If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.
If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land—
that sacred earth that is your body.
If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.
Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.
Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and the future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.
Be kind to yourself, dear—to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.
"That Lives in Us" by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, from Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, edited by Daniel Ladinsky. © Penguin Books, 2002.
Photography credit: Untitled image shot in Vietnam by Lex Linghorn (originally color).