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The Little Review
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Poem for Friday and <a href


You Worry Too Much
By Rumi


Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You say,
I make you feel dizzy.
Of a little headache then,
why do you worry?
You say, I am your antelope.
Of seeing a lion here and there
why do you worry?
Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You say, I am your moon-faced beauty.
Of the cycles of the moon and
passing of the years,
why do you worry?
You say, I am your source of passion,
I excite you.
Of playing into the Devils hand,
why do you worry?
Oh soul,
you worry too much.
Look at yourself,
what you have become.
You are now a field of sugar canes,
why show that sour face to me?
You have tamed the
winged horse of Love.
Of a death of a donkey,
why do you worry?
You say that I keep you warm inside.
Then why this cold sigh?
You have gone to the roof of heavens.
Of this world of dust, why do you worry?
Oh soul,
you worry too much.
Since you met me,
you have become a master singer,
and are now a skilled wrangler,
you can untangle any knot.
Of life's little leash
why do you worry?
Your arms are heavy
with treasures of all kinds.
About poverty,
why do you worry?
You are Joseph,
beautiful, strong,
steadfast in your belief,
all of Egypt has become drunk
because of you.
Of those who are blind to your beauty,
and deaf to your songs,
why do you worry?
Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You say that your housemate is the
Heart of Love,
she is your best friend.
You say that you are the heat of
the oven of every Lover.
You say that you are the servant of
Ali's magical sword, Zolfaghar.
Of any little dagger
why do you still worry?
Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul.
You are the security,
the shelter of the spirit of Lovers.
Oh the sultan of sultans,
of any other king,
why do you worry?
Be silent, like a fish,
and go into that pleasant sea.
You are in deep waters now,
of life's blazing fire.
Why do you worry?

--------

That's for you, office_ennui.


Something I loathe: being lectured by immature amateur critics on the politically incorrect politics of my fiction. Twice now it has happened that I have written a drabble for a drabble community and gotten not appropriate critical story feedback ("It sounded to me like you were saying ___, which I found troubling") but a lecture on the "obvious" moral judgments I was making. Have we reached a point where we cannot even fictionalize our own experiences with polyamory, abortion, alcohol, etc., and acknowledge that these can be troubling, fraught issues no matter how in favor we are of letting people make their own choices, without inviting a rant from the Tyrannical Left for not prefacing our exposition with an unequivocal statement of moral support for those whose experiences or beliefs differ?

On a related subject, and feel free to disagree but this IS politics, not fiction: He apologized. I'm not excusing him, and we can loathe his behavior as well as suspect that on some level he has not changed in his attitudes towards individual women (though truly I will always put a politician's legislative agenda above his personal behavior; I'd rather certain prominent Republicans groped my breasts and voted pro-gay, pro-choice than spent all their time trying to make all my reproductive and sexual options illegal). But when was the last time any Republican acknowledged that he behaved wrongfully and apologized in public, rather than passing off his behavior as youthful indiscretion, lies and exaggerations or consensual within his own parameters?

If Clarence Thomas had apologized to Anita Hill, had said that he grew up in an era of different standards of appropriate behavior and whatnot, I would have said fine, you're still a conservative jerk whom I don't want on the Supreme Court but at least I think you understand the issues involved in harrassment cases. Instead we have a guy whom I believe to be a liar as well as a harrasser of women and a conservative jerk whom I don't want on the Supreme Court. Obviously Schwarzenegger has a ridiculously inflated ego, serious judgment issues and a disturbing lack of respect for a woman's right to refuse unwanted advances, but on a sliding scale of Republicans and some Democrats whose behavior toward women I find disturbing and dangerous, he's...well, a moderate. And I think that in office he is more likely to improve than to degenerate a la certain other California public officials and their interns, though perhaps this is naive of me.

Friday Five, prepare for boredom:

1. What vehicle do you drive?

An iris-colored (hey, that's what the manufacturer says) Plymouth Voyager mini-van. The smallest model.

2. How long have you had it?
Um, six or seven years?

3. What is the coolest feature on your vehicle?
It has given me no grief and has schlepped many, many children to many, many events at Hebrew school, soccer, softball, the JCC, friends' houses, etc.

4. What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle?
No automatic door locks. Also, I don't think they make alternative-fuel minivans.

5. If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now?
Probably something very similar only more environmentally friendly, with automatic window and door features and one of those built-in VCRs for travel. I am very, very uninteresting when it comes to transportation.
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