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February 9, 2011 / Melissa Yuan-Innes

Branches

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.

Don’t try to see through the distances.

That’s not for human beings. Move within,

but don’t move the way fear makes you move.

Walk to the well.

Turn as the earth and the moon turn,

circling what they love.

Whatever circles comes from the center.

Some nights stay up till dawn,

as the moon sometimes does for the sun.

Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way

of a well, then lifted out into light.

The sun is love. The lover,

a speck circling the sun.

A Spring wind moves to dance

any branch that isn’t dead.

Something opens our wings. Something

makes boredom and hurt disappear.

Someone fills the cup in front of us.

We taste only sacredness.

Whoever finds love

beneath hurt and grief

disappears into emptiness

with a thousand new disguises.

Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance, when you’re perfectly free.

–Rumi

Translation by Coleman Barks

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