The real work belongs to someone who desires God
and has severed himself from every other work.
The rest are like children who play together until it gets dark
for these few short days.
Or like someone who awakes and springs up, still drowsy,
and then is lulled back to sleep (...)
If you are wise, you, yourself,
will tear up your slumber by the roots,
like the thirsty man who heard the noise of the water.
God says to you, "I am the sound of water
in the ears of the thirsty;
I am rain falling from heaven.
Spring up, lover, show some excitement!
How can you hear the sound of water and then fall back asleep!"

My Thoughts Asked Me by Gabirol (11th Century). Quoted after: Cole, Peter (Trans.) (2001). Selected Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol. Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press. P.121.


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