Great Intimacy

Jalal al-Din Rumi

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It is like an exquisite spider web, this world, but I

don't get trapped.

 

I have ceased to tie the strings of one shoe to

another in the morning,

 

so now I don't trip over my wants. This leaves me

nimble. Any mountain I can scamper up.

 

A long rope shoved quickly into a sack can easily

get tangled and not be of proper use

 

when all of a sudden you need it. So I do everything,

everything with care.

 

It is like a miraculous weave of silk, the fabric of

this tender-looking sphere where we are camping,

 

but I don't get caught in any arms or lives, unless

they are loving, loving me.

 

Gazing at Her across a field some days, and desiring

great intimacy as we need, what can I do?

 

What can we do when God is acting coy, but to

be like a bird that sings to its mate?

Jalal al-Din Rumi, translated by Daniel Landinsky, "GREAT INTIMACY" from The Purity of Desire 100 Poems of Rumi. Copyright © 2012 by Daniel Landinsky. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: The Purity of Desire 100 Poems of Rumi (Penguin Books, 2012)