بخش 41

کتاب: ملت عشق / فصل 41

بخش 41

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 3 دقیقه
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متن انگلیسی فصل

Kerra

KONYA, DECEMBER 18, 1244

Bemoaning my fate does me no good, I know. Yet I cannot help but wish that I were more knowledgeable in religion, history, and philosophy and all the things Rumi and Shams must be talking about day and night. There are times I want to rebel against having been created a woman. When you are born a girl, you are taught how to cook and clean, wash dirty clothes, mend old socks, make butter and cheese, and feed babies. Some women are also taught the art of love and making themselves attractive to men. But that’s about it. Nobody gives women books to open their eyes.

In the first year of our marriage, I used to sneak into Rumi’s library at every opportunity. I would sit there amid the books he loved so much, breathing in their dusty, moldy smells, wondering what mysteries they hid inside. I knew how much Rumi adored his books, most of which had been handed down to him by his late father, Baha’ al-Din. Of those, he was particularly fond of the Ma’arif. Many nights he would stay awake until dawn reading it, although I suspected he knew the whole text by heart.

“Even if they paid me sacks of gold, I would never exchange my father’s books,” Rumi used to say. “Each of these books is a priceless legacy from my ancestors. I took them from my father, and I will pass them on to my sons.” I learned the hard way just how much his books meant to him. Still in our first year of marriage, while I was alone at home one day, it occurred to me to dust the library. I took out all the books from the shelves and wiped their covers with a piece of velvet dabbed in rosewater. The locals believe that there is a kind of juvenile djinn by the name of Kebikec who takes a twisted pleasure in destroying books. In order to ward him off, it is the custom to write a note of warning inside each book: “Stand thou still, Kebikec, stay away from this book!” How was I to know that it wasn’t only Kebikec who was supposed to stay away from my husband’s books, but me as well?

That afternoon I dusted and cleaned every book in the library. As I kept working, I read from Ghazzali’s Vivification of the Religious Sciences. Only when I heard a dry, distant voice behind me did I realize how much time I had spent there.

“Kerra, what do you think you are doing here?”

It was Rumi, or someone who resembled him—the voice was harsher in tone, sterner in expression. In all our eight years of marriage, that was the only time he’d spoken to me like that.

“I am cleaning,” I muttered, my voice weak. “I wanted to make it a surprise.”

Rumi responded, “I understand, but please do not touch my books again. In fact, I’d rather you did not enter this room at all.”

After that day I stayed away from the library even when there was no one at home. I understood and accepted that the world of books was not and never had been, nor ever would be, for me.

But when Shams of Tabriz came to our house, and he and my husband locked themselves in the library for forty days, I felt an old resentment boil up inside me. A wound that I didn’t even know I had began to bleed.

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