Friday, August 2, 2013

The Guesthouse

I've read it at least 10 times this week, 8 or more times out loud for "reflection" at work this week, and I'm still not tired of it. The Guesthouse was a reflection from my first month at work, and it's stuck with me all year. I've had a copy of it on the magnetic board near my desk at home. I read it when one of my housemates was struggling with alcoholism. I read it on some of those Thursdays where I ended my work day with tears--sometimes from pure exhaustion, sometimes from the weight of the stories.  But also, I read it when I brought home a pink rose I picked off the back of a wall on the walk home. Just a couple weeks ago I read it when someone I knew was found a couple days dead in her apartment. 

The Guesthouse is the story of my year. A year of heartbreak after triumph after heartbreak. A year where often hospitality was all I had to give--and where sometimes giving that hospitality took all I had. But, I'm learning, that's what this being human is all about. So, on the eve of my last day, here it is once more: 


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 are 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.

(By Rumi)

1 comment:

Dayna said...

Beautiful, beautiful my dear friend. You evoke the kindest hospitality I know.