Dance of Faith
This is a picture of Sama*, the spiritual dance of what is now widely referred to in the West as “whirling dervishes.” A few years ago, I made the pilgrimage to Konya (Ghouniyeh) in Turkey to attend the annual Resurrection (orooj) ceremonies of Molana (better known as Rumi in the West). I call it a pilgrimage, because it was one of the most important events in my life, transforming me in profound ways. Someday I will write about what I mean by that transformation which happened in a small non-pretentious khaneghah, what I saw and how I felt. It is a tall tale, actually, best said when I feel lighter and better-equipped to deal with the surge of emotions I will have to recall in order that I may tell you about it. For now, I leave you with images of the dance which as I have witnessed personally, is a pilgrimage of sorts in itself, as those I saw performing it in that austere khaneghah in Ghouniyeh, were not attached to anything or anyone around them, but had surrendered to a music and a calling that only they seemed to hear and follow, delivering the most awesome and moving scene to the ones witnessing it. This is a short video clip of the more formal Sama. http://www.whirlingdervishes.org/multimedia/Sema1.wmv . The one I will talk about later, though, was a much more spontaneous dance, with ordinary-looking men and women in it, touching in its simplicity and honesty. I wish you a weekend full of joy and relaxation. For those of you living in these parts, Happy Mother’s Day, regardless of your gender, marital status, and familial situation. We can only aspire to be as good to others as our mothers were to us and to our siblings. On Sunday I will go see a documentary about Iranian filmmakers at the University, findings of which you poor souls will have to read about next week! Be good and happy. * Iranians call it Sama and Turks call it Sema. I borrowed this photograph from the same source as the above video clip.