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Thursday, September 16, 2004
on ailments
Listening to:quiet
Reading:just finished Slaughterhouse 5
Weather:gorgeous, 71, hurrican Ivan on its way
Have I told you that my friend has leukemia? She's a colleague of mine. She's in Baltimore for several weeks, recovering from a bone marrow transplant. When your friend gets sick with something scary like that it brings all her best qualities to the surface of your thoughts, and she is a really cool person. Another friend and colleague in California recently emailed me that he's running a marathon for leukemia next month. Hope it helps.

Liv is home sick today. She's been complaining of a sore throat for a couple of days, today she's congested, too, so I hope a day of rest will help cure. She's been sleeping all morning.

And in the realm of less curable maladies, I heard an Indonesdian islamic leader on public radio the other day talking about Affluenza. It's a disease of the rich who can't find satisfaction in their stuff. Drives them to religion, he said. There's an increase in Sufism in Indonesia these days, lots of doctor's wives learning the practices and whatnot. Sufis, you probably know, are the sect the whirling dervishes come from, Rumi and all that.

Rumi is the bomb, I love that dude. He lived in Persia during the time of Genghis Khan and whatnot, 13th century. Born in what is now Afghanistan, lived in what is now Turkey, all along the Silk Road so he got lots of exposure to exotic people and stuff. Sufis like Rumi blend notions of alchemy and religion, very mystical. He was a scholar and a poet. He hooked up with the wandering wild man names Shams and they hung out together. Shams added a passionate edge to Rumi's scholarly past. Anyhoo, he's a cool dude, here's a poem:
How did you get away?
You were the pet falcon of an old woman.
Did you hear the falcon-drum?
You were a drunken songbird put in with owls.
Did you smell the odor of a garden?
You got tired of sour fermenting
and left the tavern.

You went like an arrow to the target
from the bow of time and place.
The man who stays at the cemetery pointed the way,
but you didn't go.
You became light and gave up wanting to be famous.
You don't worry about what you're going to eat,
so why buy an engraved belt?

I've heard of living at the center, but what about
leaving the center of the center?
Flying toward thankfulness, you become
the rare bird with one wing made of fear,
and one of hope. In autumn,
a rose crawling along the ground in the cold wind.
Rain on the roof runs down and out by the spout
as fast as it can.

Talking is pain. Lie down and rest,
now that you've found a friend to be with.

permalink posted by cat 10:27 AM

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on ailments