But as I flipped through Rumi's Open Secret, looking for that poem, I came across this one:
Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round
in another form. The child weaned from mother's milk
now drinks wine and honey mixed.
God's joy moves from unmarked box to unmarked box,
from cell to cell. As rainwater, down into flower bed.
As roses, up from ground.
Now it looks like a plate of rice and fish,
now a cliff covered with vines,
now a horse being saddled.
It hides within these,
till one day it cracks them open.
Part of the self leaves the body when we sleep
and changes shape. You might say, "Last night
I was a cypress tree, a small bed of tulips,
a field of grapevines." Then the phantasm goes away.
You're back in the room. I don't want to make any one fearful.
Hear what's behind what I say.
Tatatumtum tatum tatadum.
There's the light gold of wheat in the sun
and the gold of bread made from that wheat.
I have neither. I'm only talking about them,
as a town in the desert looks up
at stars on a clear night.
It touched on something that is the metaphorical essence of this project for me, the flipside of the part of me that needs to make, that needs to house meaning. The meaning, the story, the joy, "moves from unmarked box to unmarked box." It goes back to the beginning of the project for me, why I started all this. A minister at the Unitarian church I sometimes attend said, "The way to cast out the fear of losing is to give your things away."
Things are containers for meaning, but that doesn't render them meaningless. They hold and carry meaning until the two part, until the meaning passes to a new unmarked box, until the box in your hand holds new meaning.