The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

My Heart, Sit Only With Those
By Jalaluddin Rumi
Translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin

My heart, sit only with those
who know and understand you.
Sit only under a tree
that is full of blossoms.
In the bazaar of herbs and potions
don't wander aimlessly
find the shop with a potion that is sweet
If you don't have a measure
people will rob you in no time.
You will take counterfeit coins
thinking they are real.
Don't fill your bowl with food from
every boiling pot you see.
Not every joke is humorous, so don't search
for meaning where there isn't one.
Not every eye can see,
not every sea is full of pearls.
My heart, sing the song of longing
like a nightingale.
The sound of your voice casts a spell
on every stone, on every thorn.
First, lay down your head
then one by one
let go of all distractions.
Embrace the light and let it guide you
beyond the winds of desire.
There you will find a spring and nourished by its waters
like a tree you will bear fruit forever.


I had chores to do in the morning and running around to do in the afternoon on Tuesday because older son's middle school awards ceremony was in the early evening at his future high school. We had some chaos since he had to stay late at the middle school to rehearse for the choral performance there, which meant that there was no way for him to take the bus home and drive back in time for the ceremony unless he skipped it was an insane amount of riding around for him.

So we picked him up and went to Wheaton for dinner -- one of the most restaurant-rich suburbs of DC, thanks to its fantastic ethnic diversity -- but because son had to be at the high school early to prepare for the concert before the awards ceremony, we didn't have time to enjoy the possibilities and ended up in a better-than-usual food court, where I had passable cajun chicken. The ceremony was very nice -- son got a ribbon for making the honor roll all four marking periods and a certificate because the chorus got a superior rating at the state festival, and he seems really to enjoy singing with the chorus kids though he's not particularly comfortable onstage and has always turned down solos.

A table of ribbons at the middle school awards ceremony.

Before the ceremony started, the eighth grade band played a few pieces...

...and the Barbershop Group, of which my son is a part, and the female equivalent, the Sweet Adelines shown here, took turns singing.

This will be my last middle school awards ceremony in this building, since younger son is going to a different middle school. However, the awards ceremony is held in the high school older son will be attending, so I will certainly be here again many times.

I read that there will soon be an Addams Family musical coming to Broadway...I'm trying to decide whether to be amused or afraid, and whether I can forgive anyone playing Morticia for not being Anjelica Huston. Oh, and I think I successfully contacted everyone here to whom this will matter, but I moved my MySpace page...all over the internet I use the name cruisedirector (JournalFen, Gmail, YouTube), and in a few places where that was already taken (AIM, Yahoo, Hotmail), I went with cruisedirectr instead. But for some stupid reason, I signed up on MySpace as yourcruisedirector, and I never remember to give that out correctly. So since I couldn't change the name, I simply created a new page with the same name I use in other places: cruisedirectr. I never post anything there and it's mostly so I can keep track of musicians, but if you're over there or you're a musician, feel free to drop in.

Hope everyone celebrating is having a happy Shavuot. It's my sister's birthday -- must remember to call her in the morning!

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