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February 12, 2013
I am assuming, perhaps wrongly, that my blog labels are responsible for these as I use the kasturi mriga in several of my blog-posted ghazals (an Indian love lyric originating in Persia.) The third couplet from 'My Valentine' ghazal (see my previous post, Your Valentine?) is one such:
My Valentine is a priestess who trails her heaven scent
To hell and back round a navel the musk-deer endlessly roves.
The extract quoted below is where it is coming from.
" There is a beautiful story of a Kasturi-mriga* which brings out the nature of all spiritual Sadhana. Once, while roaming about and frolicking among hills and dales, the Kasturi-mriga was suddenly aware of an exquisitely beautiful scent, the like of which it had never known. The scent stirred the inner depths of its soul so profoundly that it determined to find its source. So keen was its longing that notwithstanding the severity of cold or the intensity of scorching heat, by day as well as by night, it carried on its desperate search for the source of the sweet scent. It knew no fear or hesitation but undaunted went on its elusive search until, at last, happening to lose its foothold on a cliff, it had a precipitous fall resulting in a fatal injury. While breathing its last the deer found that the scent which had ravished its heart and inspired all these efforts came from its own navel. This last moment of the deer’s life was its happiest, and there was on its face inexpressible peace. "
from Meher Baba's spiritual discourse The Deeper Aspects of Sadhana
Whenever I read this fable of the quest of love, in which the little self 'dies', it seems to jog a memory of something deeply true (and exquisitely beautiful) and there have been nods of audience recognition as I've been performing that couplet and its source story this week. Whether it's just a story or whether the endangered musk deer really do chase their own inner heavenliness all over their natural habitat, I don't know. But I'm sure human beings do.
February 08, 2013
My Valentine is a picture, her painted eye like a rose,
Her body held in a soft flame of stillness, freed in a pose.
My Valentine is a dancer, unfastened hair like a tide,
Her fingers fly out of time's rut: and pluck my heart as it blows.
My Valentine is a priestess, who trails her heaven scent
To hell and back round a navel the musk-deer* endlessly roves.
My Valentine is a goddess, her neck is softer than sky:
She turns to me like a planet, and everything else explodes.
O heart, this quest is your own end, you're lost and that's why you win,
You’re stripped of even your held breath and kiss what God alone knows.
*The Kasturi-mriga, a deer of the Himalayas whose navel yields musk.
Room at the Gin productions: combining words, music, theatre and visual arts in a greater whole.
Tel: 01485 571828 (orders welcome) www.garethcalway.co.uk
Persian ghazal (lyric) © Gareth Calway 2013
Macro shot of eye by Barbara Humphries, used with permission.
Though the sophisticated scoff at those who drink the dregs
They will lose their faith when they arrive at the tavern door.
February 02, 2013
Gareth wrote and performed in the first 'Room at the Gin' event last December which used the stable to explore the roots of Christmas.
In each case, the idea is to select a room at the Gin Trap Inn that suits the material being staged. The next 'Room at the Gin' event, scheduled for the spring - a fusion of theatre, poetry and music - will explore how King Henry got rid of another Norfolk queen, Ann Boleyn, who is said to still haunt Blickling Hall every May 19.