On The Music Box: Le Cafe Abstrait Vol 1….
(Andromeda – Gustave Dore)
In Greek mythology, Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, king and queen of Aethiopia.
Cassiopeia, having boasted herself equal in beauty to the Nereids, drew down the vengeance of Poseidon, who sent an inundation on the land and a sea-monster, which destroyed man and beast. The oracle of Ammon announced that no relief would be found until the king exposed his daughter Andromeda to the monster, so she was fastened to a rock on the shore.
Perseus, returning from having slain the Gorgon, found Andromeda, slew the monster, set her free, and married her in spite of Phineus, to whom she had before been promised. At the wedding a quarrel took place between the rivals, and Phineus was turned to stone by the sight of the Gorgon’s head (Ovid, Metamorphoses v. 1).
Andromeda followed her husband to Tiryns in Argos, and became the ancestors of the family of the Perseidae through Perseus’ and Andromeda’s son, Perses. Perseus and Andromeda had six sons (Perseides): Perses, Alcaeus, Heleus, Mestor, Sthenelus, and Electryon, and one daughter, Gorgophone. Their descendants ruled Mycenae from Electryon down to Eurystheus, after whom Atreus got the kingdom, and include the great hero Heracles. According to this mythology, Perses is the ancestor of the Persians.
After her death she was placed by Athena amongst the constellations in the northern sky, near Perseus and Cassiopeia. Sophocles and Euripides (and in more modern times Corneille) made the story the subject of tragedies. The tale is represented in numerous ancient works of art.
Andromeda is represented in the northern sky by the constellation Andromeda which contains the Andromeda Galaxy.
Todays entry for you, as promised…. We are expecting a pretty large wind storm tonight, so if you don’t see an entry tomorrow, there was a very windy and electric-less reason.
Winds have been howling all night, heavy rains. Gust are expected up over 100mph tonight!
Getting ready for the Solstice and the ceremonies there-in. Hopefully, hopefully….
On The Menu:
Sema Ceremony In Seattle & Portland
Koans: The Stingy Artist & Just Go To Sleep
Poetry: The Amazing Blondel de Nesle & Richard The Lion Heart
Art: Gustave Dore….
Search for Extraterrestrial Life Using Chiral Molecules: Mandelate Racemase as a Test Case
300 Mazahua Indians seize Mexican plant
Sema Ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes
My long time good friend and early spiritual mentor Susan Shipley informed me about these events; she will be there dancing in rememberance of Rumi’s passing. I expect these ceremonies and dances to be quite something else. I may well be there myself at the Portland event….
Sema Ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes
The Prayer Dance of Rumi – with a Sufi Music Concert
8pm Saturday, December 16 in Seattle
Spartan Gymnasium at Shoreline Community Center
NE 185th & Second Ave. NE, Shoreline, Washington
Directed by Postneshin Jelaluddin Loras. Featuring Master Sufi
Musicians direct from Turkey, Necati Çelik on oud, Arif Biçer on
ney & vocals, and Timuçin Çevikoglu on vocals and ney with
Musicians and Semazens of the Mevlevi Order of America.
Tickets $15 and $25 available at the door, or in advance at
Info from Hafiz, 206-784-8178.
Sema Ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes
Shebi Arus – The Wedding Night of Hz. Mevlana Jelaluddin RUMI
4:30pm Sunday, December 17 in Portland, Oregon
Smith Hall Ballroom at Portland State University
1825 SW Broadway, 97201
Just Go To Sleep
Gasan was sitting at the bedside of Tekisui three days before his teacher’s passing. Tekisui had already chosen him as his successor.
A temple recently had burned and Gasan was busy rebuilding the structure. Tekisui asked him: “What are you going to do when you get the temple rebuilt?”
“When your sickness is over we want you to speak there,” said Gasan.
“Suppose I do not live until then?”
“Then we will get someone else,” replied Gasan.
“Suppose you cannot find anyone?” continued Tekisui.
Gasan answered loudly: “Don’t ask such foolish questions. Just go to sleep.”
The Stingy Artist
Gessen was an artist monk. Before he would start a drawing or painting he always insisted upon being paid in advance, and his fees were high. He was known as the “Stingy Artist.”
A geisha once gave him a commission for a painting. “How much can you pay?” inquired Gessen.
“Whatever you charge,” replied the girl, “but I want you to do the work in front of me.”
So on a certain day Gessen was called by the geisha. She was holding a feast for her patron.
Gessen with fine brush work did the painting. When it was completed he asked the highest sum of his time.
He received his pay. Then the geisha turned to her patron, saying: “All this artist wants is money. His paintings are fine but his mind is dirty; money has caused it to become muddy. Drawn by such a filthy mind, his work is not fit to exhibit. It is just about good enough for one of my petticoats.”
Removing her skirt, she then asked Gessen to do another picture on the back of her petticoat.
“How much will you pay?” asked Gessen.
“Oh, any amount,” answered the girl.
Gessen named a fancy price, painted the picture in the manner requested, and went away.
It was learned later that Gessen had these reasons for desiring money:
A ravaging famine often visited his province. The rich would not help the poor, so Gessen had a secret warehouse, unknown to anyone, which he kept filled with grain, prepared for those emergencies.
From his village to the National Shrine the road was in very poor condition and many travellers suffered while traversing it. He desired to build a better road.
His teacher had passed away without realizing his wish to build a temple, and Gessen wished to complete this temple for him.
After Gessen had accomplished his three wishes he threw away his brushes and artist’s materials and, retiring to the mountains, never painted again.
Poetry: The Amazing Blondel de Nesle & Richard The Lion Heart
(Blondel de Nesle, dressed as a minstrel, finds the captive King Richard I of England by singing the first two couplets of a song they composed jointly.– Gustave Dore)
L ‘amours dont sui espris
Me semont de chanter;
Si fais con hons sopris
Qui ne puet endurer.
Et s’ai je tant conquis
Que bien me puis venter:
Que j’ai piec’a apris
Leaument a amer.
A li sont mi penser
Et seront a touz dis;
Ja nes en quier oster.
Remembrance dou vis
Qu’il a vermoil et cler
A mon cuer a ce mis
Que ne l’en puis oster;
Et se j’ai les maus quis,
Bien les doi endurer.
Or ai je trop mespris:
Ainz les doi mieuz amer.
Comment que j’os conter.
N’i a rien, ce m’est vis.
Fors que merci crier.
Plus bele ne vit nuns,
Ne de cors ne de vis;
Nature ne mist plus
De beaute en nul pris.
Por li mainiendrai l’us
D ‘Eneas et Paris,
Tristan et Pyramus,
Qui amerent jadis.
Or serai ses amis,
Or pri Deu de la sus,
Qu’a lor fin sole pris.
I am on fire with a love
which compels me to sing;
I act like a man taken by surprise
who cannot resist.
And yet I have gained something
to boast of:
that I long ago learned
to love loyally.
My thoughts are of her
and always will be;
I shall never seek to transfer them.
The memory of her face,
rosy and bright,
has so penetrated my heart
that I cannot remove it;
and since I have asked for these pains
I must endure them.
No this is mistaken
I should rather love them.
Whatever I may say,
there is nothing to be done, I think.
Except to cry for mercy.
No one ever saw a fairer lady
either of form or of face;
Nature has never endowed anything
with more beauty.
For her I shall continue the tradition
of Aeneas and Paris.
of Tristan and Pyramus,
all of whom loved long ago.
Now I shall be their ally,
And now I pray to God above,
That I might share their fate.
Blondel de Nesle – Trans Christopher Page
Cuer Desirous Apaie…
Cuer desirous apaie
Douçours et confors;
Par joie d’amour vraie
Sui en baisant mors.
S’encor ne m’est autres dounez,
Mar fui onques de li privez.
A morir sui livrez,
Se trop le me delaie.
Premiers baisiers est plaie
D’Amours dedenz cors;
Mout m’angoisse et esmaie,
si ne pert defors.
He! las! por coi m’en sui vantez!
Ja ne me puet venir santez,
Se ce, dont sui navrez,
ma bouche ne rassaie.
Amours, vous me feïstes
Mon fin cuer trichier,
Qui tel savour meïstes
En son douz baisier,
A morir li avez apris,
Se pluz n’i prent qu’il n’i a pris;
Dont m’est il bien a vis,
Qu’en baisant me trahistes.
Certes, mout m’atraisistes
Juene a cel mestier;
N’ainc nului n’i vous istes
Fors moi engignier.
Je sui li plus loiauz amis.
Cui onques fust nus biens pramis.
He! las! tant ai je pis!
Amours, mar me nourristes!
Se je Dieu tant amaisse,
Con je fais celi,
Qui si me painne et lasse,
Qu’ainc amis de meilleur voloir
ne la servi pour joie avoir,
Con j’ai fait tout pour voir
Sanz merite et sanz grasse.
Se de faus cuer proiaisse,
Dont je ne la pri,
Espoir je recovraisse;
Maiz n’est mie einsi.
Amours, trop me faites doloir;
Et se vous serf sanz decevoir,
Ce me tient en espoir:
Qu’Amours nevre et repasse.
A Honeyed Consolation…
A honeyed consolation
will soothe anxious hearts
by true love’s exultation
I die by a kiss
unless another’s given me
I never will be free of it.
I’m delivered to death
If there’s too much delaying.
At first, a kiss is pleasure
of Love in the heart:
it brings dismay and anguish
if it’s lost without;
ah, then alas, why should I boast
my health no longer can return
by what I’m deprived of:
my mouth has no returning.
Love, you have made within me
a treacherous heart,
for you’ve put such a savor
into your sweet kiss
that you have taught it how to die
unless it takes more than it did
wherefore I clearly see
in kissing, you’ve betrayed me.
You surely drew me greatly
while young, to this means.
You never would deceive
another, just me.
I am the loyallest of friends
who ever had a promise made;
ah! so much worse for me!
Love, you have served me badly.
Had I loved God so greatly
as I have loved her,
and if I were tormented
I’d have mercy then,
And even well-intentioned friends
have been no help in having joy
as I’ve done all to see
unthanked and unrewarded.
If I asked out of falseness
(but that’s not the case)
I could get back my hoping,
but it’s not like that.
O Love, you make me ache too much
and if I serve without deceit
this will keep up my hopes,
for Love heals what he wounded.
Blondel de Nesle – Trans. James H.Donalson
The Historical Blondel de Nesle
Only two facts concerning him are known for a certainty: dedications of various songs to the oldest generation of trouvères indicate that he must have been born around 1155-1160; according to features of dialect in his songs, he hailed from Picardy, most likely the town of Nesle.
Some scholars have attempted to identify him with a powerful local lord named Jehan II, while others, pointing out that in contemporary mentions of him he is nowhere referred to as Messire or Monsignor, have suggested that he was a younger son of lesser nobility or perhaps a commoner.
Twenty-three of Blondel’s songs survive, some of them in ten or more sources, and seven of these with the music. So a third fact about him may be added to those two above: his chansons were exceedingly popular.
The work of Blondel that is featured in Coeur de Lion, Mon Coeur is listed as Chanson XI by Yvan Lepage
Richard The Lion Heart…
(Richard The Lion Heart In Palestine – Gustave Dore)
Dalfin, fe·us voilh deresnier,
Vos e le comte Guion,
Que an en ceste seison
Vos feïstes bon guerrier,
E vos jurastes en moi:
Et me·n portastes tiel foi
Com en Aenqris a Rainart:
E sembles dou poil liart.
Vos me laïstes aidier
Por treive de quierdon:
E car savies qu’a Chinon
Non a argent ni denier;
Et roi voletz, riche roi,
Bon d’armes, qui vos port foi;
Et je suis chiché, coart,
Si vos viretz de l’autre part.
Encor vos voilh demandier
D’Ussoire, s’il vous siet bon:
Ni s’in prendetz vanjaison,
Ni lonaretz soudadier.
Mas una rien vos outroi
Si be·us faussastes la loi,
Bon guerrier a l’estendart
Trovaretz le roi Richart.
Ie vos vi, au comencier,
Large, de grande mession;
Mes puis troves ochoison
Que per forts chastels levier,
Laissastes don et denoi
Et cors et segre tornoi:
Mes n’est qu’a avoir regart
Que François sont Longobart.
Vai, sirventes: ie t’envoi
A Avernhe, et di moi
As deus comtes, de ma part,
S’ui mes funt pes, Diex les gart!
Que chaut si garz ment sa foi,
Que escuiers n’a point de loi!
Mes des or avant se gart
Que n’ait en pejor sa part.
Dauphin, I would like to ask
you and Guy the Count, as well,
who heretofore have always been
of the best of fighting men:
you swore your fealty to me
and you demonstrated faith:
Isenqrim’s faith to Renard –
are you made of rabbit-skins?
Now you’ve left off helping me
fearing there’ll be no reward,
for you know that at Chinon
there’s no copper, much less gold,
and you want a king who’s rich:
good at arms, inspiring you,
while I’m petty, cowardly,
so you turn the other way.
Once aqain, I have to ask,
if you think about Issoire:
if you’ll take revenge down there;
if you’ll raise your soldiers up,
but there’s one thíng I must grant:
though you’re false to honor’s law
you will find a fighter still
when King Richard takes the flag.
At the first, I thought you were
generous and noble men,
but you found occasion then
to deliver strongholds while
dropping gifts and courtly words,
horns and secret tournaments,
but just look around and see
that the French are Lombards now.
Sirventes, I’ll send you now
to Auvergne, to the two counts:
can tell them then, for me,
if unjustly they make peace,
God help them! For I don’t care:
if a lawless knave should lie,
but they should take care henceforth
not to take a lower place.
King Richard I (Lionheart) trans. James H.Donalson
Ja nus hons pris ne dira sa raison
Adroitement, se dolantement non;
Mais par effort puet il faire chançon.
Mout ai amis, mais povre sont li don;
Honte i avront se por ma reançon
Sui ça deus yvers pris.
Ce sevent bien mi home et mi baron
Ynglois, Normant, Poitevin et Gascon
Que je n’ai nul si povre compaignon
Que je lessaisse por avoir en prison;
Je nou di mie por nule retraçon,
Mais encor sui [je] pris.
Or sai je bien de voir certeinnement
Que morz ne pris n’a ami ne parent,
Quant on me faut por or ne por argent.
Mout m’est de moi, mes plus m’est de ma gent,
Qu’aprés ma mort avront reprochement
Se longuement sui pris.
N’est pas mervoille se j’ai le cuer dolant,
Quant mes sires met ma terre en torment.
S’il li membrast de nostre soirement
Quo nos feïsmes andui communement,
Je sai de voir que ja trop longuement
Ne seroie ça pris.
Ce sevent bien Angevin et Torain
Cil bacheler qui or sont riche et sain
Qu’encombrez sui loing d’aus en autre main.
Forment m’amoient, mais or ne m’ainment grain.
De beles armes sont ore vuit li plain,
Por ce que je sui pris
Mes compaignons que j’amoie et que j’ain
Ces de Cahen et ces de Percherain
Di lor, chançon, qu’il ne sunt pas certain,
C’onques vers aus ne oi faus cuer ne vain;
S’il me guerroient, il feront que vilain
Tant con je serai pris.
Contesse suer, vostre pris soverain
Vos saut et gart cil a cui je m’en clain
Et por cui je sui pris.
Je ne di mie a cele de Chartain,
La mere Loës.
No prisoner can tell his honest thought
Unless he speaks as one who suffers wrong;
But for his comfort as he may make a song.
My friends are many, but their gifts are naught.
Shame will be theirs, if, for my ransom, here
I lie another year.
They know this well, my barons and my men,
Normandy, England, Gascony, Poitou,
That I had never follower so low
Whom I would leave in prison to my gain.
I say it not for a reproach to them,
But prisoner I am!
The ancient proverb now I know for sure;
Death and a prison know nor kind nor tie,
Since for mere lack of gold they let me lie.
Much for myself I grieve; for them still more.
After my death they will have grievous wrong
If I am a prisoner long.
What marvel that my heart is sad and sore
When my own lord torments my helpless lands!
Well do I know that, if he held his hands,
Remembering the common oath we swore,
I should not here imprisoned with my song,
Remain a prisoner long.
They know this well who now are rich and strong
Young gentlemen of Anjou and Touraine,
That far from them, on hostile bonds I strain.
They loved me much, but have not loved me long.
Their plans will see no more fair lists arrayed
While I lie here betrayed.
Companions whom I love, and still do love,
Geoffroi du Perche and Ansel de Caieux,
Tell them, my song, that they are friends untrue.
Never to them did I false-hearted prove;
But they do villainy if they war on me,
While I lie here, unfree.
Countess sister! Your sovereign fame
May he preserve whose help I claim,
Victim for whom am I!
I say not this of Chartres’ dame,
Mother of Louis!
Translated by Henry Adams
Have A Good One!