Sunday, April 15, 2012

But he who is parted from them that speak his tongue



But he who is parted from them that speak his tongue
Though he posses a hundred voices, is perforce dumb.
- Rumi

Consider a man who has a son he loves the most. His son is a charming young fellow, bright, active, and respecting young soul. The father speaks of his obedience, of his nature towards others, of his behaviors towards his parents and family, of his career, of his friends. This son is now reaching to finish his graduate studies, and is earning honors and awards, so much so that the only thing his father speaks of is his son. With friends, with family, even when he meets any stranger he introduces himself from his son's credibility and brightness.
Suddenly, his son dies in a tragic incident. What would he speak of now?
He would have a thousand voices, a thousand thoughts, a thousand memories, a thousand breaths, but can't utter anything.
His friends come to meet him, his family visit him as regularly as they used to do before, But he who is parted from them that speak his tongue - Though he posses a hundred voices, is perforce dumb.


From the first Masnavi (poem) from Maulana Rumi's Masnavi-e-Manavi, Book 1.
It took me two hours to understand these two lines, it was spring of 2009 (or 2010).
Image by Kathe Kollwitz, 1903. Taken from http://motherprotection.blogspot.com/2011/05/kathe-kollwitzmother-with-dead.html (though it is a Mother, but shown with a persona of masculinity, hence appropriate for the context)