lift your foot;
cross over, move into the emptiness
of question and answer and question.