Thursday, October 04, 2007

Disciplines and Rumi.

I’m guest-blogging for the first time ever. I’m terrified. It’s funny, how I feel comfortable enough to spit out whatever I’m feeling and thinking here or in another blog’s comments, but someone asks me to talk on their blog, as a main course, and I’m terrified.

We writers are such weird creatures.

Part of my nervousness might be that I’m guest-blogging at Magical Musings, one of my most favorite blogs and a blog I really, really respect.

So, um, will you stop by and say hi? Warn me if I’ve forgotten to zip my pants or something?

And don’t forget, tonight we have Mark Terry coming to guest-blog here!

Anyway, my post at Magical Musings reminded me of a poem by Rumi, called Disciplines (here translated by Coleman Barks, with A. J. Arberry and Nevit Ergin in Rumi: Bridge to the Soul.)

Do not expect to be always happy on this way.
You have been caught by a lion, my dear.

The friend dumps plaster on your head.
Think of it as an expensive perfume.

Inside you there is a monster
that must be tied up and whipped.

Watch the man beating a rug.
He is not mad at it.
He wants to loosen the layers of dirt.

Ego accumulations are not loosened
with one swat. Continual work
is necessary, disciplines.

In dreams, and even awake,
you will hear the beloved screaming at you.

A carpenter saws and chisels a piece of wood,
because he knows how he wants to use it.

Curing a hide, the tanner
rubs in acid and all manner of filth.
This makes a beautiful soft leather.

What does the half-finished hide know?
Every hard thing that happens
works on you like that.

Hurry, Shams. Come back
like the sun comes back
every day with new
and powerful secrets.

10 bonus scribbles:

Ello 10/04/2007 10:06:00 AM  

THat was an awesome post on comparing practicing piano to writing. REally excellent advice you gave!

Rhonda Stapleton 10/04/2007 10:16:00 AM  

I thought your post was faboo!!

spyscribbler 10/04/2007 11:14:00 AM  

Thanks, guys! You're the best!

Edie 10/04/2007 11:24:00 AM  

Natasha, your blog with us is faboo, like Rhonda says. :))) Thanks for saying such nice things about MM. And I love the Rumi poem!

Karen Olson 10/04/2007 11:29:00 AM  

Excellent guest blog post, Natasha!

StarvingWriteNow 10/04/2007 11:45:00 AM  

Nice guest-blog, girl! It is nice to let go of the "hafta"; I've been enjoying what writing I do much more since I did that.

Anonymous,  10/04/2007 11:51:00 AM  

Hi Spy: Had to come over and visit. Sigh ... I try to hit just so many blogs when I have time, and your's just became one of them. Love the post and the way each line tied in to the next in a rather obscure way.

Liz Kreger

Michelle,  10/04/2007 12:10:00 PM  

Thanks for saying nice things about us, Natasha :). And your blog was fab.

Lapa 10/04/2007 04:11:00 PM  


He has, also, translated into Portuguese the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.

He has been awarded several prizes.

Don't forget the name of this great author, you'll be hearing of him soon.

Thank you for spending time in Universal Culture.

Thanks for visiting.

Kate S 10/06/2007 10:07:00 PM  

Oh, I love Rumi. Thanks for posting this - it couldn't have come at a better time. And dear, your blogs are always awesome - whether here or elsewhere.