بخش 57

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بخش 57

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Kimya

KONYA, JANUARY 1246

Blushing and sweating slightly, I mustered the courage to talk to Shams of Tabriz. I had been meaning to ask him about the deepest reading of the Qur’an, but for weeks I hadn’t had a chance. Though we lived under the same roof, our paths never crossed. But this morning as I was sweeping the courtyard, Shams appeared next to me, alone and in the mood to chat. And this time not only did I manage to talk with him longer, but I also managed to look him in the eye.

“How is it going, dear Kimya?” he asked jovially.

I couldn’t help noticing that Shams looked dazed, as if he had just woken up from sleep, or else another vision. I knew he had been having visions, lately more often than ever, and by now I had learned to read the signs. Each time he had a vision, his face became pale and his eyes dreamy.

“A storm is impending,” Shams murmured, squinting at the sky, where grayish flakes swirled, heralding the first snow of the year.

This seemed the right time to ask him the question I had been holding inside. “Remember when you told me that we all understood the Qur’an in accordance with the depth of our insight?” I said carefully. “Ever since then I have been meaning to ask you about the fourth level.” Now Shams turned toward me, his gaze raking my face. I liked it when he stared at me so attentively. I thought he was his handsomest at times like this, his lips pursed, his forehead slightly creased.

“The fourth level is unspeakable,” he said. “There is a stage after which language fails us. When you step into the zone of love, you won’t need language.” “I wish I could step into the zone of love someday,” I blurted, but then instantly felt embarrassed. “I mean, so that I could read the Qur’an with deeper insight.” An odd little smile etched Shams’s mouth. “If you have it in you, I am sure you will. You’ll dive into the fourth current, and then you’ll be the stream.”

I had forgotten this mixed feeling that only Shams was capable of stirring in me. Next to him I felt both like a child learning life anew and like a woman ready to nurture life inside my womb.

“What do you mean, ‘if you have it in you’?” I asked. “You mean, like destiny?”

“Yes, that’s right.” Shams nodded.

“But what does destiny mean?”

“I cannot tell you what destiny is. All I can tell you is what it isn’t. In fact, there is another rule regarding this question. Destiny doesn’t mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore, to leave everything to fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance.

“The music of the universe is all-pervading and it is composed on forty different levels.

“Your destiny is the level where you will play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands.”

I must have given him a befuddled look, for Shams felt the need to explain. He placed his hand on mine, gently squeezing. With dark, deep eyes glinting he said, “Allow me to tell you a story.” And here is what he told me:

One day a young woman asked a dervish what fate was about. “Come with me,” the dervish said. “Let’s take a look at the world together.” Soon they ran into a procession. A killer was being taken to the plaza to be hanged. The dervish asked, “That man will be executed. But is that because somebody gave him the money with which he bought his murder weapon? Or is it because nobody stopped him while he was committing the crime? Or is it because someone caught him afterward? Where is the cause and effect in this case?” I interjected, cutting his story short, and said, “That man is going to be hanged because what he did was awful. He is paying for what he did. There is the cause and there, too, the effect. There are good things and bad things, and a difference between the two.” “Ah, sweet Kimya,” Shams replied, in a small voice as if he suddenly felt tired. “You like distinctions because you think they make life easier. What if things are not that clear all the time?” “But God wants us to be clear. Otherwise there would be no notions of haram or halal. There would be no hell and heaven. Imagine if you could not scare people with hell or encourage them with heaven. The world would be a whole lot worse.” Snowflakes skittered in the wind, and Shams leaned forward to pull my shawl tighter. For a passing moment, I stood frozen, inhaling his smell. It was a mixture of sandalwood and soft amber with a faint, crisp tang underneath, like the smell of earth after the rain. I felt a warm glow in the pit of my stomach and a wave of desire between my legs. How embarrassing it was—and yet, oddly, not embarrassing at all.

“In love, boundaries are blurred,” said Shams, staring at me half compassionately, half concernedly.

Was he talking about the Love of God or the love between a woman and a man? Could he be referring to us? Was there such a thing as “us”?

Unaware of my thoughts, Shams continued. “I don’t care about haram or halal. I’d rather extinguish the fire in hell and burn heaven, so that people could start loving God for no other reason than love.” “You shouldn’t go around saying such things. People are mean. Not everyone would understand,” I said, not realizing that I would have to think more about this warning before its full implications could sink in.

Shams smiled a brave, almost valiant smile. I allowed him to hold me captive, his palm feeling hot and heavy against mine.

“Perhaps you are right, but don’t you think that gives me all the more reason to speak my mind? Besides, narrow-minded people are deaf anyhow. To their sealed ears, whatever I say is sheer blasphemy.” “Whereas to me everything you say is only sweet!”

Shams looked at me with a disbelief that verged on astonishment. But I was more shocked than he was. How could I have said such a thing? Had I taken leave of my senses? I must have been possessed by a djinn or something.

“I’m sorry, I’d better go now,” I said as I jumped to my feet.

My cheeks burning with shame, my heart pounding with all the things we had said and left unsaid, I scampered out of the courtyard back into the house. But even as I ran, I knew that a threshold had been crossed. After this moment I could not ignore the truth that I had known all along: I was in love with Shams of Tabriz.

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