Rumi on Aging.
I had the good fortune to travel to Konya, Turkey for the Mevlana Whirling Dervish Festival nearly a decade ago. This celebration of the poet/philosopher Rumi’s life had a profound impact on my appreciation for Sufism and the mentor relationship Rumi had with Shams, his wild-eyed muse.
I thought I’d read almost all of Rumi’s poems as I’ve devoured more than a dozen books, but this poem on the editing of our identities as we age just popped up….from 750 years ago.
Why does a date-palm lose its leaves in autumn?
Why does every beautiful face grow in old age
Wrinkled like the back of a Libyan lizard?
Why does a full head of hair get bald
Why is the tall, straight figure
That divided the ranks like a spear
Now bent almost double?
Why is it that the
Lion's strength weakens to nothing?
The wrestler who could hold anyone down
Is led out with two people supporting him,
Their shoulders under his arms?
"They put on borrowed robes
And pretended they were theirs.
I take the beautiful clothes back,
So that you will learn the robe
Of appearance is only a loan."
Your lamp was lit from another lamp.
All God wants is your gratitude for that.
P.S. Please consider joining us this coming Tuesday for a free online event with me and two of MEA’s guest faculty members Aaron Taylor and Janis Nakano Spivack called “Get Unstuck and Find Joy in a Career Swerve.” You can register HERE.