Beyond Ordinary Time: Meeting in Rumi’s Field

"Let us go to the house of the Lord." Artwork: Psalm 122:1 by Okaybabs

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

Happy End of Ordinary Time! On this day after the Feast of Christ the King, after we have made our way through the celebrations that surround Thanksgiving — preparing our turkeys,  transforming and gobbling leftovers, watching enough football, playing our board games, or having enough conversation to keep us tided over till Christmas —  I’m giving thanks for today. I’m celebrating that one particular family member that drove me a bit nuts, the conversations that stretched me in my capacity to be compassionate, and for what now informs my heart, mind and spirit, as I lean toward the next liturgical season in our church. I am inviting a deeper sense of awe, a more inspired capacity to wonder, and opening up the door of my contemplative heart to welcome Advent.

In my prayer and meditation this day, I turn toward poetry. Conscious of the shift in time noted by the liturgical calendar, and what my spirit knows intuitively, I hold images of a God who reigns as Creator of the Universe; I think of a King who leads through service; I usher in the tender images of child resting in straw; I stretch to see that babe grown and nailed to a tree. And I ready my heart through prayerful poetry.

As we turn to this holy season of Incarnation, I invite you to join me in wonder, in awe, in a wordless space of contemplation and deep reverence for our God, our Universe, for Love.  I invite you to join me in this field, as described by 13th Century Sufi poet and mystic, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi:

I will meet you there.

I will meet you there.

I will meet you there.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.*


We are full. We empty ourselves. We soften. We surrender. We stop to rest and become conscious of what Love has invited us to see.

Will you join me in this field? Will you help me walk toward Advent with an ineffable sense of awe, a bewildered sense of joy, a consciousness informed by humility?


*Coleman Barks on Rumi’s “Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing” Hear translator Coleman Barks read this poem and talk about its meaning.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Posted by Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan, Visitation Alumna ’93 with gratitude to Rob Brezsny for posting poem and image. bringing both to my attention.