The Sign of Being Dried-Up

The sign of being a dried-up branch,
unconnected to root-water in the deep ground,
is that you have no inclination to sway.

Moist, fresh limbs are easily pulled
any direction, even rounded into
a hoop for a basket handle.

This is symbolic talk, but the symbol itself
is a fire to consume your fantasies
about how you are in union.

Be empty as you go into
qualities and essence.

Some letters disappear when they elide.
That way the true meaning emerges.

No words can express how inspired
words spring out of silence.

— Mathnawi VI: 2230-2233; 2239-2246