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Rumi is my blood brother. I am a white bread American, Caucasian, family of Irish/German/English background. Really happy, really immersed (in everyday reality) expressions of experience did not come tripping out often on the lips of my family/teachers/friends. I was raised in the upper middle class of an mid-Atlantic East Coast metropolis, in the 50s and 60s. What college you went to, your religion or lack of, the part of town you were from...each was significant. How attractive you looked; how cool you acted. Rumi don't care. Rumi slices it wide open, like a halved and quartered watermelon in August, cooled in the spring, sweet, cold on a hot day, luscious, innocent, red, black, green. Rumi brings ecstasy to my address, on my doormat, rings the bell, leaves it to me. From hundreds of years ago, from thousands upon thousands of miles away, a world away from Maryland, USA, he brings ecstasy in being alive, places it in my hands, disappears; the wealth is enormous, what he gives, what you create for yourself at his word.