Come, come whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of learning,
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times.
Come, come yet again, come.
—- Jelalu’ddin Rumi (13th century Sufi mystic)
I’m reproducing here a post I put up on sister blog A View from the Woods way back in 2010. I loved the Rumi poem then, and I love it now, but what impels me to repost it is an instance of synchronicity, the phenomenon that always seems unique and remarkable, yet is in fact amazingly common.
Here’s the back story to what I think of as the caravan of hope.
The Hub and I watch a lot of Great Courses, DVD’s that are like going to college, but on TV, in our den. The idea is simple enough. Outstanding professors from universities around the country develop courses in their specialties, 12 lectures, or 24, sometimes even 36. People like us, gluttons for continuing education and never so happy as “in” a classroom, wait for a sale (NEVER buy at the list price), then choose a subject that appeals to us, and off we go.
Currently we’re watching “The Great Tours: Greece and Turkey, from Athens to Istanbul.” There are four six-lecture discs in this course. We were all the way to Lecture 17 on Disc 3, Central Turkey — Ankara, Konya, Cappadocia — last night when suddenly I heard the professor, John R. Hale, begin reciting these words: “Come, come, whoever you are”, and, astounded, I was right there reciting along with him.
It turns out Konya is Rumi’s city, a place of poetry, and spirituality, and dervishes. And who knew! Certainly not me. I had hazily placed him in my mind somewhere in “Arabia,” itself a kind of imaginative construct without latitude or longitude. An indefinite geography. And all the time he was solidly somewhere, in Turkey, actually. I felt both exceedingly stupid, and happily enlightened. (Not a bad state to be in, actually.)
Synchronicity deserves to be respected, is my belief. So I’m repeating these beloved words of Rumi, in the assurance that whether it’s your first time hearing them, or the fifth or fifteenth, they always add to the sum of hope and joy in the world.