geography of Rumi’s wisdom

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?

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ocean of mercy

Swimming in the Rain, Camilla Massu

Swimming in the Rain, Camilla Massu

When life seems circuitous, random and potentially unpredictable, I remember this invocation by TD, one of our very first writinginsideVT participants.

(She’s still in the writing circle, soon to be released from prison.)

I reach for her words “I Am Here” as a kind of personal salve. Her’s is a prayer of surrender to a loving God, the Divine, or whatever that loving/living Presence is for you.

“I Am Here” is featured prominently in our book-to-be, Hear Me, See Me: Incarcerated Women Write, coming out in September.  I was reminded of the piece this week, reviewing the book’s proofs prior to publication.

Reading it again brought me peace, a sense of being held, a reduction in my personal fear factor.

The job that didn’t materialize for me last week, the sense of isolation that pervaded my day today, and the waywardness of my life direction as of late–all seemed to fade as these words spread over me like an ocean of mercy.  May they bring you comfort as well.


God is an ocean of mercy . . . Collapse into God’s arms and you’ll weep like a child.” —Rumi

It is me, your daughter.
I am here, in your light.
Your grace has given me many blessings.
It is me whom you loved,
no matter the number of my faults.  Continue reading

calling upon her God

Cupid & Psyche
by Antonio Canova

Brave souls, all, agreed to write this week about their personal connections to God (or the Divine).  We utilized the open-hearted poetry of Rumi to get us started.  TD moved many of us with the prayerful invocation she penned, calling upon God for mercy in healing her cocaine addiction.  She utilized the prompt, “God is an ocean of mercy….Collapse into God’s arms and you’ll weep like a child.”   Read on.

It is me, your daughter.

I am here, I am in your light.

Your grace has given me many blessings.

It is me whom you loved,

no matter the number of my faults.

I am here, broken before you,

ready to receive your glory.

I have taken many paths in this life,

and it has taught me not to fear you,

for you gave me breath,

you gave me life,

and through these many circumstances,

you let me live.

I am of love and have been forgiven.

Please, show me what it is

you want from me.

I am at your mercy,

I am on bended knee,

asking for you to hold me,

comfort me from the world.

Show me how to control my fear

of the world.

Give me the strength, the power

to rise from the bondage of my addiction. Continue reading