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My Love Affair with the Middle East - by Daphne Selbert 9-27-2020

My Love Affair with the Middle East Iran
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Introductory Words - Joyce Spinelli and Angie Thoburn

Lighting the Chalice - Kim Borgmeyer

First Poem by Rumi - Michael Kruse

Persian Music

Second Poem - Rob Anglin

My Love Affair With the Middle East

Presentation - Daphne Selbert

Persian Music

Extinguishing the Chalice - Kim Borgmeyer

Discussion - Angie Thoburn

FIRST POEM -Michael Kruse

Gamble Everything for Love by Rumi (1207-1273)

ON GAMBLING To the frog that’s never left his pond the ocean seams like a gamble. Look what he’s giving up : security, mastery of his world, recognition! The ocean frog just shakes his head. “I can’t really explain where I live, but someday I’ll take you there.”

If you want what visible reality

can give, you’re an employee.

If you want the unseen world,

you’re not living your truth.

Both wishes are foolish,

but you’ll be forgiven for forgetting

that what you really want is

love’s confusing joy.

Gamble everything for love,

if you’re a true human being.

If not, leave

this gathering.

Half-heartedness doesn’t reach

into majesty. You set out

to find God, but then you keep

stopping for long periods

at mean-spirited roadhouses.

In a boat down a fast-running creek

it feels like trees on the bank

are rushing by. What seems

to be changing around us

is rather the speed of our craft

leaving this world

SECOND POEM - Rob Anglin

The Far Mosque by Rumi

The place that Solomon made to worship in, called the Far Mosque, is not built of earth and water and stone, but of intention and wisdom and mystical conversation and compassionate action. Every part of it is intelligence and responsive to the other. The carpet bows to the broom. The door knocker and the door swing together like musicians. The heart sanctuary does exist, but it can’t be described. Why try! Solomon goes there every morning and gives guidance with words, with musical harmonies, and in actions, which are the deepest teaching. A prince is just a conceit until he does something with generosity. A bird delegation came to Solomon complaining, “Why is it you never criticize the nightingale?” “Because my way,” the nightingale explained for Solomon, “is different. Mid-March to mid-June I sing. The other nine months, while you continue chirping, I’m silent.”

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