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|||The Spiritual Practices of Rumi|
From the Vice President
Tis the season for vows of love and celebration. I recently had the pleasure and honor of officiating at a wedding. Beyond creating the ceremony for the couple, I also was challenged to write the story of how they met. I chose to render it as a Celtic wonder tale woven of part truth and part MYTH (as in Make Yourself The Hero). I offer it here in the spirit of the season and for kicks and giggles.
Once upon a time in a land known to many as the Right Coast, but specifically in a region known to the natives as the Mass-where-the-Shoe-Fits (Actually, it was Massachusetts), there rises a majestic castle of glass and steel (Okay, it was the Bain Capital building on Huntington Avenue in Boston.) In this castle, a beautiful maiden with hair the color of a bright new penny and a smile to rival the light of the moon, labored to serve her king. It was her task to greet the teeming hoards of supplicants seeking the king’s counsel, and direct them to the proper counsel chambers. (If you haven’t guessed, she was the redheaded receptionist.) She was like unto a goddess, yet humble and pure. The good people of the castle called her Cinder - Thea. (That would be Cynthia.)
In this castle, another labored in service to the king. He was a knight of renown, well respected by his peers, whose creative devices pleased the king well. (In English we call that a soft ware developer.) His hair rivaled the brilliance of the sun and his eyes sparkled with humor, kindness and the wisdom of the ages. When he moved through the corridors of the castle the people he encountered called out his name in awe: Chris-of-the-Fur. (That’s F-U-R, fur and that would be Christopher.)
Now the king, who was a good king, in his wisdom decreed that all who toiled in the castle should should show allegiance to him and only unto him. It was a good and right decree that mitigated many quarrels among the subjects. It was known to all as the Dipping One’s Pen in the Company Ink Decree.
The star-crossed lovers, who at that time would not admit that they were lovers, honored their king, who was a good king. They met discreetly in the great hall where all left their labors when the sun was at its zenith for a repast of bread and water. (Around here it’s known as a Food Court.) As circumspect as Cinder-Thea and Chris-of-the-Fur thought they were being, it did not take long for the tongues of the idle to wag telling tales of the assumed illicit bond. Cinder-Thea and Chris-of-the-Fur denied these tales in honor of their king, who was a good king. The Fates, however, had other plans.
Twas the night of the Great Seasonal Feast - a time when the king, who was a good king - encouraged his subjects to eat, drink and be merry to fortify themselves against the coming dark winter. (Otherwise known as the company holiday party.) Cinder-Thea and Chris-of-the-Fur continued their Dance of Discretion with furtive glances across a crowded room until, lo, the lights dimmed on the faces of the other revelers and caressed only the countenances of the two who would be one. The sweet sound of a choir drifted down from the clerestory, (I think it was piped-in muzak) and the lovers in denial withdrew posthaste to their own humble homes.
The next morning, the mighty Chris-of-the-Fur was troubled. He knew in his heart that Cinder-Thea was the only woman he would have as his wife. He sought out the king’s merlin, who listened intently and then offered a plan. Chris- of-the-Fur would invite the lovely Cinder-Thea to join him in creating a small castle of bread and ginger with many sticky sweets. (Okay, I totally made that bit up. Sounded good, though.)
Within the week, the plan was set in motion and the unsuspecting Cinder-Thea arrived at Chris-of-the-Fur’s (Christopher’s) abode and happily began work on the fortress that would hold and protect her heart. (It was a gingerbread house, but you already figured that out.) With every gumdrop and candy cane she stuck to the miniature edifice, her heart became more and more joined to Chris-of-the- Fur’s. (Christopher’s) The plan succeeded and the Fates giggled.
Six weeks is a short time in the minds of men; however, Chris-of-the-Fur is a man of action. Rather than allow Cinder-Thea’s (Cynthia’s) heart to escape its newly found sweet home, he suggested that they leave the loving land of Mass-Where- the-Shoe-Fits. (Again, that’s Massachusetts) His plan was to ride on the back of a silver bird (That was American Airlines, so it had red, white and blue bits on it, too.) to the land known as the Left Coast, where the sun and sand sing their sultry songs of serenity. Cinder-Thea readily agreed.
And that is how Cynthia (Cinder-Thea) and Christopher (Chris-of-the-Fur) came to this place.
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