Dateline Summer 2005—
Apropos after close to three weeks of having house guests and one more planned:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
(version by Coleman Barks)
The public domain image above is of Anatolian tiles in the “Cuerda Seca” technique from the late 14th century. Their original placement was probably on the exterior of the tower of the Mevlâna Turbesi (Tomb of Rumi) in Konya, Turkey.