Friday, February 4, 2011

"Friday Night Frolic" - Living On The Edge Of A Precipice

War creates no absolutely new situation: it simply aggravates the permanent 
human situation so that we can no longer ignore it. 
Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice.
 ~C.S. Lewis

In Egyptthe land of pharaohs and the Great Sphinx of Giza, where children skip through streets acting out tales of One Thousand and One Nightsin The City of a Thousand Minarets, where the sun sets over the Nile and Orion's Belt beats down on ancient ruins and dusty roads, a barbarian polo game is being played in Tahrir Square. Camels and stallions are draped with Persian carpets and mounted by riders brandishing mallets, beating back the dense crowd of chanting opponentsunarmed peaceful resisters. Looters ransack age-old buildings, thugs hurl firebombs and slabs of stone from rooftops, snipers fire into a mob of anti-government demonstrators. People lay dying on the quad knownin Englishas Liberation Square. From Cairo a great eruption spreads across the river and desert, a plague of boils and darkness over the land that hearkens Moses. 

And the limestone Sun Goddess cries tears of blood that trail into the raging Nile.

The Pharaoh refuses to step down, unwilling to go quietly into the night. What is his worry? Has he no royal cartouche? His people throw their fists in the air, urging democracy, demanding an end to his rule. Today is the last day, they shout. Even the Pharaoh's army will no longer support their king. And the swelling, praying, protesting crowd will not back down. Today is the day of departure

barefoot African princess has come east from her archipelago, and sits calmly on Mount Catherine's summit, her weary voice burning ballads against the tonal sky...

... Who will show us the way? She knows hardship. She knows suffering. She knows revolution and solidarity. She knows morna. And when she sings it, the Egyptian people—the whole world—know freedom. 

Cesária Évora's latest album, Nha Sentimento (2009), is a collaboration with Cairo musician and composer Fathy Salama.


  1. AHH, if music only fell from the sky maybe then we would hear of no more war.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  2. I feel for the people of Egypt. May God bless them with peace and freedom.

  3. This is a very profound post.
    I like your style Jayne, I'll make sure I drop by again :)

  4. well said.

    i can't help but think of dune when thinking of this situation. paul mua'dib leading a revolt of the desert dwellers against the oppression of the harkonens.

  5. These Egyptian leaders are hard to deal with. Ask Moses or God. Locusts famine, killing all first born sons. frogs etc.. tough bastards. Moborak got into office after Sadat was assassinated.

  6. I saw Stevie Nicks perform not too long ago. Her final words at the concert advised us that in times of darkness, listen to music, and maybe peace will return. Music is such a universal language.

  7. Nice! Oddly enough DH and I were planning a trip to Egypt this summer as a part of a European cruise. Of course we've scratched that off the list. Another day, God willing.

  8. Beautiful. It's such a sad situation over there.

  9. This was really beautiful. It seems the violence has calmed recently which is a really good sign. Back to waiting...

  10. Such a heartbreaking situation but such beautiful music. Wonderful post.. very well expressed.

    Thanks for your visit to my blog.

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day, Jayne - love this post. I recently wrote about Egypt.

  12. Jules- For me, music does tend to fall from the sky. Wish it did worldwide, too.

    Michelle- hear, hear!

    Paul- Thanks much. This was actually a different technique for me, and it felt good.

    Billy- Yes! Very similar theme running through both. But who is our superhero? I am glad we are seeing some progress - at least dialog.

    CommonMan- I've asked both, but haven't yet heard back from them. ;)

    Joanne- Music sure is universal. At least we have that, which is why I dedicate my Friday's to it.

    T.Anne- That's too bad. I hope things settle soon, and you'll be able to put the trip back you our agenda. I've never been myself, but would love to go some day.

    LinAnn- Merci beaucoup! ;)

    Susan- Sure is. Very scary times, and I hope they can talk it through.

    Chris- That waiting part is so difficult!

    Hilary- Thanks much. Fantastic work you are doing.

    David- I read your post on Egypt- good work. Imagine being there right now, and reporting from the front? Exciting but scary. I think it's good your home, and--whether they know it or not--your children are thankful, too. ;)

  13. So beautiful. It takes quite a bit of talent to write something so gorgeous about such a horrible situation.

  14. Debbie- From one of the best of the bunch out there, I'm honored you think so.

    TCM- Ears and eyes are wide open. ;)