The Gift Of Water

 

Rumi the gift of water

Someone who doesn’t know the Tigris River exists

brings the caliph who lives near the river

a jar of fresh water.  The caliph accepts, thanks him,

and gives in return a jar filled with gold coins.

“Since this man has come through the desert,

he should return by water.”  Taken out by another door,

the man steps into a waiting boat

and sees the wide freshwater of the Tigris.

He bows his head, “What wonderful kindness

that he took my gift.”

Every object and being in the universe is

a jar overfilled with wisdom and beauty,

a drop of the Tigris that cannot be contained

by any skin.  Every jarful spills and makes the earth

more shining, as though covered in satin.

If the man had seen even a tributary

of the great river, he wouldn’t have brought

the innocence of his gift.

Those that stay and live by the Tigris

grow so ecstatic that they throw rocks at the jugs,

and the jugs become perfect!

They shatter.

The pieces dance, and water….

Do you see?

Neither jar, nor water, nor stone, 

nothing.

You knock at the door of reality,

shake your thought-wings, loosen

your shoulders,

and open.

Poem from The Essential Rumi: The Three Fish

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