Manuela Toderas

The Lovers

“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.” – Rumi

Date2014 -2016 Forfor a new edition of poems – in process – and more …

The 5 Stars Kiss – ink on paper 27/39cm – “Even after all this time,
The Sun never says to the Earth “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that, It lights the whole sky !” ― Hafiz

The Veil -ink on paper 38/28cm – “You think because you understand ‘one’ you must also understand ‘two’, because one and one make two. But you must also understand ‘and’.” ― Rumi

Not for sale – Conjunction, ink on paper, 38/28cm –
" When I am with you, we stay up all night, / When you’re not here, I can’t get to sleep. / Praise God for these two insomnias !/ And the difference between them." – Rumi

The Awakening- ink on paper 24/36cm – "What happens when Your Soul Begins to awaken Your eyes And your heart And the cells of your body To the great Journey of Love? First, there is a wonderful laughter And probably precious tears And a hundred of sweet promises And those heroic vows No one can ever keep. But still God is delighted and amused You once tried to be a saint. What happens when your soul Begins to awake in this world To our deep need to love And serve the Friend? Oh, the Beloved Will send you One of His wonderful, wild companions, Like Hafiz. (“What Happens?” by Hafiz)

Water Kiss – ink on paper 26/39 cm – “The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was./ Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along.” – Rumi

Whirling ink on paper 37/26 cm “we came whirling out of nothingness scattering stars like dust / the stars made a circle, and in the middle we dance / the wheel of heaven circles God like a mill / if you grab a spoke it will tear your hand off / turning and turning, it sunders all attachment / were that wheel not in love, it would cry: “enough! how long this turning?”/ every atom turns bewildered/ beggars circle tables, dogs circle carrion, the lover circles his own heart / ashamed, I circle shame / a ruined water wheel, whichever way I turn, is the river / if that rusty old sky, creaks to a stop, still, still I turn / and it is only God circling Himself " – Rumi –
"God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly – not one” – Rumi

Butterfly Effect – ink on paper 24/36cm – “The people of this world are like the three butterflies in front of a candle’s flame. The first one went closer and said: I know about love. The second one touched the flame lightly with his wings and said: I know how love’s fire can burn. The third one threw himself into the heart of the flame and was consumed. He alone knows what true love is.” – Rumi

The Falling – ink on paper 26/39cm –

‘Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames’ – Rumi. ink on paper 36/24 cm – “Be with those who help your being./ Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath/ comes cold out of their mouths./ Not these visible forms, your work is deeper./ A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces. / If you don’t try to fly, and so break yourself apart, you will be broken open by death,/ when it’s too late for all you could become./ Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots/ and makes them green./ Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?”- Rumi

The Kiss – Sold – ink on paper 26/36cm – “There is some kiss we want with our whole lives, / the touch of Spirit on the body. / Seawater begs the pearl / to break its shell. / And the lily, how passionately / it needs some wild Darling !/ At night, I open the window / and ask the moon to come / and press its face into mine. / Breathe into me. / Close the language-door, / and open the love-window. / The moon won’t use the door, / only the window.” – Rumi

Grapes, ink on paper 36/26cm
“Be patient if you can, and from sour grapes will come something sweet.” – Rumi
A story from Jalaludin Rumi’s Mathnavi: Once upon a time long ago, a famous wealthy man passed by a town. He stopped his caravan outside a busy restaurant and motioned to four people to approach him. they rushed toward him, and he presented them with a gold coin and said, “This money is to be shared amongst you,” and then he went on his way.
The first was a Persian and he said, “With this money I will buy some angur!” The second was an Arab and she said, “No, you can’t because I want to buy inab!” The third was a Turk and he said, “I don’t want inab, I want uzum!”
The fourth was a Greek and she said, “I don’t want what any of you want, I want to buy stafil!” Since they did not know what lay behind the names of things, the four started to fight. They had information, but no knowledge. Luckily, a wise man was on his way to the restaurant. He paused to see what was going on and then asked them, “What is the problem here?” They told him and he said, “Ah! I can fulfill the wishes of all of you with one and the same gold coin. If you honestly give me your trust, your one gold coin will become as four, and four at odds will become as one united.” Only a person of such wisdom would know that each in his and her own language wanted the same thing – Grapes. So happens to many cultures, ideas, religions, that have many things in common, but they are not aware of it.

‘The Singer’ – ink on paper 26/39cm – “The Reed Flute’s Work" a poem by Rumi: "I say to the reed flute, You do the work, yet you know sweet secrets too./ You share the Friend’s breathing. What could you need from me ? / The reed replies, Knowledge is total
destruction. I say, Burn me completely then and leave no knowing./ How could I, when it’s knowledge that leads us ? But this knowledge has lost compassion and grown disgusted with itself. It has forgotten about silence and emptiness. / A reed flute has nine holes and is a model of human consciousness, beheaded, though still in love with lips. / This is your disgrace, this moaning. Weep for the sounds you make.”

The Vow, ink on paper, 37/27cm
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ― Rumi

“Come out of the circle of life and come into the circle of love” ink on paper, 37/27cm
May these nuptials be blessed for us, / May it be ever like milk and sugar, this marriage like wine and halvah. / May this marriage be blessed with leaves and fruits like the date tree; / May this marriage be laughing forever, / Today, tomorrow, like the houris of paradise./ May this marriage be the sign of compassion and the approval of happiness here and hereafter; / May this marriage be fair of fame, fair of face and fair of omen as the moon in the azure sky. / I have fallen silent for words cannot describe how the spirit has mingled with this marriage." Rumi