Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Cat and The Meat
There was once a sneering wife
who ate all her husband brought home
and lied about it.

One day it was some lamb for a guest
who was to come. He had worked two hundred days
in order to buy that meat.

When he was away, his wife cooked a kabob
and at it all, with wine.

The husband returns with his guest.
The cat has eaten the meat, she says.
Buy more, if you have any money left.

He asks a servant to bring the scales
and the cat. The cat weighs three pounds.
The meat was three pounds, one ounce.

If this is the cat, where is the meat?
If this is the meat, where is the cat?
Start looking for one or the other.
If you have a body, where is the spirit?
If you are spirit, what is the body?

This is not our problem to worry about.
Both are both. Corn is corn grain
and cornstalk. The divine butcher
cuts us a piece from the thigh
and a piece from the neck.

Invisible, visible, the world
does not work without both.

If you throw dust at someone's head,
nothing will happen.

If you throw water, nothing.
But combine them into a lump.

That marriage of water and earth
cracks open the head,
and afterward, there are other marriages.
I found this to be a tough one on the cushion. I think I was too compelled by the story to let go and see what was going on. That mean wife! 200 days of work for some lamb! But then I just settled down a bit and considered whether it was that or the fact that my mind struggles with duality all the time. Dust - nothing. Water, nothing. So...I should marry my body and spirit if I want to crack someone's head open? And afterward, those other marriages? What is that about? I'll keep on keeping on.
small note: I won't post the poems twice - it is too tedious. I have chosen the poem for today and will post on it tomorrow. I'll just tell you the title if you want to keep up! It is a series of poems in The Turn: Dance in Your Blood.  - starting on page 278, in The Essential Rumi by Barks.

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