بخش 71

کتاب: ملت عشق / فصل 71

بخش 71

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Kerra

KONYA, MAY 1246

Baptism of fire. I don’t know how to deal with this situation. This morning, out of nowhere, a woman came asking for Shams of Tabriz. I told her to come back later, as he wasn’t at home, but she said she had nowhere to go and would rather wait in the courtyard. That was when I got suspicious and started to inquire into who she was and where she came from. She fell to her knees and opened her veil, showing a face scarred and swollen from many beatings. Despite her bruises and cuts, she was very pretty and so lithe. Amid tears and sobs, and in a surprisingly articulate way, she confirmed what I had already suspected. She was a harlot from the brothel.

“But I have abandoned that awful place,” she said. “I went to the public bath and washed myself forty times with forty prayers. I took an oath to stay away from men. From now on, my life is dedicated to God.” Not knowing what to say, I stared into her wounded eyes and wondered how she, young and fragile as she was, had found the courage to abandon the only life she knew. I didn’t want to see a fallen woman anywhere near my house, but there was something about her that broke my heart, a kind of simplicity, almost innocence, I had never seen in anyone before. Her brown eyes reminded me of Mother Mary’s eyes. I couldn’t bring myself to shoo her away. I let her wait in the courtyard. That was the most I could do. She sat there by the wall, staring into space as motionless as a marble statue.

An hour later, when Shams and Rumi returned from their walk, I rushed to tell them about the unexpected visitor.

“Did you say there was a harlot in our courtyard?” Rumi asked, sounding puzzled.

“Yes, and she says she has left the brothel to find God.”

“Oh, that must be Desert Rose,” Shams exclaimed, his tone not so much surprised as pleased. “Why did you keep her outside? Bring her in!”

“But what will our neighbors say if they learn we have a harlot under our roof?” I objected, my voice cracking with the tension.

“Aren’t we all living under the same roof anyhow?” Shams said, pointing to the sky above. “Kings and beggars, virgins and harlots, all are under the same sky!” How could I argue with Shams? He always had a ready answer for everything.

I ushered the harlot into the house, praying that the inquisitive eyes of the neighbors would not fall upon us. No sooner had Desert Rose entered the room than she ran to kiss the hands of Shams, sobbing.

“I am so glad you are here.” Shams beamed as if talking to an old friend. “You won’t go back to that place ever again. That stage of your life is completely over. May God make your journey toward Truth a fruitful one!” Desert Rose commenced to cry harder. “But the patron will never leave me in peace. She will send Jackal Head after me. You don’t know how—”

“Clear your mind, child,” Shams interrupted. “Remember another rule: While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere and become someone, only to leave it all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light and empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going.” Late in the evening, I showed Desert Rose the bed where she would sleep. And when she fell asleep immediately, I returned to the main room, where I found Rumi and Shams talking.

“You should come to our performance,” Shams said when he saw me coming.

“What performance?” I asked.

“A spiritual dance, Kerra, the likes of which you have never seen.”

I looked at my husband in astonishment. What was going on? What dance were they talking about?

“Mawlana, you are a respected scholar, not an entertainer. What will people think of you?” I asked, feeling my face growing hot.

“Don’t you worry,” Rumi said. “Shams and I have been talking about this for a long time. We want to introduce the dance of the whirling dervishes. It is called the sema. Whoever yearns for Divine Love is more than welcome to join us.” My head started to ache madly, but the pain was slight compared to the torment in my heart.

“What if people don’t like it? Not everyone thinks highly of dance,” I said to Shams, hoping this would have the effect of stopping whatever he was about to say next. “At least consider postponing this performance.” “Not everyone thinks highly of God,” Shams said without missing a beat. “Are we going to postpone believing in Him, too?”

And that was the end of the argument. There were no more words to exchange, and the sound of the wind filled the house, bursting through the slats in the walls and pounding in my ears.

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