The most living moment comes when
those who love each other meet each
other's eyes and in what flows
between them. 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.
--Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)
Rumi's name means "the Roman" named for the area Rum where he lived most of his life. He was a 13th century Persian Islamic jurist, theologian, writer and mystic. He is said to have been born in 1207 in what is now Afghanistan, though some say he was born in a small town on the river Wakhsh in what is now Tajikistan. He lived most his life under the Sultanate of rum, where he produced his works in the Persian language. After he died in 1273CE his son and followers founded the Order of Whirling Dervishes, famous for the Sufi dance known as the sama ceremony.
A musical version of this poem by David N Childs is one of the pieces we will be singing next for choir. You can hear it here.