I was asked by a reader what is it like to be a dervish, and I couldn’t answer. While I could quote beautiful poems but i didn’t think that would be fair. So I thought I would simple share the follow anecdote and poem with that reader and with all of you.
In the year before I became a dervish I found myself saying over and over again in meditation: “Show me how to get home”. After a few months of being a dervish I found myself saying in the midst of meditation or sema at the khaniqah “Take me home”. After some time had past, and my life was completely turned on its head I found myself saying only “Take Me”. Recently in meditation I found myself not asking for anything, just drowned in an effusive silence, no place to go, nothing to really ask for.
Sometimes This, Sometimes That
I saw a tree and a fire, and heard
a voice that said: “I am the Beloved,”
calling me from the fire. Am I Moses?
I entered the desert in tribulation
and found there manna and quails.
It has been forty years now that like Moses
I have wandered in this desert.
Do not ask about the boat and the sea.
Come, behold that for years
I have been sailing my boat i this dry land.
Come, O Soul! You are Moses and in Your hand
this body becomes a staff,
and when You throw it, it becomes a serpent.
You are Jesus and I am
the bird You made of clay.
As You breathe in me I come alive and fly.
I am the stone pillar of that mosque
which the Prophet leaned on for support;
now his support is elsewhere,
and I lament this separation.
O Lord of the lords and faceless Maker of faces!
What face are you ordaining for me?
I know You know, and I do not.
Sometimes I’m stone and sometimes iron;
at other times I’m all fire.
Sometimes I’m a balance without a weight;
sometimes I’m both weight and balance.
Sometimes I graze here,
and at other times they graze on me.
Sometimes I’m a wolf, and sometimes I’m a ewe,
yet at other times I am the very shepherd.
They seemed important, these signs,
but how could they ever last?
Neither this nor that will last,
and only He to whom I belong knows what I am.
Divani Shasi Tabrizi 1414