The Shirt of Blame

Peace, one and all…

‘This shirt of blame that I’m wearing,
I chose it for myself.
The empty bottle of self-importance
has melted down to glass – ahh, what does it matter? –
has melted down to glass.
I was lifted beyond the known world
to a place from which to see.
When I came back to this soil,
the whole world looked at me – ahh, what does it matter? –
the whole world looked at me.
There’s a rain that is falling
on the garden of the soul
and the bushes that will grow there
yield roses as well as thorns – ahh, what does it matter? –
yield roses as well as thorns.
Some are praying in the churches,
others prostrate in the mosques.
The only prayer that I offer
is at the threshold of my love – ahh, what does it matter? –
at the threshold of my love.
Are you happy with your Beloved?
People often want to know.
If I’m happy or I suffer,
my Beloved is still mine — ahh, what does it matter? —
my Beloved is still mine.
The wine of love has been forbidden
by those who never loved.
But I pour it and I drink it,
this love is all I know — ahh, what does it matter? —
this love is all I know’
(a traditional Turkish Ilahi, adapted by Shaykh Kabir Helminski: source)
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