Jan 28 “Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows”

Wednesday January 28  –   Rumi    “ . . .  as an unexpected visitor”

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī  (جلال‌الدین محمد رومی‎)   Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic 1207-1273.   A friend, who reads this list, sent me Rumi’s “The Guest House.”   Her note reminded me that I had managed to post over 200 poems and prayers without inviting Rumi onto the list.  “The Guest House” is a good poem to welcome another great poet here.

It’s the middle work day of the last January week.  Some friends from the east coast have told me stories of blizzards out there.  Some friends on campus talk about how cold it is.  A good day for welcoming what comes our way.
Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.

No post Friday.  Tomorrow morning we have a half-day retreat  (3 trustees, 3 faculty, 1 fellow, 8 staff and administrators).   When we finish with lunch the university’s board of trustees begins the January meeting into Friday.   Too tight a fit to contemplate and write.  Monday I’ll be flying back from the ACCU  annual meeting in DC.  See you again next Wednesday.


john sj

Today’s Post “The Guest House”

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


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