WHY I LOVE...
THE BOOK A YEAR WITH RUMI
The book A Year with Rumi, by Ava Duvernay
I’ve always been someone who values experiences over material things. But if I had to pick one item that has meant a lot to me over the years, it would be this book of quotes by my favorite poet, Rumi. It was given to me by a classmate at the University of California, Los Angeles when I was a student there in the early ’90s. I had just graduated from an all-girls Catholic high school, so at UCLA I was entering a big new world with a lot to learn and explore. I was also reconciling with my spirituality at that time, and when I began to read this book, I was surprised how deeply Rumi’s words resonated with me. The poems illuminated a breadth of human experience that I immediately found a lot of joy and comfort in.
These days I keep it next to my bed and read a passage every morning when I wake up. Instead of reaching for my phone, I reach for this book. It helps me find some balance before the busy day starts to rush in. My copy has become a little worn out over the years because I take it with me everywhere I travel, from Mumbai to Dakar. It helps me stay focused wherever I am in the world. I’ve even started to incorporate Rumi’s poems into my own work, whether it’s the little lessons I’ve learned or quotes that I love. In [my film] A Wrinkle in Time, Mindy Kaling’s character, Mrs. Who, recites one of my favorites: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” I love that I was able to include the line in the film. It is the simple wisdom of Rumi’s words that has helped me gain perspective in my life.
Duvernay is the creator and executive producer of Cherish the Day, an upcoming romantic anthology series on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.