Always inside

The work is always inside you.
This knot does not get untied
by listening to the stories of other people.

The well inside your house
is better water
than the river that runs through town.

(Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, translated by Coleman Barks from The Big Red Book, p474)

Ironically, the apartment in which I am currently living (so glad it’s temporary) has begun to drive me out into the city early each day — because I am finding the apartment claustrophobic. It’s like living in a storage unit. And the residual paint fumes make me feel like I can’t even breathe properly.

I’ve even developed a reluctance to get into the bath.

All the major habits of the past decade have been disrupted. Nothing is set up to my liking. I’m without a hifi system, my computer has died, and I don’t even have a TV to distract me.

So I’ve taken to riding the buses and getting to know the suburbs.

But the real journey is going on within.

So I was glad to have been reminded, today, that “The work is always inside you. / This knot does not get untied / by listening to the stories of other people.”

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4 thoughts on “Always inside

    • “When the going gets tough,” they say, “the tough get going.”

      I’ve been doing so much inward work … and I certainly wasn’t complaining when I wrote this post.

      I hadn’t encountered “Hazak!” until now … so I’ve been looking into the meanings and traditions associated with the use of the word.

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