chickpea to cook

I was introduced to Rumi many years ago.  He is perhaps one of a few great poets, who had a way with words that could describe the supreme agony and ecstasy of the heart on its journey; through life, in romance or on it’s return to the source of all existence. 

It was my dear friend Ellen who opened me to Rumi’s deeper wisdom.  One evening, I don’t remember where, she read me, for the first time, a Rumi pearl called “Chickpea to Cook.”   When I first heard it, it sent shivers up my spine.

Little did I know that some years later it would describe my most intimate dancing, to date, with the divine.   However contrary, to what I believed would happen to me on my journey, this poem best describes how I my body feels when the energy rolls over me.   What I have learned so far, if I can call it learning, is that surrendering the body is much easier then surrendering to the What, Why and How.

Chickpea to Cook *

A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot
where it’s being boiled.

 “Why are you doing this to me?” 

The cook knocks him down with the ladle.

“Don’t you try to jump out.
You think I’m torturing you.
 I’m giving you flavor,
 so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.

Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
 That was for this.”

Grace first. Sexual pleasure,
 then a boiling new life begins, and the Friend has something good to eat.

Eventually the chickpea
will say to the cook,
”Boil me some more.
Hit me with the skimming spoon.
I can’t do this by myself

I’m like an elephant that dreams of gardens
 back in Hindustan and doesn’t pay attention
to his driver. You’re my cook, my driver,
my way into existence. I love your cooking.”

The cook says,
”I was once like you,
 fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,
and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.

My animal soul grew powerful.
 I controlled it with practices,
 and boiled some more, and boiled
 once beyond that, 
and became your teacher

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