Rumi Goes to Washington
"He couldn't find a place to tie his camel
when a quiet man in a uniform took the reins
and showed him inside. He sat for the longest
time on a sofa staring at the enormous chande-
lier. So many jewels, he thought, each like a soul
God has placed on Earth and scattered. He felt
the chandelier was a messenger, saying without
saying, "When you can come together like this,
your love will conquer gravity and you will hover
like this enormous, glittering light." Just then, a
pretty young woman asked if he wanted to register.
He wasn't sure what that meant but he went along.
In the days that followed, he kept seeing the many
jewels scattered. Then others came and brought
him to meetings where he listened to men and
women carve up the resources of their great nation.
And beneath the noise of their benevolence, he
could see inside their chests, where each carried
a light that was throbbing below their proposals.
When it was his turn, he whirled around the room,
touching each jewel's heart. Then he sat and stared
at his hand. Finally, the leader of the group leaned
over and gently asked, 'What does this mean?'
Instead of talking, he took the leader's hand
and put it on his heart. Well, the meeting was
no longer a meeting, and some wanted to get
closer, while others wanted to run. He was
driven back to the hotel where he spent the
afternoon listening to the chandelier."