shake, loosen, and open



who does not know

the Tigris River exists brings

the caliph who lives near the river a jar

of fresh water. The caliph accepts,

thanks him, and gives in return

a jar filled with gold



“Since this

man has come through

the desert, he should return by water.”

Taken out by another door, the man steps into

a waiting boat and sees the wide freshwater

of the Tigris. He bows his head, “What

wonderful kindness that he

took my gift.”


Every object

and being in the universe

is a jar overfilled with wisdom and

beauty, a drop of the Tigris that cannot be

contained in any skin. Every jarful spills and makes

the earth more shining, as though covered in satin.

If the man had seen even a tributary of the

great river, he would not have brought

the innocence of his



Those that

stay and live by the

Tigris grow so ecstatic that

they throw rocks at the jugs, and 

the jugs become perfect. They shatter.

The pieces dance, and water…

Do you see? Neither jar nor

water nor stone,



You knock

at the door of reality,

shake your thought-wings,

loosen your shoulders,

and open.


Jalal al-din Rumi