Monday, July 16, 2007

Rabia's Rooftop

I spent the afternoon working at my desk. Quite a bit was actually accomplished, which is kind of amazing, as the entire time I felt a distracted longing. I found myself wandering down the hallway toward the vending machines, then sitting staring at the wall, then editing my work files, as if my afternoon were a set of still life pictures.

A completely wordless longing, it felt a bit like being hopelessly, helplessly in love, both happy and sad, not uncomfortable, yet not at peace, in a normal sense of that word. I was distracted, yet could continue to work in a normal way.

At some point, I remembered the stories of Rabia, the Sufi mystic, and wondered if this was maybe a little like the way she felt: happy to sit on the roof of her house wailing for God.

My mind and body were competently dealing with work and the material universe, while I, whatever that is, seemed to be in a universe of grief and longing. And I was content with all of it.

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