excerpt of 77 minute track of "the Higher Elevation recordings of August 2013"
Opal Marie Petty was 16 yrs old in 1934 when she began to see a dark lurking man mocking her and winding scrub weed around his neck outside of her window. Her God fearing parents were persuaded by the Doctor to have her institutionalized when she began digging her own grave in the Texas dirt with a butcher knife. She was packed up with a simple red dotted dress and sent into the mental hospitals which during the Depression Era meant that conditions were grim, meager, desperate- patients slept on concrete floors and tended each others needs since the staff were cruel and far between. Opal's custodial care in treatment of her mental illness consisted of 35 years of work in the hospital laundry where she earned $2 a week. Eventually 51 years passed and Opal's sister took to concern and fought the state of Texas for release. In the passing of time that was to follow, Opal recovered as well as could and took an interest in making clothes for the 6 dolls she bought with the earnings from the hospital laundry and treated them as her babies she never had due to forced sterilization. She began to play the piano and took delight in choosing colors with which to paint her fingernails and then she died on a fine, reckless spring day in the month of march in the year of someones Lord, 2005.
Listen to the reed and the tale it tells, How it sings of separation...چه تدبیر ای مسلمانان که من خود را نمیدانم - نه ترسا و یهودیم نه گبرم نه مسلمانم نه شرقیم نه غربیم نه بریم نه بحریم - نه ارکان طبیعیم نه از افلاک گردانم نه از خاکم نه از بادم نه از ابم نه از اتش - نه از عرشم نه از فرشم نه از کونم نه از کانم نه از دنیی نه از عقبی نه از جنت نه از دوزخ - نه از ادم نه از حوا نه از فردوس رضوانم مکانم لا مکان باشد نشانم بی نشان باشد - نه تن باشد نه جان باشد که من از جان جانانم دویی از خود بیرون کردم یکی دیدم دو عالم را - یکی جویم یکی گویم یکی دانم یکی خوانم ز جام عشق سرمستم دو عالم رفت از دستم - بجز رندی و قلاشی نباشد هیچ سامانم اگر در عمر خود روزی دمی بی او بر اوردم - از ان وقت و از ان ساعت ز عمر خود پشیمانم الا ای شمس تبریزی چنان مستم در ین عالم - که جز مستی و قلاشی نباشد هیچ درمانم Why think thus O men of piety - I have returned to sobriety I am neither a Moslem nor a Hindu - I am not Christian, Zoroastrian, nor Jew I am neither of the West nor the East - Not of the ocean, nor an earthly beast I am neither a natural wonder - Nor from the stars yonder Neither flesh of dust, nor wind inspire - Nor water in veins, nor made of fire I am neither an earthly carpet, nor gems terrestrial - Nor am I confined to Creation, nor the Throne Celestial Not of ancient promises, nor of future prophecy - Not of hellish anguish, nor of parasitic ecstasy Neither the progeny of Adam, nor Eve - Nor of the world of heavenly make-believe My place is the no-place - My image is without face Neither of body nor the soul - I am of the Divine Whole. I eliminated duality with joyous laughter - Saw the unity of here and the hereafter Unity is what I sing, unity is what I speak - Unity is what I know, unity is what I seek Intoxicated from the chalice of Love - I have lost both worlds below and above Sole destiny that comes to me - Licentious mendacity In my whole life, even if once - Forgot His name even per chance For that hour spent, for such moment - I’d give my life, and thus repent Beloved Master, Shams-e Tabrizi - In this world with Love I’m so drunk The path of Love isn’t easy - I am shipwrecked and must be sunk.