On The Music Box: Diaspora Sefardi
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Exquisite. Wonderful music of the Sephardic/Sefardic people.
Most of the music seems to be from Andalusia, but I am sure it wanders quite away from there.
I would imagine Timbuktunes would have this album.
Very relaxing, and it transports you back in time in a lovely way…
We certainly recommend it for your listening pleasure.
We watched The Wind And The Lion…again after several years. I have always enjoyed the film, but often wondered about the story… Well, it does turn out to be a bit more interesting than what Hollywood portrays. When Teddy Roosevelt cried out at the 1904 Republican Convention: ‘Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!’ He had no idea what this whole episode portends for future times.
It seems our history of getting involved in the East/Middle East is not a recent phenomena. Sadly, we still rush in where fools dare to go…
Regardless, it is a great film of the adventure type. Check it out at Netflix, or your local retail outlet for DVD rentals. Sean Connery as the Rasuli, a pretty amazing juxtaposition of a Scotsman into a Berber. (remember the Celts came through North Africa as well!)
Anyway, still cold around here. John Gunn and my nephew Ethan came by yesterday. John is doing some GIS work locally, and we will be seeing him about more often. Ethan stopped by on his way to work. He is on the night shift now, so he goes in around 3:00PM to work…
I ended up giving Mixmaster a ride over to NW Portland to a small pub where he had left his car due to problems with his key in the cold weather. We had a nice time and a good discussion. We are talking about a project in the ‘Blog-asaurus-Sphere… still in the talking vein, but it sounds a bit of fun.
Editing the last of the magazine, and looking about for a few opportunities, which seem few and far between this time of the early year here in Portland.
Time to get the candles out!
On The Menu:
The Lion and the Crane
Poetry: Symbolist Jean Moréas & Stéphane Mallarmé
Goodbye Alice, your beauty will be remembered…
Protection for ‘weirdest’ species
Skull shows possible human/Neanderthal breeding
Drilling ‘boosts Homeric theory’
The Lion and the Crane
The Bodhisatva was at one time born in the region of Himavanta as a white crane; now Brahmadatta was at that time reigning in Benares. Now it chanced that as a lion was eating meat a bone stuck in his throat. The throat became swollen, he could not take food, his suffering was terrible. The crane seeing him, as he was perched on a tree looking for food, asked, "What ails thee, friend?" He told him why. "I could free thee from that bone, friend, but dare not enter thy mouth for fear thou mightest eat me." "Don’t be afraid, friend, I’ll not eat thee; only save my life." "Very well," says he, and caused him to lie down on his left side. But thinking to himself, "Who knows what this fellow will do?" he placed a small stick upright between his two jaws that he could not close his mouth, and inserting his head inside his mouth struck one end of the bone with his beak. Whereupon the bone dropped and fell out. As soon as he had caused the bone to fall, he got out of the lion’s mouth, striking the stick with his beak so that it fell out, and then settled on a branch. The lion gets well, and one day was eating a buffalo he had killed. The crane, thinking ‘I will sound him," settled on a branch just over him, and in conversation spoke this first verse:
"A service have we done thee
To the best of our ability,
King of the Beasts! Your Majesty!
What return shall we get from thee?"
In reply the Lion spoke the second verse:
"As I feed on blood,
And always hunt for prey,
‘Tis much that thou art still alive
Having once been between my teeth."
Then in reply the crane said the two other verses:
"Ungrateful, doing no good,
Not doing as he would be done by,
In him there is no gratitude,
To serve him is useless.
"His friendship is not won
By the clearest good deed.
Better softly withdraw from him,
Neither envying nor abushing."
And having thus spoken the crane flew away.
And when the great Teacher, Gautama the Buddha, told this tale, he used to add: "Now at that time the lion was Devadatta the Traitor, but the white crane was I myself."
Compagne de l’ether, indolente fumée,
Je te ressemble un peu…
Ta vie est d’un instant, la mienne est consumée;
Mais nous sortons du feu. But we come forth from fire.
L’homme pour subsister, en recueillant la cendre,
Qu’il use ses genoux,
Sans plus nous soucier et sans jamais descendre,
Companion of the ether, indolent smoke,
I slightly resemble you…
Your life lasts a moment, mine is consumed,
Man, in order to exist, must gather aches,
While on his knees.
No longer caring, and never descending to earth,
Let us vanish!
He Leaves The Room And Is Lost On The Stairs
(instead of sliding down the banister)
The shadow having disappeared into obscurity, Night remained with a dubious perception of a pendulum about to be extinguished and expire there; but by whatever gleams and is about to be extinguished and expire, night sees itself bearing the pendulum; doubtless it was thus the source of the detected beating, whose sounds, complete and ever bare, fell into its past.
If on one hand the ambiguity ceased, on the other a motion persists, marked as more pressing by a double blow which no longer attains its notion or not yet, and whose present brushing, such as must have taken place, confusingly fills the ambiguity or its cessation: as if the complete fall, which the single shock of the tomb doors has been, did not stifle the guest irremediably; and in the uncertainty the affirmative cast probably caused, prolonged by the reminiscence of the sepulchral emptiness of the blow in which clarity is confused, comes a vision of the interrupted fall of the panels, as if it were one who, endowed with the suspended motion, turned it back on itself in the resulting dizzy spiral; and the spiral would have escaped indefinitely if some progressive oppression – a gradual weight of what was not realized although it had on the whole been explicated – had not implied the certain escape in an interval, the cessation; when at the moment the blow expired and oppression and escape were mixed, nothing was heard further: except for the beating of absurd wings of some terrified denizen of the night, startled in his heavy slumber by the brightness, and prolonging his indefinite flight.
For, the gasping which had grazed this place was not some last doubt of the self, which by chance stirred its wings in passing, but the familiar and continual friction of a superior age, of which many a genius was careful to gather all the secular dust into his sepulchre in order to look into a clean self, and so that no suspicion might climb back up the spidery thread – so that the last shadow might look into its proper self and recognize itself in the crowd of its apparitions understood by the nacreous star of their nebulous science held in one hand and by the golden sparkle of the heraldic clasp of their volume held in the other; the volume of their nights; such at present, seeing themselves so that it might see itself, the Shadow, pure and having its last form that it treads on left lying down behind, and then before it in a well, the stretch of layers of shadow, returned to pure night, of all its similar nights, its layers forever separated from them and which they probably did not recognize – which is no other, I know, than the absurd prolongation of the sound of the sepulchral door closing, of which the entrance to this well is reminiscent.
This time, no more doubt; certainty is reflected in the evidence: in vain, the memory of a lie whose consequence was itself, did the vision of a place appear again, such for example as the awaited interval was to be, having in fact for lateral walls the double opposition of the panels, and for the front and back, the opening of a void doubt echoed by the prolongation of the noise of the panels, where the plumage took flight, and doubled by the am-biguity explored, the perfect symmetry of the foreseen deductions denied its reality; no possible mistaking, it was the consciousness of self (for which even the absurd itself was to serve as a place) – succeeding.
It is present equally in one and the other surface of the shining and secular walls, retaining only in one hand the opal brightness of its knowledge, and in the other its volume, the volume of its nights, now closed, of the past and the future which the pure shadow, having attained the pinnacle of myself, perfectly dominates, arid finished, outside themselves. While before and behind is prolonged the explored lie of the infinite, the darkness of all my apparitions gathered together now that time has ceased and divides them no longer, fallen back into a massive, heavy slumber (at the time of the sound first heard), in the void of which I hear the pulsations of my own heart.
I do not like this sound: this perfection of my cer-tainty bothers me; all is too clear, the clarity reveals a desire to escape. Everything gleams too brightly; I should like to return to my anterior uncreated Shadow, and through thought to rid myself of the disguise which necessity has imposed upon me, inhabiting the heart of this race (which I hear beating here) the sole remains of ambiguity.
(whispering) Indeed, the first spiral to come reflects the preceding one: the same rhythmical sound-and the same brushing; but since everything has ended, nothing can any longer frighten me; my fright which had made the first move in the form of a bird is far distant: has it not been replaced by the apparition of what I had been? and which I like to reflect now, in order to disengage my dream from that costume?
Was not this scansion the sound of the progress of my character which now continues it in the spiral, and this brushing the brushing of its duality? Finally, it is not the hairy stomach of some inferior guest within me, whose doubt the light struck and who fled with a flutter, but the velvet bust of an anterior race the light annoyed and who breathes in a stifling air, of a character whose thought has no consciousness of itself, of my last figure, separated from its person by a spider’s ruff and who does not know itself; so, now that his duality is forever separated and I do not even hear any longer through him the sound of his progress, I shall forget myself through him, and dissolve myself in me.
Its impact becomes unsteady once more as it did before having had the perception of itself: it was the scansion of my measure whose memory came back to me prolonged both by the sound in the temporal corridor of the door to my sepulchre, and by hallucination: and just as it was really closed, even so it must open now for my dream to have been explained to itself.
The hour of my leaving has sounded, the purity of the mirror will be established, without this character, a vision of myself – but he will take away the light – the night! Over the vacant furniture, the Dream has agonized in this glass flask, purity which encloses the substance of Nothingness.
The flesh is sad, alas! and all the books are read.
Flight, only flight! I feel that birds are wild to tread
The floor of unknown foam, and to attain the skies!
Nought, neither ancient gardens mirrored in the eyes,
Shall hold this heart that bathes in waters its delight,
O nights! nor yet my waking lamp, whose lonely light
Shadows the vacant paper, whiteness profits best,
Nor the young wife who rocks her baby on her breast.
I will depart! O steamer, swaying rope and spar,
Lift anchor for exotic lands that lie afar!
A weariness, outworn by cruel hopes, still clings
To the last farewell handkerchief’s last beckonings!
And are not these, the masts inviting storms, not these
That an awakening wind bends over wrecking seas,
Lost, not a sail, a sail, a flowering isle, ere long?
But, O my heart, hear thou, hear thou, the sailors’ song!