“… The love-ache widens to a plain of longing at the core of everything: the absence-presence center of awareness … baraka (the particular grace of taking in presence) …” ~ Coleman Barks
The most living moment comes
when those who love each other
meet each other’s eyes and in
what flows between them then.
To see your face in a crowd of others,
or alone on a frightening street,
I weep for that.
Our tears improve the earth.
The time you scolded me,
your gratitude, your laughing,
always your qualities increase the soul.
Seeing you is a wine that
does not muddle or numb.
We sit inside the cypress shadow
where amazement and clear thought
twine their slow growth into us.
This poem is an excerpt from Chapter 29, When Friends Meet: The Most Alive Moment which is from the book The Soul of Rumi (see attribution below) … with the following preamble, On Dawn, by Coleman for the chapter and the poems within:
“… In the meeting of Rumi and Shams, in that vital encounter, healing and the truest life begins. Any form of beauty or wisdom or celebration that puts one back in friendship with the soul is where the opposites find rest. “How can I be separated and yet in union?”
Who is this Shams of Tabriz? The question is often asked if Rumi and Shams were lovers in the sexual sense. No. Their meeting in the heart is beyond form and touch and time.
One of the startling prospects that Rumi and Shams bring to the world of mystical awareness, which turns out to be ordinary consciousness as well, is the suggestion that we “fall in love in such a way that it frees us from any connecting.” What that means is that we become friendship. “When living itself becomes the Friend, lovers disappear.” That is, a human being can become a field of love (compassion, generosity, playfulness), rather than being identified with any particular synapse of lover and beloved. The love-ache widens to a plain of longing at the core of everything: the absence-presence center of awareness. Rumi went in search of the missing Shams. The story is that he was on a street in Damascus when the realization came that he was their Friendship. No separation, no union, just he was that at the silent core. I’d have to say that’s the baraka (a blessing, the particular grace of taking in presence), the mystery of the ecstatic life …” ~ Coleman Barks
Coleman Barks has the amazing gift of translating the original Persian/Farsi text in a manner that resonates with the English speaking world … he took the ever present “freshness” that is alive in Rumi and expressed it in English – an incredible feat particularly when you discover that Coleman had never heard of Rumi prior to 1976 when Robert Bly handed him a Rumi translation and said “please release these poems from their cages!” … and …
As a result of Bly’s insightful genius in seeing Coleman’s literary gift, the English speaking world has been able, and continues, to relish Coleman’s accomplished brilliance as he brings Rumi’s “Divinely drunk madness” ever “closer” to so many of us, not just in the west but everywhere in the world.