Sweetly parading you go my soul of soul, go not without me;
life of your friends, enter not the garden without me.
Sky, revolve not without me; moon, shine not without me;
earth travel not without me, and time, go not without me.
With you this world is joyous, and with you that world is joyous;
in this world dwell not without me, and to that world depart not without me.
Vision, know not without me, and tongue, recite not without
me; glance behold not without me, and soul, go not without me.
The night through the moon’s light sees its face white; I am
light, you are my moon, go not to heaven without me.
The thorn is secure from the fire in the shelter of the roses
face: you are the rose, I your thorn; go not into the rose garden without me.
I run in the curve of your mallet when your eye is with me;
even so gaze upon me, drive not without me, go not without me.
When, joy, you are companion of the king, drink not without
me; when, watchman, you go to the kings roof, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on this road without your sign; since
you, O signless one, are my sign, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on the road without my knowledge;
you are the knowledge of the road for me; O road-knower, go not without me.
Others call you love, I call you the king of love; O you who are
higher than the imagination of this and that, go not without me.
“Mystical Poems of Rumi 2” A. J. Arberry
The University of Chicago Press, 1991
I met Sonja Drakulich, the founder and incredible voice of Stellamara, about twenty-three years ago. She was waitressing at a restaurant near where I worked in Oakland. We got to talking one day and somehow we figured out that we were both musicians and agreed to trade cds. I had just finished my first cd, Flight of the Atom Bee, a collection of weird and beautiful works of analog synthesis. I had no idea what I was doing, but it stands up today, somehow!
She had told me she was a singer and a percussionist and kind of a “world” musician. She was very sweet and modest. We traded our handmade cds a couple days later.
I took hers home and I remember thinking, “I hope this is ok.” I wasn’t optimistic (the words “world” and “percussionist” being red flags* for my judgmental ass), but you know how you always want a friend’s work to be good. I did, for her sake.
Then the first song started and within thirty seconds, I was COMPLETELY blown away! I cannot remember if she liked my music at all.
Anyway, for some reason, I thought of her tonight and found this mix on YouTube.
*Know this: singers and drummers are natural enemies, always.