Joy at Sudden Disappointment
The Joy That Wounds
You are the drop,and the ocean
you are kindness,you are anger,
you are sweetness,you are poison.
Do not make me more disheartened.
you are the chamber of the sun,
you are the abode of venus,
you are the garden of all hope.
Oh, Beloved, let me enter.
Love asks us to enjoy our life
For nothing good can come of death.
Who is alive? I ask.
Those who are born of love.
Seek us in love itself,
Seek love in us ourselves.
Sometimes I venerate love,
Sometimes it venerates me.
And patience flees my heart,
And reason flees my mind.
Oh, how drunk can I get to be,
Without your love’s security?
Oh you, unceasing sun, to me
Your particles communicate
The luminous essence of God,
Are you our God? I do not know.
Intoxicated, I say nought,
Bewitched by the magic potion.
I cannot differentiate
Between my drunk and sober state.
Oh you, straying heart, just come!
Oh you, aching liver, just come!
If the path to the gate is closed,
Take the way by the wall, but come!
Move Into Your House of Joy
If you knew yourself for even one moment,
if you could just glimpse
your most beautiful face,
maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply
in that house of clay.
Why not move into your house of joy
and shine into every crevice!
For you are the secret
and always have been.
Didn’t you know?
Joy at Sudden Disappointment
Whatever comes, comes from a need,
a sore distress, a hurting want.
Mary’s pain made the baby Jesus.
Her womb opened its lips
and spoke the Word.
Every part of you has a secret language.
Your hands and your feet say what you’ve done.
And every need brings in what’s needed.
Pain bears its cure like a child.
Having nothing produces provisions.
Ask a difficult question,
and the marvelous answer appears.
Build a ship, and there’ll be water
to float it. The tender-throated
infant cries and milk drips
from the mother’s breast.
Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring.
A village woman once was walking by Muhammed.
She thought he was just an ordinary illiterate.
She didn’t believe that he was a prophet.
She was carrying a two-month-old baby.
As she came near Muhammed, the baby turned
and said, “Peace be with you, Messenger of God.”
The mother cried out, surprised and angry,
“What are you saying,
and how can you suddenly talk!”
The child replied, “God taught me first,
and then Gabriel.”
“Who is this Gabriel?
I don’t see anyone.”
“He is above your head,
Mother. Turn around. He has been telling me
“Do you really see him?”
He is continually delivering me from this
degraded state into sublimity.”
Muhammed then asked the child,
“What is your name?”
“Abdul Aziz, the servant of God, but this family
thinks I am concerned with world-energies.
I am as free of that as the truth of your prophecy is.”
So the little one spoke, and the mother
took in a fragrance that let her surrender
to that state.
When God gives this knowing,
inanimate stones, plants, animals, everything,
fills with unfolding significance.
The fish and the birds becomes protectors.
Remember the incident of Muhammed and the eagle.
It happened that as he was listening
to this inspired baby, he heard a voice
calling him to prayer. He asked for water
to perform ablutions. He washed his hands
and feet, and just as he reached for his boot,
an eagle snatched it away! The boot turned upsidedown
as it lifted, and a poisonous snake dropped out.
The eagle circled and brought the boot back,
saying, “My helpless reverence for you
made this necessary. Anyone who acts
this presumptuously for a legalistic reason
should be punished!”
Muhammed thanked the eagle,
and said, “What I thought was rudeness
was really love. You took away my grief,
and I was grieved! God has shown me everything,
but at that moment I was preoccupied within myself.”
“But chosen one, any clarity I have
comes from you!”
This spreading radiance
of a True Human Being has great importance.
Look carefully around you and recognize
the luminosity of souls. Sit beside those
who draw you to that.
Learn from this eagle story
that when misfortune comes, you must quickly praise.
Others may be saying, Oh no, but you
will be opening out like a rose
losing itself petal by petal.
Someone once asked a great sheikh
what sufism was.
“The feeling of joy
when sudden disappointment comes.”
The eagle carries off Muhammed’s boot
and saves him from snakebite.
Don’t grieve for what doesn’t come.
Some things that don’t happen
keep disasters from happening.