We Are All Invited —

 

Caravan in the Desert

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.

 

 

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39 Responses to We Are All Invited —

  1. Rebekah says:

    I too believe that synchronicity must be respected.

    The reason I found your blog, in the first place, was a quote by Mencken you’d posted. It happened to be one of my favourites. Otherwise I would, probably, never have met you. That would have been sad.

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      My goodness, I didn’t know that. And yes, it would have been sad.
      I can’t remember how I found your blog — but I think it might have been through other followers of yours. There are several of them whom I follow.
      You’re such a part of my community now it’s unthinkable that I wouldn’t know you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Angelia Sims says:

    Really love those words. It brings forth such a sense of belonging no matter what or where you are in life. And how interesting that you keep up with education in that way. 🙂 Good for you both!

    Like

  3. Who knew Konya = Rumi. Now I do. Appreciate your sharing this, Esther. And I know Great Courses; a marvelous resource.

    Like

  4. Madhu says:

    That is a beautiful verse Judith. Rumi’s poetry is always uplifting. We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit Konya during the UN sponsored ‘Year of Rumi’ celebrations in 2007. You might have read this guest post i wrote for a friend on the subject: http://theurgetowander.com/2012/10/03/rumi/.

    The ‘Great courses’ series sounds amazing. Thank you for the link.
    All best wishes to you and your family for 2015.

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Indeed you were fortunate! Thanks for the link to your guest post — it adds to my understanding and enjoyment.
      (Do you know the (later) poet Kabir? I used to mix them up, love them both, perhaps Kabir even has the edge for me. Now I’ll have to research where he comes from, having been so vague about Rumi!)
      Thanks for the good wishes, and I return them to you and your family for the coming year. May we both blog well and happily!

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      • Touch2Touch says:

        P.S. Madhu, your guest post was amazing. And the photos as well. Perhaps you should be giving one of the Great Courses, something on Travel, of course!
        P.S. The Rumi verse about the wound made me think immediately of Leonard Cohen, There is a crack in everything/that’s how the light gets in. Not impossible that he was in fact inspired by Rumi —

        Liked by 1 person

      • Madhu says:

        Kabir is very much Indian. We had to memorise reams of his ‘doha’s’ in school! 🙂

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        • Touch2Touch says:

          Here I go again, stupid on the way to enlightenment!
          I didn’t realize Kabir was Indian. And Mirabai also.
          Shakespeare talks about a character in The Winter’s Tale who is “a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.” And here I am — always taking in things without any context! Now I’m wandering in Google looking at dohas.
          I bet you still remember lots, what we learn in school often stays with us a long long time.
          (I read his poetry in the translations of Robert Bly, which are probably unorthodox but for a modern Westerner, well, for me, are quite wonderful.)

          Like

          • Madhu says:

            😀 We had to mug them in Hindi.(Originals were in a very similar Brajbasha/Bhojpuri dialect of Northern India) I appreciate the nuances much better now than I did when it was more of a chore 🙂 His poetry is amazing and like Rumi’s just what a fractured world needs. But how many truly read or listen?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Touch2Touch says:

            You’re certainly right, what they both wrote is just what our world needs.
            I’ve thought for a long time now that while destruction is quick and massive and easy, as in bombs —
            creation is slow and painstaking and one by one, as in the birth of a child, or a painting, or anything beautiful and life-giving. Explains a lot about our world, if so.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. love synchronicity; love going back to school.

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  6. phillyjoec says:

    That’s wonderful, Judy. I tell people who ask me about my travels that I first traveled by food. Trying different cuisines was a way my senses could travel to these places and cultures. Eventually, I made it to some of these places and did I ever enjoy the food. Sometimes with friends, who were travelers like myself, we not only enjoyed the sights, but the smells and tastes, as well. And that’s a splendid Rumi poem, a keeper. PJC

    Like

  7. If you hadn’t felt exceedingly stupid, you might not have ended up happily enlightened. So yeah. 😉

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  8. Jen Payne says:

    One of the things I love most about you (and the hub) is your great enthusiasm for learning!

    Like

  9. 2e0mca says:

    Those courses sound great fun Judith – it’s always great to learn new things and keep the brain active. You’re 2 steps ahead of me… I hadn’t even heard of Rumi, so thanks for the introduction 🙂

    Like

  10. I love the ongoing learning that you shared with us. How wonderful to learn and learn as a couple so you both grow and have similar things to talk about. Lovely!

    Sending all the best on this eve of a new year!

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      And you as well, MargeKatherine. Health and happiness!
      (Actually sometimes we “study” the same subjects, and sometimes we do different things. Just now Frank is on a series about how to negotiate, while I’m into “thinking like a chef.” Together we’re “touring” Greece and Turkey with an archaeologist-professor.)

      Like

  11. tms says:

    Very nice words (I just read them for the first time). Best wishes for 2015, Judith!

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      A gift for the new year — the words of Rumi and Kabir. (They could be a gift for a lot longer than that!)
      Freues Neujahr to you and yours as well, Tobias.
      (Might not be spelled right, but you glean the meaning 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. pauline says:

    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
    and rightdoing there is a field.
    I’ll meet you there…”

    Like

  13. Patti Kuche says:

    What happy serendipity and thank you Judith for taking us on so many of your delightful journeys of discovery. Happy New Year to you and Hub!

    Like

  14. What a great thing to do with your husband, always learning together, taking interest in the wider world. My ears perked up when you mentioned Konya–we are going there this spring to see our son and to drop our daughter off in Oxford to study abroad. Thanks so much for a beautiful and thoughtful post!

    Like

    • Touch2Touch says:

      When we went to Turkey quite a while ago, we hadn’t really ever heard of Konya. Now, of course, I am so sorry —
      Enjoy every ounce of your trip, and many good wishes on her new venture to your daughter. What an incredible opportunity and privilege, to study at Oxford!

      Like

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