Rumi’s guidance for road trips

Waking up center of the night, I rose up to quell the humm of the ever-present air conditioner over the door.  Uncharacteristically awake, I couldn’t help but notice the sneak-around-movement of the tiny chorus of dancing ladies.  They had exited their purse, and were carefully folding up all of my clothes and spiriting them away in the bag I was too tired to pack once escaping the terrace-by-the-Aegeaninvestigation à la Mrs. X.  Touched by their caring, I sent them a mental blessing before  quietly sliding the balcony door open to let in the relatively cool night air.  The shock of the warm velvet air against the prickly burr of nighttime-hours-on air conditioned plasticity was a bit jarring as I slid back into the somewhat crackly-crisp white bed linens.

Staring at the ever-so-slightly waving palm fronds, I tried to lose myself to sleep.  Flip flopping around, I began to remember every bedroom I had ever lived in during my lifetime – and all of the potential sheep I had counted as a ruse to color myself sleepy by numbers.  Just as I settled into the indellible vision of a full moon outside of my sister’s bedroom window as a child, a moon that seemed to accentuate the neonish blue of early morning and the chips of paint on the white trim of the screened-in window, Hacivad Bey made his presence known, very, quietly.  Hacivad Bey is a very learned sort, and while he often gets into tussles with the stoop-backed and wise-cracking Karagöz, he is also a devotee of the Mevlana Rumi – whose wisdom seems to know no bounds.

“It has, M’lady,” he whispers, with the utmost care not to wake M., “it has been quite a trip, and you will be glad to move on for now.  Learn what you can from this experience when you are ready to revisit it again, be easy on those around you and remember the importance of forgiveness – as much as you can.  Your new road trip with M. begins tomorrow, focus on the learning there.”  Turning to pull something from his waistband, Hacivad released a scroll of parchment that lit up a warm, neon blue from the early dawn light.  The smudging sound of his dry-skinned waxy paper fingers on that thick parchment soothed me into feeling a bit sleepy…as I started to drift off, I listened to Hacivad recite these words:

Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey to the ocean of meanings. The stream knows it can’t stay on the mountain.  Leave and don’t look away from the sun as you go, in whose light you’re sometimes crescent, sometimes full.”

This entry was posted in Cross-cultural learning moments, Visits from the Karagöz puppets and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Rumi’s guidance for road trips

  1. Alan says:

    . . the wisdom of the (s)ages!

  2. Liz Cameron says:

    Indeed. Ages of sages without material wages. Just reading Elif Safak’s 40 Rules of Love on Shams of Tabriz, so have dervishes on my mind.

  3. Pingback: Driving to Selcuk: On differences in roadtrip preferences in a couple… | Slowly-by-Slowly

  4. Marilyn says:

    “Color myself sleepy by numbers” I love the picture your words paint. This was such a treat to read today! Thank you.

  5. Hi Marilyn,

    Thank you so much for the kind words – it is my only hope to bring some joy and interest to readers here and there!!!


  6. eremophila says:

    Reblogged this on Eremophila’s Musings and commented:
    Charming writing, with a great message.

  7. E. says:

    Hi Jackie, thank you so much for visiting the slowly by slowly blog. I am glad to see that you enjoyed the Rumi Road trip post. Here’s to sages. Best, Liz

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