Yesterday I read this line of Rumi’s, “Sell your cleverness, purchase wonder.” If I ever need a reminder of how to get out of my head and back into my heart, I do believe that line will forever do it for me.
It is funny, or maybe not, how attached I have been to my cleverness over the years. I have hung onto it like a life preserver throughout my life, believing that without it I will drown. Even in this moment I worry, “will this post be clever enough to keep their attention?” I give up. I’m going for wonder.
In Iran, there are people who roam the streets peddling Hafiz poems (another Sufi poet). You pay them some money, and they pick one from the pile, and read it aloud. The one they pick IS the exact one meant for you.
Here is the one I just picked for you (swear I just picked it at random):
The Mule Got Drunk and Lost in Heaven
The mind is ever a tourist
Wanting to touch and buy new things
Then toss them into an already
So I craft my words into those guides
That will offer you something fresh
From the Hidden’s Tavern.
Few things are stronger than
The mind’s need for diverse experience.
I am glad
Not many men or women can remain
Faithful lovers to the unreal.
There is a kind of adultery
That God encourages:
Your spirit needs to leave the bed
The gross, subtle, the mental worlds
Become as a worthless husband.
To utilize their superior intelligence
So that their hour’s legacy
Can make us all stronger and more clement.
Sometimes a poem happens like this one:
The mule I sit on while I recite
Starts off in one direction
But then gets drunk
And lost in
from The Gift: Poems by Hafiz The Great Sufi Master; translated by Daniel Ladinsky