I’m about to start a painting commission that has to do with a Rumi poem. I’ve never read Rumi (it’s not my style) but it turns out the Internet is a lot more full of his work than I thought.

Ooo! And now I don’t need the dumb Internet anyway. I found the poem I’m supposed to be working from:

People are distracted by objects of desire,
and afterward repent of the lust they’ve indulged,
because they have indulged with a phantom
and are left even farther from Reality than before.
Your desire for the illusory could be a wing,
by means of which a seeker might ascend to Reality.
When you have indulged in lust, your wing drops off;
you become lame, abandoned by a fantasy.
Preserve the wing and don’t indulge in such lust,
so that the wing of desire may bear you to Paradise.
People fancy they are enjoying themselves,
but they are really tearing out their wings
for the sake of an illusion.

Whew. *puts feet up*

An afterthought: Did Stephen Mitchell ever translate any of Rumi’s stuff? I’d give that a try, at least.