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  • Writer's pictureKirsty Macdonald

Shadow and Light Source Both. Poetry by Rumi to Guide Your Inspired Life

Shadow and Light Source Both. Poetry by Rumi to Guide An Inspired Life |

This poem, written by Rumi and translated by Coleman Barks talks to seeing those darker and perhaps more difficult parts of ourselves and of life through a lens that points us towards what we need to know. His words are powerful and beautiful as he encourages us to see that "Darkness is your candle. Your boundaries are your quest". When we seek out our boundaries and get to know them and what they stand for, and live into the possibility that it is from the darknesses that we experience that we can be guided, life begins to open up in a different way. It is shadow and light source both, that we need.

Shadow and Light Source Both

How does a part of the world leave the world?

How does wetness leave water? Don't try to

put out fire by throwing on more fire! Don't

wash a wound with blood. No matter how fast

you run, your shadow keeps up. Sometimes it's

in front! Only full overhead sun diminishes

your shadow. But that shadow has been serving

you. What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is

your candle. Your boundaries are your quest.

I could explain this, but it will break the

glass cover on your heart, and there's no

fixing that. You must have shadow and light

source both. Listen, and lay your head under

the tree of awe. When from that tree feathers

and wings sprout on you, be quieter than

a dove. Don't even open your mouth for even a coo.

By Rumi

Translated by Coleman Barks


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