Poetry Friday

welcomeI was looking through the archive of poems here for one that speaks particularly to me during this difficult time, and I found myself lingering on Rumi’s The Guest House. I am very struck by the image of …”a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture..”, as this sums up perfectly how I am feeling right now, as if a violent storm has swept through my body and my life, leaving devastation and loss in its wake.   

However,  seeing as I am such a great one for dishing out advice to everyone here, I thought I better take some of it myself and put the words of this poem into action.  I need to welcome (not so easy!) the sorrow and the pain and trust that it is here for a reason, and that in the words of Ezra Bayda, the basic paradox is that while everything seems like a mess now, “yet all is well”.   

If you are experiencing a violent crowd of sorrows in your own life, I hope these words may soothe your soul and bring you some measure of peace, or understanding today, as they have brought to me.   

The Guest House    

This being human is a guesthouse.    

Every morning a new arrival    

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.    

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.    

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.    

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.