Thoughts On A Sufi Proverb
- Hone Tuwhare
A long time ago I was an atom. A one-ness in two, superbly put together.
Full of potential, I was close to my essence. I died as an atom and
progressed to another form. I became a stone just off the melt. I was
I died as a stone and became a water-plant. As a plant, I learned to trap
and eat meat. I died as a plant and became fish. As a fish I grew
wings flying low over the heaving waters. Then I aspired to circle
high above greening turret-lands.
When I died as a plant, another branch of me I liked grew legs and
crawled out of the sea – on all fives. Or was it sixes or sevenses?
No matter, I had arms, legs, and two hands with which I learned
to pick up stones, sharpen a stick.
That other flying branch of me tried to pick out my eyes. They mocked me
for not choosing a flying career. I ignored the jibes, ducking out of
sight to avoid danger. I learned to throw stones. And soon, with a
developed accuracy I could bring down my tormentors.
I ate them feathers and all, only learning later to save the feathers to
I progressed from a plant, and became animal. I died as an animal and
became man. Now. . . never did I grow less by dying, you understand?
I want to become stone again, but not the kind that is as cold as the
forever night – the unlit side of the moon.
For a stone is as good a shape or form as any other. Compact and
smoothened to become a million whispering grains of sand just
crumbling quietly away to whatever ancestral dust; and all in
good time, too, precisely, and with a resigned elegance.