Friday, April 16, 2021

the man who lost his key

A Sufi heard a cry: "I've lost my key;
If it's been found, please give it back to me -
My door's locked fast; I wish to God I knew
How I could get back in.  What can I do?"
The Sufi said: "And why should you complain?
You know where this door is; if you remain
Outside it - even if it is shut fast -
Someone no doubt will open it at last.
You make this fuss for nothing; how much more
Should I complain, who've lost both key and door!"
But if this Sufi presses on, he'll find
The closed or open door which haunts his mind.
Men cannot understand the sufis' state,
That deep Bewilderment which is their fate.
To those who ask: "What can I do?" reply:
"Bid all that you have done till now goodbye!"
Once in the Valley of Bewilderment
The pilgrim suffers endless discontent,
Crying: "How long must I endure delay,
Uncertainty? When shall I see the Way?
When shall I know? Oh, when?"  But knowledge here
Is turned again to indecisive fear;
Complaints become an grateful eulogy
And blasphemy is faith, faith blasphemy.

~Farid Attar
from The Conference of Birds
translation by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis