Who Says Words With My Mouth?
All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.
This poetry, I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.
I wish I could speak my language–that thing for which there are no words–so you might understand. Maybe one day I’ll be a poet or composer or painter but until then, Rumi will continue speak me.
I try to distill my experience of the world in a way that others might understand, engage with and, perhaps choose to share with me at some point. Lately, though, I’ve been struggling with words and find it impossible to express the wordless knowing of creation that just is and how I dance with it–daily, intimately.
I find myself unable to distill my experience of the world in a way that is engaging and accessible to those I want to reach, need to connect to. How can I do the same while not losing the dynamism and the extraordinary nature of my encounters as I walk the world?
How do I share the beauty of that for which there are no words when words–lots of them–are what people seem to want? Words that are familiar, that are comforting, that maintain status quo, that merely imply change, hint at truths, lots of words that don’t say much.
I just don’t know.
Until then, more Rumi will have to do:
I serve that orb in heaven, Say no word but Orb! Speak to me of nothing But sweetness and light Not of bother, but of treasure And if you cannot find the words Don’t bother.
Yesterday a craze came over me Love saw, came up to me: Here I am, Don’t shout, Don’t rip your shirt, Hush, shh!
I spoke: Love, I’m scared of that other thing There is no other thing, say nothing! I will whisper secrets in your ear You just nod in asseveration Speak in semaphore
A nova, a celestial love Burst bright above the heartpath So exquisite the quest of heart, It cannot be expressed I asked: Heart, what orb is this? Heart intimated: Beyond fathom Be quiet, forget! Is this the face of man or angel? Beyond men and angels Hush!
What is it? Tell me, I’m in a whirl Whirl on, keep quiet! You sit within this room Whose walls reflect Mere forms and suppositions Get up, go out, move on, Keep quiet!