FSOL – Dancing In The Rain

Somethings Don’t Change: Portland in the rain, 80 years ago…

Friday Finally…

Had friends over last night, and then ended up watching a ghastly German film about the Priory of Sion and The Knights Templar set in modern Germany. Ever watched a car wreck? This was our opprotunity to witness something as mad and random as that. My brain is still hurting. It was so bad that Rowan fled early on. Mary and I sat there to the end expecting… something of relevance to happen. nope.

Todays’ entry is a bit late getting out, but it is a bit of fun.


On the Menu

Roberto Venosas’ Portrait of Albert Hofmann


The Links

Calamus: The Splendour of al-Andalus

The Poetry of Yunus Emre


Have a good weekend!



A new Painting By Roberto Venosa…

‘Portrait of Albert Hofmann’

Another nice one from Roberto. Roberto is donating proceeds from the selling of prints to help MAPS fund much needed psychedelic research. If you are interested in obtaining a print, please click on the links below!


A Limited Edition Print of



This is an edition of 50 exemplars

Signed and numbered by

Robert Venosa and Albert Hofmann

Size: 27″ x 33″

For information on prices and availability




Roberto & Albert – Summer 2006



The Links:

British believe Bush is more dangerous than Kim Jong-il

Turn your iPod into a Ouija board

Otter ‘escorts’ mate to hospital

Viral Fossil Brought Back to Life


I am currently entranced with this Album and Band from Spain. Please check it out!

Calamus: The Splendour of al-Andalus

The emirate of al-Andalus (756-1031 AD), or Muslim Spain, was one of the world’s great civilizations. Wealthy, stable, and tolerant (since taxes fell chiefly on non-believers, they welcomed diversity), it was a center of learning, a realm in which all of the arts flourished.

Sometime around 822 AD, Ziryab—a great court musician and poet from Baghdad—arrived in Cordoba. His impact on the culture of Moorish Spain cannot be overstated: he revolutionized Spanish-Arabian manners (down to the arrangement of courses in a meal); created new poetic forms; founded a music school; and brought with him the knowledge of how to build some 40 musical instruments—including his own creation, the instrument we now call the lute.

Over the next few centuries, al-Andalus developed a richly diverse musical tradition, one which was formally ejected from Spain during the reconquista (1031-1492 AD). By the 13th century, with the fall of Cordoba, Seville, and Valencia, the moriscos began their exodus toward Granada and Northern Africa. The great musical schools were re-established in Tunisia and Algeria, where the music remained reasonably true to its root-stock.

This is the tradition to which Calamus pays homage in this warm, vibrant, splendidly human CD, recorded in the Monasterio de la Santa Espina, Valladolid on a customized 96kHz Pioneer D-07 DAT recorder. The first thing you’ll notice about the disc is the richly reverberant room acoustic. When the initial notes of the disc—vigorously strummed on citola, a proto-guitar—fill the space and then bloom as they find the room’s boundaries and linger, it almost seems like too much of a good thing. But when the ensemble joins in, it’s articulate and detailed—warmed, not overwhelmed, by that marvelous acoustic. To achieve this, engineer Garfinkle has obviously recorded the ensemble from an intimate perspective, but it never sounds too close. After all, this was music that was designed to be performed among its listeners, not at them.

Intimacy informs this disc with every phrase. The quintet plays well together—colloquially, not stiffly. The music never strays far from dance. Begoña Olavide possesses a warm, intense, expressive voice. The first time I heard it—in Stax’s room at WCES—I nearly leaped out of my skin when she sang “Insad (God Watch Over the Singer)”; it was as warm and intimate and shocking as a tongue in the ear.

The disc is immensely moving, suffused with longing, pain, and a sense of resignation, and yet I can’t get enough of it. There’s such an exciting sense of shared humanity in this recording that I’m not conscious of the distance of centuries, continents, cultures—I am the singer, I have been the songwriter, I inhabit the notes.—Wes Phillips


The Poetry of Yunus Emre (AD1240-1241 to 1320-21)

Yunus’ poetry made a great impact on Turkish culture….

The drink sent down from Truth,

we drank it, glory be to God.

And we sailed over the Ocean of Power,

glory be to God.

Beyond those hills and oak woods,

beyond those vineyards and gardens,

we passed in health and joy, glory be to God.

We were dry, but we moistened.

We grew wings and became birds,

we married one another and flew,

glory be to God.

To whatever lands we came,

in whatever hearts, in all humanity,

we planted the meanings Taptuk taught us,

glory be to God.

Come here, let’s make peace,

let’s not be strangers to one another.

We have saddled the horse

and trained it, glory be to God.

We became a trickle that grew into a river.

We took flight and drove into the sea,

and then we overflowed, glory be to God.

We became servants at Taptuk’s door.

Poor Yunus, raw and tasteless,

finally got cooked, glory be to God.

Ask those who know,

what’s this soul within the flesh?

Reality’s own power.

What blood fills these veins?

Thought is an errand boy,

fear a mine of worries.

These sighs are love’s clothing.

Who is the Khan on the throne?

Give thanks for His unity.

He created when nothing existed.

And since we are actually nothing,

what are all of Solomon’s riches?

Ask Yunus and Taptuk

what the world means to them..

The world won’t last.

What are You? What am I?

We entered the house of realization,

we witnessed the body.

The whirling skies, the many-layered earth,

the seventy-thousand veils,

we found in the body.

The night and the day, the planets,

the words inscribed on the Holy Tablets,

the hill that Moses climbed, the Temple,

and Israfil’s trumpet, we observed in the body.

Torah, Psalms, Gospel, Quran-

what these books have to say,

we found in the body.

Everybody says these words of Yunus

are true. Truth is wherever you want it.

We found it all within the body.

I am before, I am after

The soul for all souls all the way.

I’m the one with a helping hand

Ready for those gone wild, astray.

I made the ground flat where it lies,

On it I had those mountains rise,

I designed the vault of the shies,

For I hold all things in my sway.

To countless lovers I have been

A guide for faith and religion.

I am sacrilege in men’s hearts

Also the true faith and Islam’s way.

I make men love peace and unite;

Putting down the black words on white,

I wrote the four holy books right

I’m the Koran for those who pray.

It’s not Yunus who says all this:

It speaks its own realities:

To doubt this would be blasphemous:

“I’m before-I’m after,” I say

Your love has wrested me away from me,

You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Day and night I burn, gripped by agony,

You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

I find no great joy in being alive,

If I cease to exist, I would not grieve,

The only solace I have is your love,

You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Lovers yearn for you, but your love slays them,

At the bottom of the sea it lays them,

It has God’s images-it displays them;

You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Let me drink the wine of love sip by sip,

Like Mecnun, live in the hills in hardship,

Day and night, care for you holds me in its grip,

You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Even if, at the end, they make me die

And scatter my ashes up to the shy,

My pit would break into this outcry:

You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

“Yunus Emre the mystic” is my name,

Each passing day fans and rouses my flame,

What I desire in both worlds in the same:

You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.

Yunus Emre is considered by many to be one of the most important Turkish poets. Little can be said for certain of his life other than that he was a Sufi dervish of Anatolia. The love people have for his liberating poetry is reflected in the fact that many villages claim to be his birthplace, and many others claim to hold his tomb. He probably lived in the Karaman area.

His poetry expresses a deep personal mysticism and humanism and love for God.

He was a contemporary of Rumi, who lived in the same region. Rumi composed his collection of stories and songs for a well-educated urban circle of Sufis, writing primarily in the literary language of Persian. Yunus Emre, on the other hand, travelled and taught among the rural poor, singing his songs in the common tongue of Turkish.

A story is told of a meeting between the two great souls: Rumi asked Yunus Emre what he thought of his great work the Mathnawi. Yunus Emre said, “Excellent, excellent! But I would have done it differently.” Surprised, Rumi asked how. Yunus replied, “I would have written, ‘I came from the eternal, clothed myself in flesh, and took the name Yunus.’” That story perfectly illustrates Yunus Emre’s simple, direct approach that has made him so beloved.

Interestingly, the name Yunus means “dolphin” in Turkish.


Albert & Roberto!