Rumi’s Star

A Star Without A Name

When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,

it easily forgets her

and starts eating solid food.

Seeds feed awhile on ground,

then lift up into the sun.

So you should taste the filtered light

and work your way toward wisdom

with no personal covering.

That’s how you came here, like a star

without a name. Move across the nightsky

with those anonymous lights.

[Rumi, Say I Am You, John Moyne and Coleman Barks, trans.; Athens, GA: MAYPOP, 1994, p. 59]

My friend Eldon firmly believed that the name you were given influenced the person you would become. Unlike a rose, Eldon wouldn’t be the same (man) under any other name. He has a point.

God’s name isn’t spoken or written out in Hebrew – assigning a name might lead to the erroneous conviction that any human mind or heart could encompass all that God is (was/will be). It’s a valid point.

Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to embrace a nameless state, just as before we were born and grown. We might have an easier time remembering that we cannot be contained by whatever letters comprise our monikers; and we might dare believe that the infinite God dwells within us as surely as in the limitless beyond. Just maybe, our life’s point.

2 thoughts on “Rumi’s Star”

  1. Thanks, Bill. I’ve never forgotten Eldon’s emphasis on the importance of a name. How different would life be if you were a Maxwell, a Paul, or a Henry? Or if I were a Linda, Rhonda, or a Susan? Peace, Johnna

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