Rumi: Liberation

I have been gazing at the mosques of Istanbul--elegant, with grand semi-spherical domes and their lean minarets. These point heavenward, as if they could pierce the sky's grander azure dome. What do they mean, at least to me? One of Rumi's rubaiyat has given me the key to interpretation. They symbolize not ambition but liberation--that … Continue reading Rumi: Liberation

Rumi: Rubaiyat at Random

You walk among the spirits of flying dervishes and the whispers of their mystical joy on the anniversary of Rumi's death. How many lives have been loved, how many loves have been lived, how many flying hearts have turned and danced in his land since 17 December 1273? How many dances have been danced, how … Continue reading Rumi: Rubaiyat at Random

Siddhartha by the River

I have been biking to the piers at Sunset Park to read Siddhartha while facing the upper bay of the Hudson River's estuary. I knew that Siddhartha's encounter with the river would be the tale's most moving chapter for me. I wanted to prepare for it by contemplating, as I read, the ebb and flow … Continue reading Siddhartha by the River

Mary Oliver: American Primitive

Lao Tzu, Rumi, David, Emerson, Wordsworth, Gibran, and Mary Oliver have taught me, over the years, that I never finish reading a book of wisdom poetry. When I read the last psalm, song, or poem, I simply put the book down for a while--sometimes for a few years--until one day whim, genius, or spiritual thirst … Continue reading Mary Oliver: American Primitive