Words can be a world of their own in the way they hold so much in so little - history, philosophy, art, emotion, wisdom and beyond. And that world transcends time and place – offering rapture, reflection and refuge.
For me, a portal to that world is Rumi - the 13th-century Persian philosopher-poet, who was born on this day in 1207. The Sufi mystique unfortunately is now one of the most quoted and misquoted poets in the world.
It makes for an interesting pair of events that International Coffee Day falls on the day just after Rumi's birthday. As so, it made for an occasion for a coffee conversation and contemplation while indulging the senses and soul.
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi was an Islamic scholar, poet, mystique, a philosopher. As was his wont, Rumi reflected on humanity and the futility of rigid identities where all originated from a divine and loving creator. Succinctly he wrote - "I have neither a soul nor a body, for I come from the very Soul of all souls".
Rumi would spin himself into a meditative state and dictate his verse: a practice that inspired the famous whirling dervishes. It is beautifully structured and incredibly well-composed: compacting multi-layered ideas and often interpreting the complexities of Quranic scripture, in simple ghazals - a form of poetry. His reference to God is always deeply personal.
Much like celestial constellations, Rumi's poetry illuminates the intellectual and spiritual spheres with a brilliance that outvie the vicissitudes of time.
In a lyrical alchemy, as Rumi brought together the threads of earthly existence and celestial aspirations, his verses take on the verisimilitude of a fragrant garden where the blossoms of mysticism intertwine with the vines of human emotion.
Each line reveals the hidden treasures of the human soul, coaxing it to fly above the confines of mundanity and embrace the infinite.
What makes Rumi's oeuvre a perennial source of fascination and contemplation is his ability to traverse the intricate labyrinth of life. His poetry is a pirouette between philosophy, spirituality and faith.
It has become a meeting ground for seekers of truth, a shared language through which one can narrate a journey of self-discovery while marching on.
The indelible mark of Rumi's genius resides in his ability to unearth the universal threads that tether the human soul to the cosmic tapestry of existence.
His verses delicately interlace the profound and the prosaic, the ephemeral and the everlasting - in a seamless continuum.
Rumi's poetry, while ostensibly couched in the temporal diction of his era, transcends the boundaries of time. Intriguingly, Rumi's oeuvre does not merely beckon the intellect but also awakens the dormant sensibilities of the heart.
His verses, akin to the mystical Sufi tradition to which he adhered, inveigles one to meander into their inner self - a pilgrimage to the field that is out beyond the ideas of rightness and wrongness.
Through the prism of his words, the reader becomes a pilgrim, embarking on an inner journey of self-discovery, guided by the effulgent light of Rumi's wisdom.
Rumi's philosophy, steeped in the Sufi tradition of divine love and unity, unfolds as a profound commentary on the human condition. His exploration of the ecstatic realms of love, both divine and human, serves as a testament to the perennial yearning of the human spirit for connection and transcendence.
In the tumultuous currents of our modern age, Rumi's teachings emerge as an oasis of serenity, reminding one of the shared humanity and an enduring quest for the divine within – they guide one toward the uncharted shores of their own transcendent potential.
Amid the cacophony of chaos that plagues life, the murmurs of the soul are often drowned, Rumi's verses let them not only stay afloat but fly beyond all confinements.
They are a sanctuary where the complexities of existence find harmonious resolution in the embrace of the ineffable - reverberating through one's existence and letting life live through the search for its meaning.