March 9 – Rumi – “The Guest House”

Monday, March 9, 2020

“some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.”

One of my soul friends of many years emailed Rumi’s “Guest House” in March of 2017 when, as now in 2020, Spring whispers to me of “Lent” and begins to hint of fresh rebirth in the grass and supple new leaves on our trees.  In the early sun across our courtyard, this ancient change of seasons has become unmistakable even while it remains tentative.

When readers send poems, they create a place of quiet in me and sometimes change my plans for a given day’s post.  So it is this morning.  Rumi’s poem creates a still place alive with realism and laughter, grief and joy.  Best to read the poet’s creation out loud, with pauses.

Have a blest week, the second of this Lent.


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.

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī  (جلال‌الدین محمد رومی‎)
Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic 1207-1273.

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