What was in that candle’s light
that opened and consumed me so quickly?
Come back, my friend. The form of our love
is not a created form.
Nothing can help me but that beauty.
There was a dawn I remember
when my soul heard something from your soul.
I drank water from your spring
and felt the current take me.
This poem by Rumi was on my mind today as I reconnected with old friends at a conference. To drink from the wells of our friend’s love is to quench a thirst primordial. Our love is not created. Our love is ancient. It is not even our love. It is the love of a cosmos in which the earth is yet unborn. It is the love of found friends; not made friends. The distinction is essential, though not pejorative.
I mean no disrespect to “made” friends. We make friends all the time. I love many of my made friends. We encounter and we sip and we love, and it’s all good. But found friends? No. Found friends are different. That friendship is uncreated. That friendship is from a light which we did not light. That friendship is soul hearing from soul. Found friends are those people, few though they may be in our life, which were people to whom we were always meant to be close, and we simply took some time to find each other in the Paddington Station of this life. These bees remind me of finding-work.
The beauty of a friendship which is “found” is the source of all beauty. It pre-exists all goodness and it is simple, easy, natural and emerges rather than being made. Lent is a good time to appreciate found friends. In silence theses things may be seen.
Just as my Rule of Life requires that I ask forgiveness from two people each Lent and Advent (I have accomplished one of the two this Lent, and it was less painful than I imagined.) so too, this Rule reminds me to drink deep of two friendships; and so that work is underway.
Were Rumi here in my hotel room, he would have been glad to hear of my friendships, just as I am glad to enjoy them. The ocean is just beyond the dunes here; but the ocean of friendship… that is fed by springs which bubble in reunions which spin off soul-songs and fill life with an uncreated music. And in that music, Easter giggles from behind Lent’s curtains.