I was having a great day yesterday that quickly turned into a shit day. It’s funny how events can turn around so quickly. One minute you’re feeling great, the next minute, you’re ready to punch a wall or a person nearest you. I’m sure that you can understand where I’m coming from.
I was feeling really down and horrible about my life. Thoughts were rushing in and out of my head at breakneck speed chastising me for what I perceived as failure. My brain was running a mile a minute in a constant chorus of failure, failure, failure. Blah blah blah. It was a pity party in my brain, that’s for sure.
Luckily, Abbey Fox on Twitter posted the following: “Let yourself BE SILENTLY DRAWN by the stronger pull of what you really love.”(Though some interpret the line as: “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray”)
For Green Day fans, some of you may know that this line is partially from a new tattoo that Billie Joe recently got. While it’s a great excuse to post a photo of Billie Joe’s chest… ahem… it’s also a really nice opportunity to take a moment to reflect on the full saying. Abbey then went on to post a picture of the poem, and seriously, reading it got me through another day. (And yes, the picture of BJ’s chest didn’t hurt either.)
The line itself is from a poem by the Sufi mystic, Rumi. Here’s a collection of other poems by Rumi, which are not just poems, but also mystical ruminations similar to Buddhist koans on which to meditate regarding the meaning of life. I’m not going to go into any interpretation of the sayings. I leave that to you. Nor am I going to speculate on why BJ got the saying tattooed on his chest. No one knows, and that’s his personal business. I do hope, however, that you take a moment to read the quotes…. and have a great day.
If you’d like to talk about the sayings in the comments, please do. And thanks, Abbey.
October 22nd, 2010 at 9:18 am
The amazingly brilliant and lovely Dawn knew that this was from the poetry of Rumi, I merely regurgitated it to share with the twitterverse.
After reading it, I look forward to picking up some translations of Rumi poetry. The writing is strikingly clever, touching, and relevant in the same way I find a certain rock star lyrics to be.
October 22nd, 2010 at 11:48 am
I’ve been a fan of this poem for a long time and really happy to see others enjoying it. it was read at my brother’s funeral and these words actually sit on my desk. and after reading Abbey’s reply above, i agree very much with her comments. 🙂 I keep seeing Abbey all over the internets, and enjoy the things she says to us. i think i need to know her!
thanks for another lovely post.
October 22nd, 2010 at 12:16 pm
I’m pretty sure that is the same photo that Minority Em posted on the gdlot page from her St. Jimmy/AI on Broadway collection.
I wasn’t familiar with Rumi before I saw this photo of Billie Joe’s new tattoo. But once again enlightened through Billie Joe, it’s nice we are able to look at ancient writings and maybe find out something to help us through difficulties of life. I can see why it appeals to him and be relevant to many other people.
October 22nd, 2010 at 12:21 pm
Do you have a link? I have no idea where/what that is. Thanks.
October 22nd, 2010 at 12:23 pm
Ah, ok, I’ll ask her. i’m not fb friends with minority em, so I have no idea. I’ve seen the photo of the tat here and there with no reference to where it came from.
October 22nd, 2010 at 1:16 pm
Alrighty, she confirmed the pic, so I updated the photo.
October 22nd, 2010 at 5:54 pm
Yes, I got the picture from minority em on face book. I am a huge poetry buff. I myself have been writing poetry since I was 14 years old. I recognized that line that Billie has tattooed on his chest from a poem by Jalal-Uddin Rumi a 13th century Turkish Sufi Mystic Poet who lived (1207-1273). Rumi is known for his insight in being able to describe the indescribable with his erotic & passionate love poems. Here is a link to some of his poetry http://peacefulrivers.homestead.com/Rumipoetry1.html Also you can find some of his works that has been translated into the English language by Coleman Barks with John Moyne in these following books that : The Essential Rumi, Soul of Rumi and The Glance
October 23rd, 2010 at 1:34 pm
I like this. Good find! Very insightful yet surprisingly relevant coming from a guy who lived in the 1200s
October 24th, 2010 at 11:50 am
You should…uh… ask him if that is where it’s from the next time you see him, lol. 🙂 Yea, Rumi is pretty hip for an ancient guy, that’s for sure. And I didn’t find it, I just put it all together.
January 23rd, 2011 at 1:09 pm
[…] The lyric itself is a bit of a puzzle and has an odd dichotomy. How can anyone be alive or find life through suicide? What is the nature of that state of being? Is it a metaphorical case of leaving one facet of your life behind and steadfastly screaming out in amazement at the very fact of being alive, or finding life through ending it? No, certainly not the latter example. He sang, “I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive” so emphatically that it cancels out all thoughts of a real suicide. “Alive” sounds like one of those screams of urgency to “rally out the demons of your soul,” not to give up, certainly. It’s a problematic lyric, much like a Japanese koan puzzle or a quote by the Iranian/Persian poet and mystic, Rumi. We all know how much Billie Joe hearts Rumi. […]
February 22nd, 2011 at 8:16 pm
Thanks for this post I know I’m a good few months late to the party but I saw the link on twitter today and came to have a look. I’m no poetry buff but this is an amazing poem and I can certainly say that I had a line jump right out at me and I mean it literaly jumped off the page like it was typed in bold!!
“only from the heart can you touch the sky”
September 8th, 2012 at 11:58 am
this poem is truly one of the most beautiful things I have ever read my whole life. and it makes so much sense for me and my life atm. I’m astonished.
June 3rd, 2016 at 1:56 pm
he’s not turkish, he’s persian mystic poet, and shams tabrizi another persian mystic poet is his teacher.don’t give out false info.
June 3rd, 2016 at 2:09 pm
Seriously? You do know that Rumi is buried in Turkey, yes? You can be Persian and still Turkish, the way the Ottoman Empire worked out. Don’t get yourself worked up about it. https://sacredsites.com/middle_east/turkey/shrine_of_rumi_konya.html
June 3rd, 2016 at 2:13 pm
And he was born in Afghanistan, so again, don’t get yourself worked up about it. Yes, he was Persian, but can also be noted as Turkish. Have a great day.
January 25th, 2017 at 2:54 am
the poem is immensely beautiful .. true art of wordplay that makes an equal sense ❤ thanks for sharing
July 29th, 2017 at 8:52 am
Actually BJ was walking along and found a post it on the ground that said “Be silently drawn”. He took it home and taped it up next to his bed, to this day i believe. But maybe a year later, and i dont recall how, he found out it was from the Rumi poem.