Aug 24 2009

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi – Secret Language

Published by at 10:39 am under Music,Poetry

Secret Language
by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Coleman Barks

Every part of you has a secret language
your hands and your feet
say what you’ve done
and every need brings in what’s needed
pain bears its cure like a child

— from Secret Language: Rumi A Celebration in Song (Music CD), by Ramananda

/ Photo by Per Ola Wiberg (Powi) /

I’m back. I want to start by thanking everyone who sent good wishes for my mother’s health.

The past couple of weeks have been among the most difficult of my life. Because of my mother’s brain cancer, she has been losing functionality and making erratic, potentially dangerous decisions, so we came to the difficult decision that we needed to check her into a nursing home. Having to face that choice was in itself wrenching since my mother has always been a very independent woman. Then I had to rush to establish power of attorney and take over her finances, track down all her bills, go through her paperwork, all while dealing with insurance and medical bureaucracy and, of course, visiting with my mother, comforting her, helping her to get settled in to her new environment. Then, in the midst of that, my uncle, a sweet, quiet man, died of a heart attack! The whole period felt like an intense meditation on aging, loss, and death — with way too much bureaucracy thrown in. (Some day America will get a sane healthcare system.)

But, through all of that, I was also blessed to have some profoundly moving conversations with my mother. Even amidst her surface mental confusion, she still speaks with an inner wisdom about what she is going through as she knowingly approaches her own death.

I may write more about this in the future, but it is all still a little too raw in my thoughts right now. And I still have paperwork to fill out. 🙂

Here is what I posted on Facebook recently:

Went to help my dying mother:
forms, frantic phone calls.
And sweet, meandering talks
on how to wrap up a life.

Back home, the last of summer’s roses.

I’ve been listening again to Ramananda’s CD “Secret Language: Rumi – A Celebration in Song.” Lines of Rumi poetry set to liquid grooves, with tabla, sometimes a breathy flute. When I first listened to the CD a few years ago, I didn’t at first “get” it. It was one of those CDs I had to listen to two or three times before I found myself saying, Wow, this is wonderful! Strangely, most of my favorite CDs are that way…

…every need brings in what’s needed
pain bears its cure like a child

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi poetry, Muslim / Sufi poetry Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Afghanistan & Turkey (1207 – 1273) Timeline
Muslim / Sufi

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi was born in Balkh, in what is now Afghanistan, on September 30, 1207. When he was still a young man, though, his family fled under the threat of a Mongol invasion, and after much traveling, finally settled in Konya, Turkey. The name Rumi means “the Roman,” that is, “from Roman Anatolia.”

Rumi followed the line of his father and his ancestors – scholars, theologians, and jurists. Until the age of thirty-seven he seems to have been a conventional teacher under the royal patronage. In 1244 he met the wandering dervish, Shams of Tabriz. This recognition strengthened and galvanized his belief. His poetry filled with a longing to be the Friend, and close presence he first saw in Shams, later in Saladin Zarkub, the goldsmith, still later in his scribe, Husam. Rumi died December 17, 1273. During the last thirty years of his life he became a brilliant unfolding of that recognition, and a cause of its incandescence in others.

— from Open Secret: Versions of Rumi

More poetry by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi – Secret Language”

  1. manpreet kauron 24 Aug 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Sat Shri Akal

    Hello Ivan

    Glad to hear you are back, we all missed you, were worried for you.
    It is so beautiful that you have the chance to show your love and care for your mother. This must be indeed a difficult time for you and your mother, but i am deeply moved that you can see and feel the blessing of this time.
    I pray for you all every day!

  2. nasihaon 26 Aug 2009 at 12:58 am

    hello Ivan,

    the words ” how to wrap up a life..” is beautiful, for words full of pain have that quality…i think and “pain bears its cure like a child” i loved the poem by Rumi once again.

    good to hear from you again and thank you very much for sharing so much amidst everything else.

    my good wishes to you and Family

  3. Jessie Carpenteron 04 Sep 2009 at 10:37 am

    I am touched by the paragraph you wrote about your mother. Thank you for your authenticity about that experience. My dad had a brain tumor, too. He died in a car accident, not from the tumor, but the time that I spent with him at the hospital when he was first diagnosed was very profound. He was unable to read, write, or even string more than a few words into a sentence. We had always connected around words, poetry and writing. Without that, we had to connect on another level, and that time, as frightening as it was, is now very precious to me. He eventually regained his ability to read and speak, though writing remained difficult for him. Today would have been his 66th birthday.

    Blessings for your mother during this time in her life, and blessings to you, too.

  4. Vedaton 21 Sep 2009 at 7:56 am

    Hi Ivan
    as a Turkish knowing Rumi since my childhood like a company which I have been having whenever I feel most lonely and in pain. Since eight years living abroad, and more often feeling lonely and in need to drink the water of Rumi’s fountain.

    What I can, if you let me, advise you to put his “water of fountain” on all your pains. You will see they will be lessen.

    I will also pray for your Mum.

    God bless you and your Mum.

    ps: I also celebrate everyone’s Ramadan feast.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply