Rüdiger Klose (drums)
Sabine Worthmann (bass)
Stefan Mertin (sax)
Tom Romahn (sax)
Uwe Haas (trumpet)
Bernd v. Ostrowski (vibraphone)
Jan Röper (drums)
Of course the sands of present time are running out from under our feet, why not.
The great conundrum: what are we here for? is all that ever held us here in the first place.
We are here to go!
the answer to the riddle of the ages has actually been out in the streets since the first step in space.
Who runs may read but few people run fast enough.
What are we here for?
We are here to go!
Does the great metaphysical nut revolve around that?
Well I crack it for you right now.
What are we here for?
We are here to go.
The youngest of these was a young sturdy country lad from the very fairy-tale landscape near Taza through which we were running. He was so moved by the sight of the hills of home that he leaned dangerously far out of the window, shouting up at the mountains of Morocco. He spouted poetry until we had to hold him in by the legs. Then, he chanted bellicose verses from an old Berber epic called The Love of War:..
Gravely, I filled him a pipe. " I love you!" he cried. " I love you like a brother! You are the first Roman I have ever loved." I replied as best I could with some doggerel picked up from Hamid:...
Perfectly spherical tears popped into the round eyes of my new little friend. I saw the entire moment, flying landscape and all, mirrored for an instant in their trembling crystal.
" I am souldier!" he cried, snapping to attention, " and souldiers have nothing to give but their lives.
So, I give to you three days of my life! Here, take my dogtag. When I report in without it, my lieutenant will give me three days in jail. This is my gift to you."
I had to accept.
Rub out the Word!
One thing. If it should ever become too much for you, and you really want out, I`ll tell you one thing you really should keep to yourself: the World is contained in that Word. If you have understood, there is no other mystery. The Way Out is to permutate the zikr. " Rub out the Word "
All the villagers, dressed in best white, swirl in great whorls and circles around one masked man. Me!
I danced Bou Jeloud. Maybe, that´s why I act a little crazy, sometimes. Up there in Jajouka, there is no wheeled traffic, no running water other than rills and no electricity. Electric light scares Bou Jeloud away and one day soon, when it gets to my village, it will.
Bou Jeloud is Fear and Fucking; running wild, chasing, beating, catching, biting, tearing and fucking; again and again and again. Bou Jeloud leaps high in the air with the music to fall out of the sky on top of the women, beating them with switches so they can go on having the kids. The women all scatter, like marabout birds in a pasture, to light in a huddle on top of a hillock in one quivering lump. Then, they throw back their pretty heads to the moon and let out a long lulliloo!
They flutter their gullets, lolling their tongues around in their empty heads like the clapper rolls around in a bell. Hot, narrow black eyes brim over their veils, sparkling with dangerous baby. Every mouth is round-open, so , yodeling: O!
Bou Jeloud is after you, chasing you! You´re run down, overrun, screaming with laughter and tears. You´re trampling children while wild dogs snap at your heels. Everything, suddenly, is swirling around in a great ring-a-rosy, around and around and around. Go! Forever! Stop! Never! More! and No more! and: No!... More! Pipes crack in your head and you can´t hear a thing. You´re deaf! Or, you´re dead! Dead in cold moonlight, surrounded by madmen and ghosts. Bou Jeloud is on you... frisking you, fucking you... beating you, butting you... taking you, leaving you. Gone! The great wind drops out of your head and you begin to hear our heavenly pipes, again. Someone is whimpering, grizzling, laughing and sobbing right there beside you. Who is it? Why, my friend; that is You!
Who is Bou Jeloud? Who is he? My uncles killed two goats, saying:"Bismillah," as they drew a knife over their throats and flayed them in a cave where they stripped me naked to sew me up in the reeking, hot skins. When they blackened my face, darkness swirled down like the beating of drums. As they put the flails in my hands and began to play our music, I fell to the ground. When Hamid fell, Bou Jeloud jumped into him. Even now, I´m afraid. Bou Jeloud is the Father of Fear: he is, also, the Father of Flocks. The Good Shepherd works for him. When the goats, gently grazing, brusquely frisk and skitter away, he is counting his herd. When you shiver like someone just walked on your grave, that´s him! That´s Pan, the Father of skins.
"Eshkoon?" Who are you? they ask, from inside the door, and I hardly know what to replay. Who am I, indeed?
Someone I think I must know and who surely knows me has opened the door and stands there with the firelight behind her, inviting me in. This black witch-shape against an orange background of fire is familiar to me since the dreams of my childhood, and the sensation becomes more and more overwhelming as she flaps up and down, bowing me into the compound, dancing in front of the flames. I step into an adobe courtyard of sculptured mud the color of a burning rose, glowing like African flesh. Dear little donkeys and a baby camel turn to blink at me from under a palm-thatched manger. Mothers and grandmothers sit smiling around the fire. Everyone who ever has loved me is there: I am in Afrika, home.
When a man rides by night through the desert, he often hears voices, and, sometimes, they may even call him by name. ...Calling upon him , the voices may make him stray from his path so he never can find it again.
Many, many travelers have been lost and so perished. Even by daylight, a man in the desert may hear these siren voices or the strains of musical instruments; the fainting , dancing voice of a flute or the rattle of drums in a sandy defile, as if some army was coming over the crest to fall upon him and his camels.
Many a traveler has been led away or has fled only to die of thirst. Through the endlesss, echoing silence comes, like the song of an ant, the faraway grinding clatter and throb of a diesel or, sounding more like the swarming of wasps, the whine of an oil driller´s rig - but that is only illusion.
Many, many have fallen victim to this last illusion for it, too, is part of the mirage of which all travelers speak but few can explain.
When I try to tune out the constant moaning roar of the wind,
my whole being vibrates to a sound down below the threshold of hearing.....
I tremble, I quake.
This, so they tell me, is the voice of Ghoul and Ghoul is the Djinn of the Desert,
Keeper of the Land of Fear.
Grains of sand in their incalculable billions
of billions are grinding, grinding together,
rolling and sliding abrasively in dunes as big as New York
and as high, vibrating this ocean of air through
which we paddle like sick fish on their flight
from some distant dynamite blast.
At that, a very American thought suddenly strikes me:
they do have an atomic center out here in the Sahara.
Could this air be radioactive, perhaps?
Or, is that just the black breath of Ghoul?
All truth is a tale
As no two people see the same view along the Way,
all trips from here to there are imaginary:
all truth is a tale I am telling myself.
no love/no brother
Yet , oh, the strange relaxation of it! I alone of all these Assassins had ever been foolish enough to conceive of happiness. The staggering assumptions in my young companion´s calm eyes would make my white American compatriots collapse with a whimper or run screaming for the police. There is no friendship: there is no love. The desert knows only allies and accomplices. The heart, here, is all in the very moment. Everything is bump and flow; meet and good-by. Only the Brotherhood of Assassins ensures ritual continuity, if that is what you want and some do; for the lesson our zikr teaches is this: there are no brothers.