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19.6.06

A Rumi Moment

Zuleikha

Birdsong brings relief
to my longing
I'm just as ecstatic as they are,
but with nothing to say!
Please universal soul, practice
some song or something through me!

from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks with John Moyne
A two-day celebration of the 13th-century Sufi poet and philosopher Jelaluddin Rumi took place at the American Visionary Art Museum this past weekend, called Rumi Fest. There were readings and discussions by Rumi scholar Coleman Barks, whirling Dervish presentations, and lots of music.

A very special moment was a call to prayer by Imam Mohammed Bashar Arafat, Muslim Chaplain to the Baltimore Police Department, from the 3rd floor bird's nest balcony. This is performed, according to tradition, five times each day. It’s quite moving.

I’ve renewed my appreciation for Rumi’s wisdom and am happy to announce that diversity is alive and well in America. Lucky us. More photos here.

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