Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time for Company Again

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.

~ Rumi ~
It's a relief, really.  To think that I am not always responsible for these mournings that arrive at my door.  My part is to respond, to accommodate, to entertain, to treat each guest honorably.  I did not create them but I am to house them for a time and shape my actions.  Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in because I am comfortable in my space and my task is to show them how it is with me and then to say good-bye when they leave...because this is not their residence, they do not come to stay.  

Some guests may leave their mark, use up all of my amenities, take more service out of my rooms than I thought I had to give.  Some guests joyously return often and stay long and every knock at my door is answered with the hope that it is they that stand there and wait to be let in.

I got a knock on my door yesterday from a guest that arrived far ahead of schedule.  I was cleared out.  Emptied.  But thrilled and excited to greet this unexpected arrival.  Grateful for this coming, but awake all night thinking about the best way to entertain my thoughts.  Am I being cleared out for some new delight?  I will not close my door.  I will not tell the world I have no space for guests.  In my house, uncertainty does not come to stay and doubt does not reside for long.

This being human is a guest house.      

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