“Et in Arcadia ego“
At the twilight, a moon appeared in the sky;
Then it landed on earth to look at me.
Like a hawk stealing a bird at the time of prey;
That moon stole me and rushed back into the sky.
I looked at myself, I did not see me anymore;
For in that moon, my body turned as fine as soul.
The nine spheres disappeared in that moon;
The ship of my existence drowned in that sea.
Divan, 649:1-3,5 – Rumi
This is a special edition of Turfing:
In Loving Memory Of Our Friend Phil Davies
Rumi Poems On Life & Dying
Kate Bush – Heavy People
In Loving Memory Of Our Friend Phil Davies
Who Died At Home In London, November 20, 2009
For Phil’s Partner Gennaro, for Ley, Cheri & all of Phil’s friends…
Moments in time, telescoping away. The seconds, minutes, the hours, days and years recede.
I first met Phil Davies about 4-5 days after I met Mary in London. We met at the restaurant where Mary was working at, “Buggin’s”, directly across the street from “The Young Vic” on The Cut, near Waterloo Station. I went there to continue my wooing of Mary, and ended up helping out with the holidaze crowds that they were seating. (This was around the 13th of December or so, in 1977) I met Phil in the kitchen where he was doing prep, and generally having a great time. We hit it off right away, he had a wicked sense of humour, and he applied it as liberally as he did the sauces he was working with. I ended up doing dishes a couple of nights, so, we were pretty much side by side through out the evenings. During this time, I was bringing flowers every night to Mary. I was head over heels as the saying goes, and I pressed my case most ardently. Phil was bemused. He would tease Mary, and then later come out to the table where we were sitting sipping Cointreau, smoking cigarettes… staring into each others eyes, and up would come Phil, and he’d say “Okay you two, knock it off”! Sit down, and get us talking.
Later on when Mary had left Buggins, and I had left the Wine Bar (The Green Room) he and Mary opened up a small in-house catering set up in the Antiques area of Knightsbridge, and then he brought Mary to open up a concession for Greg Edwards of Capital Radio via his and Greg’s mutual friend Cheri Class. (I became club manager & head bar-tender) to open up a dance club where Greg and friends would DJ at near Hampstead Heath (the location is a bit fuzzy now…) We all past the summer of 78 in these pursuits together. Lots of good times spent with Phil then.
One of my fondest memories of Phil was when we visited him one time at his flat during summer. Phil was sitting at his table, rolling a spliff of “Black Congolese” wearing a suit with a tie as he was often to be found. We smoked a bit, and then ended up in the garden on our hands and knees, sniffing his roses and giggling like mad people. Afterwards of course, he served tea and scones. This is Phil as I remember him.
Really it was a golden period. I learned a lot from his take on life. He was a most gentle and forgiving soul.
When October came, Mary and I were married. Phil was our best man. (The photos of him are from the wedding and party after) Shortly after, we moved to L.A., but came back frequently for several years to visit, and to live again in London. I remember going to clubs with Phil, and the myriad of good times we had through that period.
Phil was a master of Tarot. His readings were legendary in London. He was a long time member of the Golden Dawn, and he more than once remonstrated me on my inability at that time to control my anger and my then misuse of metaphysical principles that I was unaware of. He always did this with affection, and often in frustration. (I got it Phil, I got it!)
Over the years, and our resettling back in the U.S., we lost touch. We finally reconnected through our mutual friend Ley via FB… I was under the impression after learning Phil had cancer, that he was in remission. He and Gennaro visited Ley in France this summer, and it sounded like he was doing well. I was looking forward to visiting him this next year, and reconnecting after all these years. Sadly, this was not to be, he went back into hospital, and came home Thursday last for hospice care… Ley informed me on the Monday that if we were to be in touch, now was a time to send a card, which we did. Ley hurried south from Scotland (where he lives most of the year) to help out and all. Phil was in and out of sleeping, and on Friday morning, surrounded by Gennaro, Ley, and other friends he died surrounded by love. If ever a man who personified love, it was Phil. Our card arrived, after he had past.
Phil was a pivotal friend in my life, and in my relationship to the world. He will be sorely missed by all of those whose lives he touched.
Today, I understand that his funeral and wake was celebrated. Phil requested a cardboard coffin, and our card was one of the decorations on it from what Ley said. On our family altar is a book Phil loaned me which I was going to bring back to him this next year: “Magic Black & White” by Franz Hartmann. Now, I will keep it, and remember the lessons that Phil so freely shared, as well as his deep and abiding humanity.
Load the ship and set out. No one knows for certain whether the vessel will sink or reach the harbor. Cautious people say, “I’ll do nothing until I can be sure”. Merchants know better. If you do nothing, you lose. Don’t be one of those merchants who wont risk the ocean.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl.
Conventional opinion is the ruin of our souls.
Whatever posessions and objects of its desires the lower self may obtain, it hangs on to them, refusing to let them go out of greed for more, or out of fear of poverty and need.
If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it.
Rumi Poems On Life & Dying
Why cling to one life
till it is soiled and ragged?
The sun dies and dies
squandering a hundred lived
God has decreed life for you
and He will give
another and another and another
Our death is our wedding with eternity.
What is the secret? “God is One.”
The sunlight splits when entering the windows of the house.
This multiplicity exists in the cluster of grapes;
It is not in the juice made from the grapes.
For he who is living in the Light of God,
The death of the carnal soul is a blessing.
Regarding him, say neither bad nor good,
For he is gone beyond the good and the bad.
Fix your eyes on God and do not talk about what is invisible,
So that he may place another look in your eyes.
It is in the vision of the physical eyes
That no invisible or secret thing exists.
But when the eye is turned toward the Light of God
What thing could remain hidden under such a Light?
Although all lights emanate from the Divine Light
Don’t call all these lights “the Light of God”;
It is the eternal light which is the Light of God,
The ephemeral light is an attribute of the body and the flesh.
…Oh God who gives the grace of vision!
The bird of vision is flying towards You with the wings of desire.
look at love
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love
look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life
why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend
why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how the unknown merges into the known
why think seperately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last
look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs
look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once
the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together
look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox
you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me
be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don’t get mixed up with bitter words
my beloved grows
right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be?
you mustn’t be afraid of death
you’re a deathless soul
you can’t be kept in a dark grave
you’re filled with God’s glow
be happy with your beloved
you can’t find any better
the world will shimmer
because of the diamond you hold
when your heart is immersed
in this blissful love
you can easily endure
any bitter face around
in the absence of malice
there is nothing but
happiness and good times
don’t dwell in sorrow my friend
Phil shared our love of Kate’s music back when. This always reminded me of him… 80)
Kate Bush – “Heavy People”
In sweet memory……