Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.
mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century
This week we studied Rumi. This 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic wrote work that transcends his time to resonate with wisdom in readers, thinkers, seekers, feelers. As we read, we felt this: each word dropped into the space between us and created the field of which he speaks. Our discussion centered on where that field is, what it is, where we can live in the possibility of peace.
As communities, we create the structures of space and time that dictate how we live our lives. This is apparent in the extreme in prison. Everything is simplified and restricted: clothing, food, rooms, time, communication. How can peace or expression exist without the freedom of this field, an imagined sun or tall grasses, distance from the physical boundaries surround us?
As we wrote and shared, the table became Rumi’s field. Our conversation became the field. The page became the field – the ever-accepting space where words are recorded and known. It is within that space that Rumi wrote hundreds of years ago and as his words echoed forward, so too did his process, his freedom, his wisdom. Each woman was as much a prophet as he was, holding wisdom in her hands–a country of her own without borders.
Below is a record of one woman’s experience. She hadn’t come to the writing circle in a while. She said it had been hard to write recently. We were grateful she returned.
I continue to be presented with this wall of unsure and uneasy thoughts. The struggle continues in every step I take.
I’m imprisoned in my own body because of the disbelief I feel.
Not one listened nor cared to hear the real truth; and I continue to fight.
You come to me at every chance to give me the solace I long for. It is because of you – your hearts – that mine continues to beat.
I cherish your voices though the distance that comes between us.
You’re my every thought, every wish of freedom, and everything that I am.
You created me to be who I am and I am a culmination of beauty descriptive beyond words.
Thank you for your strength, encouragement and consistent guidance that carries me though yet another endless day.