Friday, March 24, 2017

What is important is to be your own Master

To fresh matters must I now refer, indeed there's much to say.
One night I spent as a passing guest in a friend's house.
Sufficient was the meal, even though today, come what may,
Some men are reluctant to open their doors to visitors.
It takes but little patience to spend the evening together,
Enough time for intentions, worthy and unworthy, to show.
Say what I must, these times are at one good and bad.
As to what fate holds in store, how should we know?
We lack nothing material, yet our minds are in turmoil!
That is the opening stanza of the contemporary Berber ballad Hospitality Betrayed from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco composed by Sheikh Assu of Ishishawn*. The photo is from Cette Lumière by Dominique and Miloudi Nouiga which takes its title from Jiddu Krishnamurti's teaching "L’important c’est d’être à soi-même sa propre lumière, son propre maître et son propre disciple [What is important is to be a light unto yourself, to be your own Master and disciple]". This exquisite French/ Darija book documents life in the village of Ait Hamza in the Atlas Mountains. Paul Bowles documented this region sonically in his 1959 field recordings which have been lovingly remastered for CD release by Dust to Digital. Cette Lumière was purchased on my recent visit to Morocco which included visiting the Middle Atlas - post to follow. Last year I trekked in the High Atlas to a soundtrack of Paul Bowles' recordings and I will return to that region where the magnificent belittles the material later this year.

* Extract is transcribed from the collection Berber Odes by Michael Peyron. No review samples used. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

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