Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Outside the rotation: up on outta here

One more once, subjecting myself to the stupidity and exploitation of the American airline monopolies: very quick trip to the homeland (depart tomorrow, return Sunday) to serve as External Examiner for the "viva" (Ireland/UK version of the term "defense") for an excellent dissertation on accent and geography in Irish traditional music. Seems a long way and a long time to travel (18 hours out, 3 hours in viva, 18 hours back), but they're paying the freight, so I'll go along and do my best for this young'un. Blogging will be light and from the road, but I'll try to catch a few snaps of Cork.

In the meantime, Richard & Linda Thompson's transcendent re-imagining of Rumi:

Bird in God's Garden

As I said to the Sarge:

I think there is something very powerful there in Rumi and other Mevlevi Sufi poets, and maybe in mystical Islamic poetry as a whole: the awareness that life itself is an admixture of sorrow, which the Sufis attribute to "separation from the Beloved", and of heartbreaking joy, at the possibility/prospect of re-connection with that Beloved. There's a wonderful image somewhere in the Mathnawi, where Rumi says that the soul is like the nay flute, its music the voice of the reed from which it's made crying out for reconnection with the place in which it was grown.

I think the ability to express a clear-eyed awareness of the reality of both sorrow and joy, and of the spiritual effort that can transform the former into the latter, is where art begins.

1 comment:

Mac Tíre said...

Have a pint and some tunes for me!