is a kaleidoscope:
now hopelessness, now hope
now spring, now fall.
Forget its ups and downs:
do not vex yourself:
The remedy for pain
is the pain.”
“The High, The Holy“, a new piece. With tints of Syrian Rue Red(It’s in the carpets folks, for a reason!), and the Moon to propel it, “The High, The Holy” is a visual song/homage to my background and studies over the years. I hope you enjoy it.
It has been a week of contrast; a week of sorrow, a week of joy, a week of discovery, a week of release. One of the better ones on so many levels.
After Sophie passed Thursday night last and all of the tumblings of grief, and receiving her ashes on Tuesday morning, we began the process of letting her go. Not the easiest thing to do, but what else can one do? Seeing a life reduced to a tin of ashes, to the basic carbon.
Come Wednesday morning we had Rak Razam from Australia arrive who is/was touring his film & book Aya:Awakenings. Finally meeting Rak after all these years of talking on line we finally got to spend some time together. It was good having this time with him, we have collaborated on projects over the years and finally getting to sit down and talk about all and sundry was refreshing. Only so much communication can be achieved on line, it is so much richer in person. His presentation on Thursday night at the Clinton Theatre went very well, and the audience received it enthusiastically. Rak included me on the panel for the discussion afterwards, where I sat with our friend Gayle Highpine (what a mind!) who helps run The Ayahusaca Forums on Ayahuasca.com, & Charles Shaw, who you might know through his works ExileNation and elsewhere say in Reality Sandwich.( Charles is a Nice Guy!) It was a lovely discussion with some nice synergy. The night ended with Rak and I standing in our kitchen talking metaphysics and entheogens into the early morning. The next day we dropped him off on his way up to Vancouver B.C. for his last stop on this tour. It was a lovely time.
So I return to the essentials, work, which is always a blessing in what forms it comes in and with a capital A, Art, which finds me working on some new pieces (see above!)
Life is good, no matter what is being served up it seems. I wish you beauty in all that you do, and experience.
This week’s entry is BIG. I have had a lot going on in my head, especially about the ancient interchange of culture between the Persian/Middle East & The Celtic World. Hopefully the blend works well for you.
On The Menu:
Omar Faruk Tekbilek – Sufi
The Piper & The Puca
A Flight Through the Universe
The Smart Rabbit
Great Masters of the Oud – A tribute to Nasser Shamma (نصير شمة)
Omar Faruk Tekbilek – Sufi
My heart searched for your fragrance
in the breeze moving at dawn,
my eyes searched for the flower of your face
in the garden of creation.
Neither could lead me to your abode —
contemplation alone showed me the way.
Once I was bathed in the Light of Truth within,
I abandoned all planning and scheming.
If you, too, seek this transcendence,
leave your lower self — then from head to foot
you will see your whole being as God’s refulgence.
The ocean of his generosity has no shore.
The tongue is powerless to thank,
the heart too bewildered to understand.
Though my sins are many
his compassion is greater still–
I swim in the sea of disobedience
but I do not drown.
To the dignified station of love I was raised,
And from the favours of the people I was freed.
Like a candle I was melted in this assembly,
By being burnt, in the divine mysteries I was initiated.
Along the road, you were my companion
Seeking the path, you were my guide
No matter to whom I spoke, it was you who answered
When Sun called Moon to Sky, it was you who shined
In the Night of aloneness, you
were my comforter
When I laughed, you were the smile on my lips
When I cried, you were the tears on my face
When I wrote, you were the verse
When I sang, you were the song
Rarely did my heart desire another lover
Then when it did, you came to me in the other.
Every man who knows his secret
becomes a secret,
hidden from the skies.
The sage says Ahmad rose to the heavens;
Sarmad says the heavens
rose in him!
The Piper & The Puca
Douglas Hyde HYDE (Translated literally from the Irish of the Leabhar Sgeulaigheachta)
In the old times, there was a half fool living in Dunmore, in the county Galway, and although he was excessively fond of music, he was unable to learn more than one tune, and that was the “Black Rogue.” He used to get a good deal of money from the gentlemen, for they used to get sport out of him. One night the piper was coming home from a house where there had been a dance, and he half drunk. When he came to a little bridge that was up by his mother’s house, he squeezed the pipes on, and began playing the “Black Rogue” (an rógaire dubh). The Púca came behind him, and flung him up on his own back. There were long horns on the Púca, and the piper got a good grip of them, and then he said–
“Destruction on you, you nasty beast, let me home. I have a ten-penny piece in my pocket for my mother, and she wants snuff.”
“Never mind your mother,” said the Púca, “but keep your hold. If you fall, you will break your neck and your pipes.” Then the Púca said to him, “Play up for me the ‘Shan Van Vocht’ (an t-seann-bhean bhocht).”
“I don’t know it,” said the piper.
“Never mind whether you do or you don’t,” said the Púca. “Play up, and I’ll make you know.”
The piper put wind in his bag, and he played such music as made himself wonder.
“Upon my word, you’re a fine music-master,” says the piper then; “but tell me where you’re for bringing me.”
“There’s a great feast in the house of the Banshee, on the top of Croagh Patric tonight,” says the Púca, “and I’m for bringing you there to play music, and, take my word, you’ll get the price of your trouble.”
“By my word, you’ll save me a journey, then,” says the piper, “for Father William put a journey to Croagh Patric on me, because I stole the white gander from him last Martinmas.”
The Púca rushed him across hills and bogs and rough places, till he brought him to the top of Croagh Patric. Then the Púca struck three blows with his foot, and a great door opened, and they passed in together, into a fine room.
The piper saw a golden table in the middle of the room, and hundreds of old women (cailleacha) sitting round about it. The old woman rose up, and said, “A hundred thousand welcomes to you, you Púca of November (na Samhna). Who is this you have brought with you?”
“The best piper in Ireland,” says the Púca.
One of the old women struck a blow on the ground, and a door opened in the side of the wall, and what should the piper see coming out but the white gander which he had stolen from Father William.
“By my conscience, then,” says the piper, “myself and my mother ate every taste of that gander, only one wing, and I gave that to Moy-rua (Red Mary), and it’s she told the priest I stole his gander.”
The gander cleaned the table, and carried it away, and the Púca said, “Play up music for these ladies.”
The piper played up, and the old women began dancing, and they were dancing till they were tired. Then the Púca said to pay the piper, and every old woman drew out a gold piece, and gave it to him.
“By the tooth of Patric,” said he, “I’m as rich as the son of a lord.”
“Come with me,” says the Púca, “and I’ll bring you home.”
They went out then, and just as he was going to ride on the Púca, the gander came up to him, and gave him a new set of pipes. The Púca was not long until he brought him to Dunmore, and he threw the piper off at the little bridge, and then he told him to go home, and says to him, “You have two things now that you never had before–you have sense and music (ciall agus ceól).
The piper went home, and he knocked at his mother’s door, saying, “Let me in, I’m as rich as a lord, and I’m the best piper in Ireland.”
“You’re drunk,” said the mother.
“No, indeed,” says the piper, “I haven’t drunk a drop.”
The mother let him in, and he gave her the gold pieces, and, “Wait now,” says he, “till you hear the music, I’ll play.”
He buckled on the pipes, but instead of music, there came a sound as if all the geese and ganders in Ireland were screeching together. He awakened the neighbours and they all were mocking him, until he put on the old pipes, and then he played melodious music for them; and after that he told them all he had gone through that night.
The next morning, when his mother went to look at the gold pieces, there was nothing there but the leaves of a plant.
The piper went to the priest, and told him his story, but the priest would not believe a word from him, until he put the pipes on him, and then the screeching of the ganders and geese began.
“Leave my sight, you thief,” said the priest.
But nothing would do the piper till he would put the old pipes on him to show the priest that his story was true.
He buckled on the old pipes, and he played melodious music, and from that day till the day of his death, there was never a piper in the county Galway was as good as he was.
and when you get too caught up in your life and its twistings and turnings, this appears. Timely.
A Flight Through the Universe, by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Persian Tales: The Smart Rabbit
Far away from here there was once a lovely tree-covered valley, surrounded by high mountains. A mighty river ran through this valley, watering all the variety of trees and other plants that grew there. Many animals made this valley their home — rabbits, birds, squirrels, and deer. They all lived happily in the valley, because there were no wolves or lions there to eat them.
But one day, a wolf climbed down the mountains and entered the valley. No sooner had he arrived than he started to chase after the helpless animals, and ate them one by one. Only on rare occasions would one of the animals manage to run away unscathed, but all the animals were worried that next, it would be their turn.
In their worry, the animals turned to the old owl, and asked him to find a way to rid the valley of the wolf. The owl replied that there was no way to fight the wolf, whose fangs and paws were more powerful than any other animal in the valley, and so they must learn to live with the wolf, the old owl counseled.
The animals protested that they could live in constant fear of being eaten, and so they hatched a desperate plan: it was agreed everyday, one of the animals would be selected by the others, who would go to the wolf and be eaten. That way, the rest of the animals would rest peacefully, knowing that the wolf had eaten that day and would not be chasing them.
Naturally the wolf, who was tired of chasing the animals and relished the idea of his food coming to him by itself, agreed to this plan without hesitation.
And so the following day, the animals gathered together in the early morning and decided that the the little rabbit, who was the smallest and weakest resident of the valley, was to be fed to the wolf.
The rabbit was scared and first tried to run away, but soon realized that he had nowhere to go. He then considered fighting the wolf, but soon realized that the wolf was far too powerful for him. So he meekly trudged to the wolf’s lair, and once there, cried out “Oh wolf! Oh wolf! Come out of your lair, for I am to be your supper today.”
The wolf immediately came out of its lair, and sniffed the rabbit hungrily. “Why, what a delicious little morel you will make!” said the wolf, “I can’t believe my luck in finding this valley where the animals sacrifice themselves to me so willingly!”
“It is true, I was brought here by my own four little feet,” the rabbit sighed, “for I know that I cannot escape my fate, and such a mighty wolf as you, even though you’re not the scariest or most powerful wolf in the valley.”
At this, the vain wolf was dumbfounded. “Wha..? What do you mean, I’m not the scariest or most powerful wolf in this valley? I am the only wolf here, and there are no other wolves in this valley!” cried the wolf, indignantly.
“Oh, you don’t know about the other wolf,” said the rabbit. “No matter, you should go ahead and eat me now, for even if I escape your clutches, no animal could ever hope to escape the other, scarier and more powerful, wolf.” The rabbit then tried to climb into the wolf’s mouth.
The wolf bristled at the rabbit’s words, shook him out of his mouth and said, “Take me to this other wolf, and I will spare you for today, my delicious little morsel. Show me were this other wolf who thinks he’s better than me lives.”
The rabbit let out a little sigh and said, “Oh what difference does it make to me, for in the end I will be eaten by a wolf, whether it is you or the other wolf, with the bigger teeth and stronger legs. Follow me then.”
“Humph!” said the wolf, “We shall see who is bigger and stronger. Lead on!”
So the wolf followed the rabbit as they walked a ways, until they reached an old abandoned well.
“There,” pointed the rabbit, “There is the lair of the other wolf, who is stronger and meaner than you. All you have to do is look down into the well, an I am sure you will see him in there, resting from his last feast.”
At this, the wolf jumped up onto the well wall, and peered down into the darkness.
“I don’t see anything, it is too dark!” said the wolf.
“You have to look more closely, for I am sure he’s in there. Put your whole head down into the well, and you will see him looking back at you,” replied the rabbit.
So the wolf bent over, and stuck his head into the well. After a few moments, when his eyes had a chance to adjust to the darkness, the wolf saw his own reflection in the water at the bottom of the well, as if it was another wolf looking back at him.
“Aha! Now I see you, you coward!” the wolf yelled into the well. No sooner had he done this, than his own voice echoed back from the bottom of the well.
“Did you just call me a coward? How dare you! Come here, and we’ll see who is the nastier wolf!” yelled the wolf. But again, his own voice echoed back to him from the well.
The rabbit, who had witnessed the wolf arguing with himself in the well, told the wolf, “I don’t think he’s coming out here. Naturally, the bigger and scarier wolf will have to chase after the smaller, less-scary one.”
The wolf heard the rabbit and without hesitation, jumped into the well, chasing after his own reflect in the water. But since the wolf did not know how to swim, he never came out of the old well, and the valley was rid of the evil old wolf — thanks to a small, weak rabbit.
The Unknown God
Far up the dim twilight fluttered
Moth-wings of vapour and flame:
The lights danced over the mountains,
Star after star they came.
The lights grew thicker unheeded,
For silent and still were we;
Our hearts were drunk with a beauty
Our eyes could never see.
One thing in all things have I seen:
One thought has haunted earth and air:
Clangour and silence both have been
Its palace chambers. Everywhere
I saw the mystic vision flow
And live in men and woods and streams,
Until I could no longer know
The dream of life from my own dreams.
Sometimes it rose like fire in me
Within the depths of my own mind,
And spreading to infinity,
It took the voices of the wind:
It scrawled the human mystery —
Dim heraldry — on light and air;
Wavering along the starry sea
I saw the flying vision there.
Each fire that in God’s temple lit
Burns fierce before the inner shrine,
Dimmed as my fire grew near to it
And darkened at the light of mine.
At last, at last, the meaning caught —
The spirit wears its diadem;
It shakes its wondrous plumes of thought
And trails the stars along with them.
The heavens lay hold on us: the starry rays
Fondle with flickering fingers brow and eyes:
A new enchantment lights the ancient skies.
What is it looks between us gaze on gaze;
Does the wild spirit of the endless days
Chase through my heart some lure that ever flies?
Only I know the vast within me cries
Finding in thee the ending of all ways.
Ah, but they vanish; the immortal train
From thee, from me, depart, yet take from thee
Memorial grace: laden with adoration
Forth from this heart they flow that all in vain
Would stay the proud eternal powers that flee
After the chase in burning exultation.
Great Masters of the Oud – A tribute to Nasser Shamma (نصير شمة)