A Religion of Much Joy and Much Work

Ron Price

Mr RonPrice
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George Town Tasmania Australia

Some visitors to Haifa tell us that Shoghi Effendi was tired and worn out by 1941, twenty years after assuming the helm of leadership of the Baha'i Faith. Ruhiyyih Rabbani informs us, in the last lines of her book The Priceless Pearl, that by his last years Shoghi Effendi was "called by sorrow and a strange desolation of hopes into quietness." -Ron Price with thanks to Ruhiyyih Rabbani, The Priceless Pearl, Baha'i Publishing Trust, London, 1969, p.451.

How could you walk so far,

being the bookish man that you were?

How did you keep it up,

that sheer intensity all those years,

that endless dry exhaustion

with so much that was life?

I know it killed you, got you early:

relief from all that paper,

those minutes, plans and epochs,

talk, talk talk, making people

feel at ease--constantly, instantly,

takes a lot of energy, sucks it out,

day after day, until you're numb,

consumed, until the psyche

is empty of joy and freedom.

O king! O statesman! O tragic hero!

Draw me near to thy spirit in my sorrow,

in the strange quietness of my breath,

in my isolation and desolation of hopes.

Ron Price

30 October 1997