Jesus makes a quick getaway

By: alexanderlewin

Aug 20 2015

Tags: , , ,

Category: acrylic, Hand-painted, Jesus, Poetry, Rumi, Sufism

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Unfold Your Own Myth

Who gets up early to discover
the moment light begins?
Who finds us here circling,
bewildered like atoms?
Who comes to a spring thirsty
and sees the moon reflected in it?
Who like Jacob, blind with grief and age,
smells the shirt of his lost son and can see again?
Who lets a bucket down
and brings up a flowing prophet?
Or, like Moses, goes for fire
and finds what burns inside
the sunrise?

Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies
and opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish,
and there is a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the Prophet
and leaves with blessings.
Chase a deer and end up everywhere.
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow one drop.
Now there is a pearl.
A vagrant wanders empty ruins.
Suddenly he is wealthy.

But do not be satisfied with stories,
how things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth,
without complicated explanations,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.

Start walking towards Shams, the teacher, the sun.
Your legs will get heavy and tired.
Then comes a moment of feeling
the wings you have grown,

Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273)
tr.Coleman Barks
from Rumi: The Big Red Book
HarperCollins 2010


In his notes, Coleman Barks remarks, after commenting on the origins of the line,
Chase a deer and end up everywhere
which refers to Ibrahim Balkhi,
whose story belongs to its very own blog post:

There are other implied stories in many of the sentences of “Unfold Your Own Myth.” I recognize the Moses, Jacob, Joseph, and Omar stories, but not the one that refers to Jesus. Does anybody out there know the source of that?

I’m not sure of the Jesus reference, but it is reminiscent of his other quick getaway, when he flees from the angry mob in his home town of Nazareth,(Luke 4:28-30).

And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
But he passing through the midst of them went his way…

Tough crowd.


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