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Lions Roar : May 2008
120 SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2008 SUCH A WILD, GENEROUS IMAGE: “From behind a thin cloth a blaze of straw pretends to be the moon”! Rumi says we have ways of not living, of living instead in the pretending of symbols and clothing. We “ride a donkey into deep mud and sit there.” That’s how farci- cal and stuck such behavior is. Rumi’s poetry loves to discover images for how an- other way might feel. The coming of spring is one of them. Spring arrives here at the end as a new kind of judge, a justice, who instead of confining, removes all restraint. With the same amazing kindness that turns grape juice into wine, as natural as whatever causes fire to “lighten and rise.” A knock on the door comes, not with old, fixed-concept thinking, but with the new- green of being, and its continuously changing question about soul. Which, it turns out, is what we are. ♦ About a Poem: Coleman Barks on Rumi’s “Green Writ” GREEN WRIT From behind a thin cloth a blaze of straw pretends to be the moon. There are those who destroy soul growth by using sacred symbols in their talk. When you fall in love with clothing, it is like you ride a donkey into deep mud and sit there. Even a dog sniffs greasy bread before eating. Have you ever seen lions fighting over a piece of bread? Why are you drawn to a beautiful corpse? You are a continuous question about soul. When the answer comes in, the question changes, the way a kindness in grape juice turns it into wine, the way you were born into this life. Fire lightens and rises. You bow when you hear truth. Fall thieves the garden barren. Then a spring justice knocks on the door. You read the green writ removing all restraint. From Rumi: Bridge to the Soul, translation by Coleman Barks. Published by HarperOne. ARTWORK BY NEYAH SELVA MAY 106-120.indd 120 MAY 106-120.indd 120 3/6/08 11:37:53 AM 3/6/08 11:37:53 AM