“Aşk olmayınca, meşk olmaz” – Turkish proverb
Aşk (pronounced “ahshk” – “sh” as in “shall” ) means love in Turkish (Aşk covers all varieties of “love” from erotic love to Divine Love)
Meşk : rigorous musical exercises musicians have to perform to become master musicians. In traditional Turkish music education meşk also served the purpose of transmitting an entire repertoire.
Redhouse Turkish-English dictionary translates the proverb as
[Without love, no mastership can be attained.]
In colloquial Turkish the proverb “Aşk olmayınca, meşk olmaz” is interpreted in many ways and in many levels. This is because most Turkish speakers do not know the meaning of the word meşk.
Meşk connotes with meşakkat which means hardship and difficulty. The word meşakkat is often associated with the hardships experienced during the spiritual journey.
I interpret the proverb “Aşk olmayınca, meşk olmaz” differently too. It seems to me that without love, our artistic or scientific works will not be penetrating enough to touch the soul. Without the labor of love our work will not have the staying power.