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Following Rumi’s bold assertion about the possibility of achieving happiness, I made a pact with and called upon happiness that happiness come to my side, supporting me in my writing of Alley of Scented Roses.

After strengthening my bond with happiness, I longed for a mate, a friend. I wanted a friend to be with me when I felt lonely. Again, Rumi came to my aid. In the second line of the same couplet, he says (my translation and interpretation):

           “I’ve got a promise from mate (friend, sweetheart, lover, darling, beloved) that mate be mine.”

Rumi wants to say that he is safe as he has his mate—who for him might have been God, soul, Shams, beloved, or whoever and whatever). I had no idea with whom I should make a pact or from whom I should get a promise that he or she be my mate. Then I remembered that Hushang Ebtehaj, a contemporary Iranian poet, had a poem about the lost mate:

            “Your lost mate is here; don’t wander around the world,

look inside if you want to search.”

So, I began to search inside, to look inward, to find my true mate (my love, love, beloved, soul … ), and I found that I am my true mate, my best friend … When I feel lonely, I call upon myself.

             “I love you, man!” I might say.

             “I love you too!” says a voice from inside.