Guest House

Rumi — so often quoted. The 13th century Persian poet.

The Guest House is one of my favorites. For the temporariness that it points to, while at the same time, casting a glance at the infinite in the unseen.

In any of the work I get to do, I feel it is done best when attending simultaneously to what is directly in front of us, and, to the infinite context within which that “in front of us” is wrapped.

Thanks Karen Winkel for reminding me of this.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
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 are 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 whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

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