BREAD IS MORE IN LOVE WITH YOU THAN YOU WITH IT

A sheikh and a disciple are walking quickly toward a town

where it’s known there is very little to eat.  

The disciple says nothing, but he is constantly afraid of going hungry.  

 

The sheikh knows what the disciple thinks.  How long

will you be frightened of the future

because you love food?  You have closed the eye

of self-denial and forgotten who provides.  

 

Don’t worry.  You’ll have your walnuts and raisins and special desserts.  

Only the true favorites get hunger for their daily bread.  

You’re not one of those.  Whoever loves the belly

is brought bowl after bowl from the kitchen.  

 

When such a person dies, bread itself comes to the funeral

and makes a speech: “O corpse, you almost killed yourself

with worrying about food.  Now you’re gone and food

is still here, more than enough.  Have some free bread.”  

 

Bread is more in love with you than you with it.  

It sits and waits for days.  It knows you have no will.  

If you could fast, bread would jump into your lap

as lovers do with each other.  

 

Be full with trusting,

not with these childish fears of famine.

 

Rumi

(translated by Coleman Barks, et alia)

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