Maria Cutrona: It was recommended to me by a dear friend as we were standing on the cliffs of the backside of Monhegan Island, speaking of a fulfilling life, love and marriage. It was an epic conversation and when she mentioned the book I couldn't get it out of my mind. Now I give it away all the time.
YCNYC: Favorite quote?
MC: Rule #40 A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.
YCNYC:What one person would you recommend this book to?
MC: I would give this book to everyone. I think LOVE should be the centerpiece of everyone's life.
YCNC: What moment or part resonates with you the most?
MC: It is a novel within a novel and so unfolds over time and cultures with 2 stories that mirror one another. Modern day is Ella an unhappy wife who takes on a job of reviewing a novel titled Sweet Blasphemy, about the thirteenth-century poet Rumi and his beloved Sufi teacher Shams of Tabriz.
As she reads the story of Sham and the relationship between he and his disciple, Rumi, she begins to question her own life and the choices she has made that have left her feeling devoid of passion and real love.
I along with many others have been moved and inspired by the writings of Rumi. His is the kind of spirituality that doesn’t exclude anyone, no matter what their class, skin, religion, etc. It is a very inclusive, embracing, universal voice that puts love at its center. No one is excluded from that circle of love. At a time where so may lines are drawn to separate, distinguish and ultimately go to war over, Rumi teaches us something much more essential and peaceful.