No one knows the pain of stone—its dull dream and slow lust.
Yet this is the halfway stage from man to singing dust.
No one could endure this state but for the Beloved’s smile
Supporting, and urging one on mile after static mile.
This non-travelling is what is called the spiritual way
By which is made living the image which God wrought in clay.
The moon rose tonight in all her beauty, yellow and round,
And I wept for the chains of distance with which she is bound.
Nearness and farness: these are the only two words
That make sense to the lover: kisses and wine, and swords.
I could not endure distance if my Beloved were not near.
But the nearer I draw, the further away does he appear.
Then suddenly he is beside me pouring wine between my stone lips.
And in a moment the night and the pain are gone. How quickly time slips!
A bit of a surprise – stone as a stage on our own involution!
The imprisonment in a stasis that seems to hold us forever apart from our goal. Such a torment might never be borne were it not for the consolations He offers. And of course one sip reveals the truth, all this frozen time just slips by as an illusion. And his loving smile is always with us in the suffering.
The suffering is an unavoidable aspect of the Way to bring out the image from the clay.
The image of what? Even in stone is the latent human form.
The lust referred to here is general desire rather than sensuality. Stone can only dimly feel anything but stone too longs for the Self.