Monday, May 1, 2017

the broken thread

Once upon a time, there was a Sufi mystic. Like many mystics, he did not hold any formal position or title. He lived completely in the world, and the only way you knew anything was special about him was the sense of sweetness that seemed to cling to everything he touched.
During the day, he functioned as a shopkeeper, carefully sweeping and stacking and dusting the majestic tapestries, which he sold to support his family. There was a gentle buzz about the shop, a calm flow of traffic that never seemed to cease, from early in the morning when the shopkeeper’s wife unlocked the door and switched the sign to read open, until the evening hours, when the last rays of the sun settled across the dusty streets.

Gradually, the people who came to visit the shop began to linger, to breathe in the fragrance of the mystic, and upon their request, he began to teach. One of his students asked one day if he could begin to spend the afternoons as his assistant. He had no need of pay; he wanted to learn, and the mystic simply smiled, and so it began.

The boy was very polite, and so when he saw his master doing a very peculiar thing one afternoon after a new shipment arrived, he stared only for a moment and did not ask a question. Two days later, when he saw his master doing the same very odd thing, again he politely turned his eyes aside. And so again the third and the fourth and the fifth time. But finally, his curiosity could be contained no more.“Master,” he said, addressing his teacher.
The mystic turned and gazed with soft, deep eyes.
“Master. Why is it that every time you get a shipment of new tapestries, you grab a pin and loosen a thread in the center of each? I’ve seen you do this five times. I know how you love the tapestries, how you teach to always care for what we have here on earth.” He turned his palms up. “Why?”
The Mystic’s soft eyes did not change their expression. “That is the secret,” he said.
The boy’s face grew red and flushed. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…”
His teacher continued. “The secret of the love. In the broken thread, the place of the flaw, is where you find your way to God.” 

 ~ Sufi story
art from  the Dome of a Sufi Saint by majhul
with thanks to noornalini