RUMI: TWO QUATRAINS ON NIGHT
“Night comes so people can sleep like fish
In black water. Then day.
Some people pick up their tools.
Others become the making itself.”
“Night goes back to where it was.
Everyone returns home sometime.
Night, when you get there,
Tell them how I love you.”
From the collection Unseen Rain: Quatrains of Rumi translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks Putney, VT: Threshold Books, 1986. The translators note that “in some languages of the Middle East the word for ‘rain’ and the word for ‘grace’ are the same”.
I am very conscious at this time of year not just of darkness, but of a longer night. Here Sufi poet and teacher Rumi evokes qualities of night, suggesting potential forms of relationship with it.
No great insights from me but nights loom large for me just now – not because I live in Scotland (yesterday we had exactly 17 hours of night) but because although I’ve lived with disturbed sleep ever since I can remember, but I also have a puppy… so I am outside in the early hours every day – it’s s challenge as I have happily lived with my own waking but for months now I have literally had very little sleep. However, I am an optimist at heart and this past week has seen sub-zero temperatures with a full moon and I revel in the glittering beauty of our woodland home – my favourite weather. Without a full moon the occasional clear night gave astounding views of the Milky Way – stars and planets, as we do not have light pollution at all. There’s always something to be grateful for. We had a Rumi reading at our handfasting almost 12 years ago – a sparkling January morning in a Beech woodland. ‘…the lamps are different, but the light is the same…’ words that reflected our, at the time, different beliefs coming together.
Sorry to hear that you are living with a level of sleep deprivation. I had that for a period in the spring and early summer due to breathing difficulties that are now under control. It is great that your stunning natural surroundings continue to nourish you – I can see how the absence of light pollution is part of what makes them so special. I am glad that the Rumi poems have brought up a happy memory!