All people are in truth a kin
all in creation share one origin
if fate allots, a member pangs and pains
no rest for others then remains
if unperturbed another’s grief canst scan
thou art not worthy the name of man.
Guided By Voices?
So yesterday, I am up a ladder about 25 feet… and not feeling to confident working away on a wall. (I have been steadily losing my appetite for it lately) Mary is to the right of me, and we have a radio playing…
I am about to stretch up, and remove a metal panel off of the wall and I hear a voice say… “Be Careful Up There”. I freeze for a moment, and then ask Mary if she spoke to me. “No” is her reply. I am a bit shaken, as the voice I heard doesn’t sync up with the one in my head that I get when an intuition or warning comes forth…
“I just heard a voice warning me to be careful up there” says I to Mary. She looked at me, arched her eyebrows and said: “The radio commentator just said ‘Be Careful Out There’ because of traffic problems…” and she turned away.
Fool on a ladder!… So, when you are guided by voices be a bit more aware of where they are coming from… 80)
I have been busy on the magazine, and it is going a bit slow at this time. Not all of articles are in yet, and happily the art work is coming in… We have some great artist, Leo Plaw, and Amanda Sage. There stuff is coming in and I am getting there pages set up.
On my side of thngs… I have been doing lots of new illustrations, and trying to findf new ways of portraying what is bouncing around in the old brain box….
If you have work you’d like to submit, or know of a writer needing an outlet, please let me know!
Good News from Australia: The Undergrowth Collective’s JourneyBook Project is going to press! Excellent stuff from our community below the equator! Lots of exciting articles, art etc. The Project are kindly including some of my artwork as well. I am deeply honoured!
More coming on the art front, lots of things are in play… Stay Tuned!
Lots going on the radio… give it a listen at Radio Free Earthrites!
We have lots of new music, and spoken word… check it out!
I hope you enjoy this edition of Turfing…
On The Menu:
Natacha Atlas-Leysh Natarak
The Tale of Achmed’s Gold
Sufi Poet: Sa’adi
A Song Of Peace Shared By Palestinians and Israeli’s..
Art: Ernst Rudolph
Natacha Atlas-Leysh Natarak
The Tale of Achmed’s Gold…
-from a tale told in ‘With the Riff Kabyles’, by Bernd Terhorst
Good Achmed, a devout and honest man, led a life which was good in every way; all that was wanting to crown his days, was the glory of a pilgrimage to Mecca. With this alone, he could die content–knowing that he had lived to the glory of Allah. All his days, he had saved up his gold piece by piece, hiding it away in a little clay pot which he mentioned to no one for fear of robbery. When he had enough to secure his old age, he closed up his business and prepared to go to Mecca.
He had a friend: Ali. To him alone, he entrusted the secret of the pot of gold. “During my absence,” he said, “you–who are as my brother–are the only man I trust to tend my possessions, my house and garden. Will you do it?”
“Of course I will,” said Ali, “why do you ask?” Then he called a blessing down on Achmed’s head.
“Ah, but there’s more,” said Achmed, “there’s gold. Five hundred coins, there are–my life’s savings. I have no one else to ask. Will you guard them for me? I’ll be gone two years, that is the term of this journey.” Ali agreed, pledging his faith to it, and Achmed was overjoyed; he embraced him, brought him the keys of his house, and put the pot of gold into his hands. Ali hid the gold away in a safe hiding-place in his own house, and saw Achmed off to Mecca, saying, “Go with God!”
Achmed rode to the coast, took ship, and came eventually to Mecca, where he kissed the Kaaba and knew his tale was complete . . . but it was not, as events proved. On the voyage home, contrary winds blew his ship off-course, and his return was delayed long beyond the expected time.
In Morocco, meanwhile, Ali waited patiently. Years passed, and more years; Achmed was despaired of, and finally given up for dead. And Ali fell upon evil times. He lost all his own money, had to sell every slave he owned, and wept with sorrow to see his wife reduced to cleaning the house with her own hands, which had never been soiled by such work before. He was miserable, and she was unbearable. And just when his fortunes were at their lowest ebb (and his wife’s tongue sharpened to its uttermost) she cleaned in the wrong corner, and discovered the pot of gold.
She brought it to Ali. Their creditors were hammering day and night at his door. Ali tore his hair, walked the floor all night, shushing her while her lamentations rose to the sky. At last he gave in, and opened the pot. “We’ll take just a little,” he told her, “just enough to pay our debts. When Allah favors me again, I’ll put it back.”
“Your fool friend is dead anyway,” she whined, “and will never return.”
Well! Allah failed to favor this unfaithful friend–no surprise, that. Soon enough, the money was all gone, every bit, every last shining coin.
The very next month, Achmed returned.
He was Achmed Hajji now, having been blessed by sight of holy Mecca. Friends and neighbors flocked to see him, marveling. But his very first stop was at the house of his dear friend Ali. Ali hastened to bring Achmed the keys to his house, saying that everything was in order and the garden lovingly tended . . . and Achmed blessed him, waited a bit, then finally asked after his little clay pot.
Ali feinted surprise. “Pot?” he said. “What pot?”
“Friend,” said Achmed, “why, you must remember, my little clay pot with the gold in it? My five hundred gold coins?”
“What gold coins?” said Ali. “Why, Achmed, everyone knows you could never save any money.” And he called on all the people about to witness: “Look! Poor Achmed has been driven mad by his privations. He remembers wealth he never owned.”
Achmed went to the cadi, who judged all lawsuits. But the cadi saw no proof forthcoming of Achmed’s claims, and indeed Achmed had never dared to mention his money to anyone . . . that is, anyone except Ali, whom he had trusted. Achmed was turned away, and went sorrowfully back to his empty home and lonely garden. For days he shut himself away, reflecting.
Finally, a frail tune drifting over his gate roused him from his gloom. A single ray of sunlight fell on the street outside, on an old gypsy playing a broken flute, while a monkey danced for coins. Achmed turned toward Mecca, prostrated himself and prayed. Then he went to the gate, and spent his last funds buying the monkey.
From that day forth, he was a changed man. He threw his gates open again, went to work and plied his old trade. He never spoke a word of what had been. Toward Ali, he presented an unchanged face. Ali, overwhelmed by relief, told everyone he forgave Achmed his wild talk, and was very kind to Achmed himself.
In the privacy of his house, Achmed set about training the monkey. He spent hours with Ali, patiently enduring Ali’s forgiveness, and all the while he was studying Ali’s features . . . carefully, closely. He had always delighted in wood-carving, and now he discovered in himself a knack for portraiture. He carved Ali’s likeness in wood.
When his bust of Ali was finished, Achmed set it atop a column–just Ali’s height–and dressed it in a man’s clothes–clothing that was just like Ali’s. This, he put in an empty room. Then he put the monkey in with it. Every day, he would go into this room, shut the door, and spend some time lashing the monkey with a whip. The monkey would fly round the room, trying desperately to escape. It could not climb the smooth walls, and so it would climb the image standing in the middle of the room. When it arrived at the image’s wooden head, it would scratch it wildly. Eventually it was so well trained, that all Achmed had to do was to step into the room, and the monkey would fling itself up the image and begin to scratch.
Achmed brought other figures into the room. They were all dressed differently, and every one had a different head and face, cunningly carved. He trained the monkey patiently, until the only image it climbed was the original–the likeness of Ali.
Then Achmed began to spread rumors.
He began to talk about his money again. Five hundred gold pieces, stolen . . . oh, not by Ali, oh no–Ali was Achmed’s friend, after all. Stolen by person or persons unknown. And Achmed began to tell people about the magic monkey he had acquired from a saint’s tomb. It was a black monkey, endowed with marvelous powers, and would know in a crowd just who was honest, who was a thief. With his monkey, he said, he would be able to discover the true thief.
“Look, he’s still crazy,” said Ali, laughing behind Achmed’s back. “Imagine, magic monkeys!” And the more Achmed talked about his monkey, the louder Ali mocked him. “Monkeys are foolish beasts,” he told Achmed, “and your monkey is not going to be any wiser than its cousins.”
“Oh,” said Achmed, “is that so? If that’s what you think, come round to my house and try it for yourself. Or are you frightened?” When Ali refused, their friends all laughed too; they said Ali was nervous. Naturally Ali said he was not, and Achmed dared him to come see the monkey. Ali had to agree.
Achmed went round and spoke to the cadi, asking him to come round too, and to bring a few friends. The cadi laughed at first, but finally agreed.
On the appointed day, everyone gathered at Achmed’s house. Ali was dismayed at the size of the crowd, but Achmed took them all into the very same room where he had trained the monkey. All the images had been taken away, of course; Achmed had burned them. “Now, friends,” he said, “I’ll show you my magic pet. If he who stole the gold is among us, the monkey will know him at once, climb up and scratch his fac
e. If the monkey does not recognize the thief, I swear I’ll never mention the subject again.”
Ali was smiling.
“Achmed,” commanded the cadi, “bring the animal.” And Achmed brought the monkey into the room it knew so well. The monkey saw a room full of unmoving men, just as before–and there was one face it recognized–and it knew what it was meant to do. With a scream, it launched itself at Ali, swarmed up his coat and clung with all its claws, scratching and biting. Ali tried to fight it off, he twisted and turned, but it only gripped him the tighter. The cadi marveled at the intelligence of the animal; he went up to Ali, who was now deathly pale and trembling in every limb, and said threateningly: “You thief! Allah has discovered your crime!” upon which Ali fell instantly to his knees and confessed.
Only God knows what is on earth and in heaven; only God knows the secrets we all keep. For he knows the mind of every man, he knows the future and the past. He is the answer to every riddle, and he is the judge every man will have to face in the end.
Sufi Poet: Saadi
If one His praise of me would learn
If one His praise of me would learn,
What of the traceless can the tongueless tell?
Lovers are killed by those they love so well;
No voices from the slain return.
How could I ever thank my Friend?
How could I ever thank my Friend?
No thanks could ever begin to be worthy.
Every hair of my body is a gift from Him;
How could I thank Him for each hair?
Praise that lavish Lord forever
Who from nothing conjures all living beings!
Who could ever describe His goodness?
His infinite glory lays all praise waste.
Look, He has graced you a robe of splendor
From childhood’s first cries to old age!
He made you pure in His own image; stay pure.
It is horrible to die blackened by sin.
Never let dust settle on your mirror’s shining;
Let it once grow dull and it will never polish.
When you work in the world to earn your living
Do not, for one moment, rely on your own strength.
Self-worshiper, don’t you understand anything yet?
It is God alone that gives your arms their power.
If, by your striving, you achieve something good,
Don’t claim the credit all for yourself;
It is fate that decides who wins and who loses
And all success streams only from the grace of God.
In this world you never stand by your own strength;
It is the Invisible that sustains you every moment.
Have no Doubts
Have no doubts because of trouble nor be thou discomfited;
For the water of life’s fountain springeth from a gloomy bed.
Ah! ye brothers of misfortune! be not ye with grief oppressed,
Many are the secret mercies which with the All-bounteous rest.
The World my brother
The world, my brother! will abide with none,
By the world’s Maker let thy heart be won.
Rely not, nor repose on this world’s gain,
For many a son like thee she has reared and slain.
What matters, when the spirit seeks to fly,
If on a throne or on bare earth we die?
Wealth consists of talents not money; and greatness is in intellect not in years.
He knows the worth of happiness who has known distress.
Show compassion to your weak subject, that no powerful enemy may trouble you.
Whoever acts treacherously should dread the day of reckoning.
He whose account is clear can render it without fear.
Sweep, if needs be your friend’s floor; but do not even knock at your enemy’s door.
The brother who is self inflated, is neither brother nor related.
A beautiful character is better than a thousand silk robes.
No pains, no gains.
A young woman would rather be shot at than put up with an old man.
All may be trained alike, but their capacity will vary.
Biography: The Persian Poet Sa’adi 1184 – 1283
Sadi (in Persian: سعدی, full name in English: Muslih-ud-Din Mushrif-ibn-Abdullah) (1184 – 1283/1291?) is one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is recognized not only for the quality of his writing, but also for the depth of his social thought.
Biography of Saadi
A native of Shiraz, Persia, Saadi left his native town at a young age for Baghdad to study Arabic literature and Islamic sciences at Nizamiah University (1195-1226).
He is known as a Sufi thinker, and was a student of the respected Sufi Sheikh Shahabuddin Suhrawardi. Saadi liked to travel, and lived much of his life as a wandering dervish. After Iraq he traveled the region for nearly thirty years. He went to Shamat (Syria), Palestine, Hijaz (Arabia), Yemen,Egypt and Rum (Turkey), which was in Byzantine control at the time. At one time he is said to have been captured by the Crusaders.
Saadi died in his hometown of Shiraz. There is some discrepancy about the date of his death, but he may have died a centenarian. His tomb was greatly elaborated in 1952 and has since became a tourist attraction.
Saadi’s writings are held to be among the greatest Sufi classics. He wrote “The Orchard” (Bostan) in 1257,”The Rose Garden” (Gulistan) in 1258. There is also a Divan, or collection of his poetry. He wrote short stories and poems about his adventurous life in both his major works.
Saadi has been translated by a number of major Western poets, most of whom were not deterred by the “transparently homoerotic”  tone of much of his work. According to Wayne Dynes, “English translators even in the tamer episodes of the Gulistan turn boys into girls and change anecdotes about pederasty into tales of heterosexual Iove.” (Asian Homosexuality p.66)
Chief among these works is Goethe’s West-Oestlicher Divan. Andre du Ryer was the first European to present Saadi to the West, by means of a partial French translation of Golistan in 1634. Adam Olearius followed soon with a complete translation of the Bustan and the Golistan into German in 1654. Ralph Waldo Emerson was also an avid fan of Sa’di’s writings, contributing to some translated editions himself.
One of his more famous quotes is, “Whatever is produced in haste goes easily to waste.” Another famous poem focuses on the kinship of all humans. The same poem is used to grace the entrance to the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New York with this call for breaking all barriers…
“Of one Essence is the human race,
thus has Creation put the Base;
One Limb impacted is sufficient,
For all Others to feel the Mace.”
A Song Of Peace Shared By Palestinians and Israeli’s..