On the Deathbed
By Jalaluddin Rumi
Translated by Kabir Edmund Helminski
Go, rest your head on a pillow, leave me alone;
leave me ruined, exhausted from the journey of this night,
writhing in a wave of passion till the dawn.
Either stay and be forgiving,
or, if you like, be cruel and leave.
Flee from me, away from trouble;
take the path of safety, far from this danger.
We have crept into this corner of grief,
turning the water wheel with a flow of tears.
While a tyrant with a heart of flint slays,
and no one says, "Prepare to pay the blood money."
Faith in the king comes easily in lovely times,
but be faithful now and endure, pale lover.
No cure exists for this pain but to die,
So why should I say, "Cure this pain"?
In a dream last night I saw
an ancient one in the garden of love,
beckoning with his hand, saying, "Come here."
On this path, Love is the emerald,
the beautiful green that wards off dragonsnough, I am losing myself.
If you are a man of learning,
read something classic,
a history of the human struggle
and don't settle for mediocre verse.
1. Are you superstitious?
Quite. I've been trying to differentiate for most of my life between my grandmother's form of superstition -- that we live in a malevolent universe where measures must be taken to keep good things from disappearing and bad things from happening -- and my own, which is more based on an absolute lack of belief in coincidence or randomness.
2. What extremes have you heard of someone going to in the name of superstition?
Have I heard of? I've heard of people dying over superstitions (killing themselves, placing themselves in danger). I've personally known people who engaged in violent stunts in the name of superstition.
3. Believer or not, what's your favorite superstition?
That the position in which you are sitting when your team scores the winning touchdown is directly related to the score, and therefore must be emulated by members of one's family during subsequent games. (This is my father's and my uncle's superstition, not mine, but it is definitely my favorite.)
4. Do you believe in luck? If yes, do you have a lucky number/article of clothing/ritual?
Yes, yes, yes and yes. I have numerous rituals that would probably scare people if I described, or else convince people that I have OCD, which is entirely possible.
5. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?
I don't believe in newspaper astrology or most of the codified systems of Western and Eastern astrology. I do believe that the positions, the energies and magnetism of celestial objects impacts all of us on a daily basis, but not based on where the sun was in relation to the zodiac at the hour of our births.
1. Is there a type of story (humor, musical, costume drama, etc.) that your show should never do again?
Star Trek should never do any romance involving major characters again, be it trivial one-week stuff or long-term love. Even when they get it right eventually, it always ends badly.
2. Is there a character or guest star you wish had never returned (would never return)?
Pretty much everyone Trek has ever brought back from the dead. Not that I wasn't glad to see Spock, but death has become meaningless in that franchise, and it's really weakened my feelings about the characters and my ability to be scared for them or moved by what happens to them.
3. What episode made you realize a show was past its prime (jumped the shark in ‘net speak)? Did you continue watching?
I should have stopped watching Star Trek: Voyager when I read the spoilers for "Unity" in the third season. I watched until the bitter end, which I should have seen coming four years earlier.
4. What series finale did you hate?
This is a three-way tie between Voyager, La Femme Nikita and The X-Files. Actually all three had done most of their damage before the finale, but Voyager in particular might have redeemed its entire existence for me with a good conclusion. X-Files I just didn't care anymore, so I didn't hate the finale, I just thought it was stupid and an insult to viewers' intelligence. There's nothing Nikita could have done in the end to make up for the last eight episodes but they could at least have allowed Nikita and Michael some dream of happiness.
5. What made you give up on a show?
Voyager did teach me to stop watching as soon as a show started to suck. Hence I didn't watch the last year and a half of Buffy and have only fond memories of it.