Last week, this Rumi poem inspired me to make some photographs (like this one, left; more below the poem) with a scarf, a pearl, and a very small whale.
This poem comes from The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks.
Where Everything is Music
Don’t worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn’t matter.
We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world’s harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.
So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.
Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!
from a slow and powerful root
that we can’t see.
Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.
This poem brings up so much for me: the singing of songs, the playing of music, that urge that wells up from somewhere inside the body…. and the immortal quality of that urge. Reminds me of the “music of the spheres.” And of the way music can be so fun and transportive, all at the same time. And I love best the last lines: “okay, quit talking about it and just feel it.” I’ve definitely felt those soul windows opening (and sometimes shutting, only to open later).
When I finished reading it, I looked at the blue scarf I was wearing, and it felt just like the ocean, swirling all around that pearl at the bottom of the sea.
Of course there’s much more in this poem. What do you get from it?
Thanks to Barbara for giving me the tiny whale as a present, and thanks Dena for gifting me the silk scarf. Thanks to Erin for loaning me her Irish pearl as a photo prop. (This was my first photo illustration ever. It was fun!)