October 17th 2006
Anyone interested in having a look at some other blogs of mine can go to http://www.abiezercoppe.blogspot.com/
That one shows a copy of my MA dissertation. If you then go to my profile you will see a list of other blogs.
I've been thinking recently about whether or not to move away from My Space. I wonder if it's all a bit teeny bopperish and commercial, etc. On the other hand three new people asked to be my 'friends' today, which is nice. And I left a comment on Morrissey's site too, which is the sort of thing you can do through this system.
Apparently, the entry I responded to was written by him. Actually, to be frank, I can believe it. Well, I hope so anyway. But as to whether or not he reads his responses, I doubt it. So many of them are gushing waterfalls of pleading adoration, it really must get boring and nauseating after awhile being adored that much by people who have never talked to you and only know your image (or do I say this only out of envy..ha ha!).
I still don't know if he received my copy of T.S. Eliot's The Family Reunion, which I sent him in 1991 to a Manchester address I was sent by a fan whom I had no reason to believe was bullshitting me. I recall the small, lilac flower I left in the inside cover. I wrote to him (through this site) earlier this year to ask if he'd received it but have received no reply. Was this because he didn't read my message, or was it because insignificant, irrelevant people like me don't count; or was it that he thought I was mad because no such book was ever received? Hmmmm. Not that I care or mind that much. In any case, I'm not upset with him at all. As I say, it must, I would have thought, be a bit of a pain being famous, with all the human candy floss hanging onto your every word all the time.
Oh well, I have to get ready to teach but I may continue later. Enjoy thy life until then.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Last night after consuming more beers than is sane for a man trying to listen to a stomach wanting to to shrink, I went home and logged on to the website of Roger Scruton http://www.rogerscruton.com/
Even amongst his political adversaries (he veers rather sharply to the right) he is respected for his acute mind and depth of knowledge, mainly about philosophy.
Anyway, under a pseudonym 'Jonah', which I plan to use for 'political blogging', I left a comment. It wasn't my first but it was the one I've liked the most. It's nice to think that since the blog owner checks all comments before admitting them, it might have been read by Roger himself. Possibly, however, it was only skimmed by a minion employed to root out obscenities. Who knows? Well, he does, that's who.
The comment was a response to a posting about animals and biologism (yet another 'ism' to add to a world gone mad). Ok, I'll cut and paste his posting with my comment:
"There is no doubt in my mind that we human beings are animals. Nor has this proposition been seriously doubted by any philosopher in the Western tradition, from Plato onwards. And because we are animals, we are governed by the laws of biology. Our life and death are biological processes, of a kind we witness in other animals too. We have biological needs, and are members of a species which has needs of its own – in particular the need to reproduce. And this need of the species manifests itself in our emotional life, in ways that remind us of the body and its power over us. For centuries poets and philosophers have told stories about erotic love – Plato leading the way. These stories have endowed the object of love with a value, a mystery, and a metaphysical distinction that seem to place it outside the natural order. And in these stories biology seems hardly to figure, even though they are stories which would make little sense, were it not for our condition as reproductive animals, who have established their niche by sexual selection. Again, we are territorial creatures, just like chimpanzees, wolves and tigers. We claim our territory and fight for it, and our genes, which require just such an exclusive claim over habitat if their replication is to be guaranteed, depend upon our success. Yet when we fight it is, as a rule, in the name of some high ideal: justice, liberation, national sovereignty, even God Himself. Once again, it seems that we are in the habit of telling ourselves stories, which make no reference to the biological realities in which they are rooted."
I don't believe that when making a comment you should feel obliged either to agree or to disagree in any simply confrontational sense; it is fine to come in at oblique or curious angles, in a manner that simply 'comments'.
Jonathan Mark Tillotson:
"That we are animals is rarely a neutral statement. Into that utterance is loaded a high content of specifically anti-metaphysical presuppositions. Since Darwin, and no doubt before him, we have sought to understand our nature by observing other animals. The unquestioned presupposition has been, in this quest, that in their natural expressions and forms of life are to be found a key to unlock the secrets of our own existence. Unsurprisingly, since we are animals, we have discerned much that we have in common with them. But what (if I might risk allegations of eccentricity), I wonder, do the animals themselves think of our preoccupation with mapping and charting their preoccupations? Maybe they might wonder why we don't attend to our own species and to a consideration of the unique potentialities we possess. Who knows, maybe they are disappointed with us that we have taken our eye off the ball of our own special endowments and gifts. Maybe they envy us our reason, our capacity for abstract, spiritual thought, our ability to travel through the heavens in sublime imaginations of universal justice and love? Maybe they wait, patiently, for us to attend again to our own possibilities, sensing that only by following our example might they find a route out of their own bondage to the various brute hierarchies and savageries of nature. Even if this notion is nonsense, there is surely a lamentable sense in which we have lowered ourselves, out of choice, to the lowest common denominator. So what if we are animals? Why do we presume animals cannot be spiritual, do not want to be spiritual, do not want to know the peace of the lion lying down with the lamb?"
So there you are. I have always felt strongly about science's obsession with our animal nature. My feelings have had nothing to do with any imagined, religious disdain for material embodiment, but have rather followed Blake in his contempt for science's inability to defend subjectivity and sensibility from what might be called 'the march of the machines'.
La-de-la. Btw, if you want to read my MA dissertaion, which I wrote in 1997, go to http://www.readmissionofthejews.blogspot.com/
And have a lovely bubbly day, I know I won't...:)
Ok, maybe i will, but that may depend on the female of the species. It often does.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
old blogs and new
Here's a link to an old blog I started in Oman at the end of 2004 and only kept up for a few months.
I've been having trouble with blogger when I try to switch to beta. I completely lost control over one of my sites and had to move the content to a new one. But now I've forgotten the new password and they're not sending it again. Something is definitely afoot.
What do u call a cat with no wings?
An ordinary cat.
Crap joke I know. A little Zen, perhaps.
I'm tired and overweight and lacking in company.
I have no idea if anyone reads this any more.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
It's been awhile since my last entry. Dark, subterranean emotions of doom have waylaid me in silence, perhaps for the best.
Japan was great. Cleaner than China, the people are less intense, more restrained, more reserved, just as the stereotype says. How can I write briefly about this land before I crawl to my bed under Jessica?
An air of gracious innocence hangs in the air, despite the encroaching population and technology. A noble dignity pervades. One knows one is dealing with a culture that knows its own mind and will not take instruction from another; even after being crushed in the dust and resurrected by America. It gives back to the homogenizing, globalising current as good as it gets, such that one feels that there will always be a Japan.
Such dinky, street-siding vending machines! I thank you so conveniently for slaking my thirst with your cream melon sodas and slightly too diluted banana milkshakes.
The country bears an austere dignity, yet knows how to party. The people are work horses whose happiness is toys.
And magical, beautiful women, sprung from fairy tales, smile enchantingly, knowing no fear.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I remember Preston
According to Rosemary, a guy on TV demonstrated how water responds differently to positive and to negative energy. Whoever it was she referred to somehow focussed negative and positive thoughts and feelings on two samples of water. When they were later frozen, the ice samples revealed themselves in differing ways. The water that had received loving vibes portrayed itself in crystalline patterns of marvellous majesty, whilst that which had had doom imposed on it was distorted and ugly.
Before she'd seen this programme, she'd been sceptical of all talk of positive and negative energy, but not afterwards.
I found it interesting, anyway, when she reminded me that since we are 90% water, this characteristic is more than relevant for us.
Apart from talking to Rosemary, what else have I been doing recently? Apart from over-sleeping and over-eating, I've been watching a lot of films, many times over. My third viewing of Match Point, curiously, was far better than my second, just as my second experience of Poseidon was better than my first. I'm certain this is because I enjoy the cinema more when I'm feel depressed, as I am now. I also went to my first real, live football match since Preston played Cambridge United at home in 1978, or was it 1979? I only stayed for the first half between Art Media and Slovan, leaving before newsworthy rioting broke out between police and the Slovan fans. From the match I emerged with two concrete conclusions. First, that it's fine to sip a beer whilst watching live football. Second, that the live, close-up views you get of footballing gymnastics are much better than the views on TV; that they really should install cameras at player height. I've no idea why they haven't done this already.
I also spent an entire hour, whilst reclining beside the Hotel Danube's swimming pool, staring at a street light outside, trying to attach my concentration and attention to it. I did this after reading from 'Going on Being' by Mark Epstein. It made me feel a lot better. Of course, I kept very nearly falling off to sleep, and was often visited by swarms and waves of thoughts. But coming back to focus on the eminently unremarkable street light, over and over again for an hour, brought me a disciplined sense of lightness that was appealing and inspired me to somersault into the pool when I'd finished.
I've spend a lot of time reading about the Middle East crisis, so I'm quite clued up on it, I suppose. That is, if the media is to be trusted and considered an authoritative source. I can't help finding it interesting, to be frank, though I don't enjoy BBC World or CNN.
These days I incline to think we humans deserve our troubles. That if we want to blow each other's brains out, this is what we should expect will happen. Sort of stands to reason, I suppose. And I do tend to think we get the Governments we deserve. After all, why haven't we taken over from them and done any better ourselves?
It's a remarkable and wonderful thing, is it not, that I remember to water Jessica twice a week. Jessica is my landlady's plant. I'm not sure if she's leaning over toward the television or not, and whether or not this is an indication of ill-health.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Despite what I wrote below, I have to admit to feeling pretty depressed and down recently, which I'm sure you'll agree is an utterly dull thing to say, but there you have it.
Liz thinks maybe I could buy a pet.
Maybe I should just give up teaching and return to blighty, but to do what? Suggestions are welcome.
Do I feel this way because I am 'off planet'? According to Rosemary, someone from South Africa I met recently, there are quite a few people who believe they come from another planet, or at least that they don't come from this one, or don't feel human.
She seemed to think such people were not 'mad'. What do you think? This raises questions about who owns the word 'mad', and what madness is.
Scrabble is a good game, I have re-discovered.
I do not approve of getting older. If I were God, I wouldn't have instituted the ageing process.
On the other hand, if none of us died, and we all stayed around 20 years old, there might be something of a population problem, no? Well, unless we stopped giving birth, or else could populate other planets?
Hmmmmm, the implications of the destruction of death? Discuss.
Superman still hasn't come out yet.
This blog tells me that I have had 157 'views' in the past month. Apart from Laura I don't know who these people are. Do you:) ?
Do feel free, though not obliged, to introduce yourself.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Am I my emotions?
Have been thinking recently about happiness. Gurdjieff said two principles should be followed to increase ones chances of obtaining it. One is to not express negative emotions, the other to not consider internally, but only externally; by which he meant you should think about how your behaviour and words affect others.
What does the universe think of this? Maybe that not expressing negative emotions might sound a bit like denying your feelings and not being in touch with yourself? I can see how this might be so; but need it be?
Received wisdom often has it that one should 'let it all hang out', emotionally. But in my experience, too much of the time when I'm feeling down expressing negativity rarely makes me feel better. It just makes more concrete and real the gloom that I feel.
If a person can actually help me with a problem, and I know this, there can be point and purpose in sharing. But otherwise don't I just grant to the negative emotion a greater stubbornness and solidity than it would otherwise possess? Negative emotions are often so impermanent and transient, anyway; by identifying myself with a passing mood, by saying, for example, that I feel depressed or angry or frightened, I affix my sense of who I am to this passing emotion and trap myself inside the flow of my experiences, losing that background sense of peace and tranquility which might otherwise have allowed me to recognize that emotions are things which happen to me, not things that I am. How ridiculous to believe that I am emotions that don't last and constantly change. That I am not instead that experiencing awareness which has the possibility, in all freedom, to not get submerged in the distracting flux of mood.
Of course, one would want to guard against a denial of the reality of one's feelings. Just important, that's all, to recognise one's background timelessness and larger sense of self. That this is not the feelings that pass through you, the innumerable characters on the stage of experience. The importance of not identifying.
The Middle East continues to kick-off disastrously. I feel expected to have strong opinions, to take sides. I won't do this. I incline to think all sides are complicit in the general quagmire and that there will be no solution without a higher vision, which might as much require a deeper indifference to the values of pride and justice so much vaunted on all sides.
In my more mystical-ecstatic moments, I am inclined to suppose that only God, understood through and in the person of Jesus Christ, will ever actually bring peace to this region. After all, at least Jesus, despite being a Jew, is not interested in seeing the victory of either Judaism over Islam or Islam over Judaism; but is energised rather, or so one would hope, by an altogether more civilized and higher motivation. Not of course, that one might get that impression from talking to your average hell-breathing, fundamentalist, of course, who can seem just as dead set on the propagation of the warrior mindset as anyone else!
May that day come near, and soon, when religion can finally be dispensed with, as the abyss that separates Humanity from God- that abyss across which religion forlornly attempts to be an inadequate bridge- is finally filled in and removed by the rise of direct, immediate communion.
Meanwhile, I await the arrival of Superman at Bratislavan cinemas. Since I saw Match Point for the second time, I have seen Poseidon and The Libertine. Despite the fine special effects of the former, and the wonderful costumes of the latter, I must confess my cinematic pleasure has not been all that it might have been; and this, of course, despite the everpresent reality of cheesey nachos and popcorn to console me.
Still, watching Extras last night reminded my grateful belly how to laugh, which can't be a bad thing.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Am continuing to read and prepare my mind before my visit to Japan.
According to Martin, Lee's old friend, who currently lives and works in Japan, and whom I shall visit, the Rough Guide is the best book for Japan. My own recently purchased Lonely Planet, however, already dog-eared and suffering from the battery inflicted by my trusty black bag, will have to compete and suffice.
When I was in Egypt in Dec 2003 I had both Rough Guide and Lonely Planet. That really fried and confused my brain. I felt duty bound to read both books' analyses and comments about the places I visited. I was constantly flitting between both, in an uneasy display of desperate tourist. Best to reduce and choose, clearly. So in Turkey the following April, and in China in August, I went with Rough Guide. Its incredibly detailed, thoroughgoing coverage of history and modern political developments was impressive, though I had problems finding and navigating the maps when I needed them. Oman in December 2004 saw the return of Lonely Planet and I stuck with Lonely Planet in India last summer. Of course, I'd always glance at a bit of Rough, if one lay around, casually waiting to be leafed through in some hostel or other. But I think I've found my guide book of choice....at least for now.
Martins weblog: http://nowinihon.blogspot.com/ will have to be thoroughly read before I leave. There's an interesting, recent discussion about Murakami's latest novel which you may find interesting. Martin's home, town, Iwakuni, doesn't seem that famous but I'll certainly be going there, probably around the time of my birthday in September. Apparently, it is near to Hiroshima, which I'll also definitely be visiting.
If anyone knows of the best, or at least a very charming, Zen Buddhist Monastery I could visit and stay at for a few days, do please let me know. Preferably one not too visited by tourists, maybe somewhere tucked away discreetly, perhaps a little like the monastery I stayed at last year in Northern India, the Tilopa institute, where Walter taught, nestled amidst the charming fields of Trilokpur: http://www.tilopa-institute.org/eng/eng_html/eng_17Karmapa.html
I wonder how Shelley is now. Shelley is a Hindu girl I met there for tea last August. She said I was very nice, which always goes down well.
Nite, Nite. If the bed bugs bite, that is sad; but know at least that you made them happy. Small consolation perhaps, but still a consolation, I would wager.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Don't ask me what I want
Silence beyond forms speaks worlds
Don't press me to know the course of this trajectory
My sender has me pointed to my haven
Where I came from I cannot tell
What this is I am what I am is
So crack your bones over some other corpse
Fire does not spring from ritual
The calm fields I know
I shall lie there and dream
Wait for your arrival
Meditate on the structures of a new power at peace
There is no panic
In white eyes made blue
In the sight of beauty
A 1997 poem of mine, brought to mind recently by a conversation I had had with Nick.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Saved by my T-shirt
What I really wanted to say yesterday was that possibly the most noteworthy event of the weekend, apart from my breakfast Omelette, was Nick and I walking as slowly and gradually as possible into Zlate Piesky lake, as an experiment in meditation.
Whoever it was who first promoted leaping into lakes was certainly well advised, as the water, which of course was fine once we were fully submerged, was torturously, unforgivingly cold as it wrapped its way up to our necks. Still, it certainly made us feel highly aware, which was no doubt the point, I suppose.
'Match Point' was not nearly as good a second time round, so it can't pass the test of what makes a film a classic: the ability to remain wondrous however many times it's viewed. Still, a film need not be a classic to remain great, and there's no doubt its initial impact was very agreeable. It's certainly the best film I've seen this year.
My face today has turned a bright, beetroot red, the brightest face ever seen, indeed, by Sam, a friend leaving shortly for Thailand. I can thank myself at least for my wise, prudent decision, in the absence of all suncream, not to remove my t-shirt whilst sunbathing.
Can you believe that this is the third time I have tried to write a blog about the weekend? If you cant believe it, I'll believe it on your behalf. My days of trusting to the system are over. From now on I compose in Microsoft Word and cut and paste.
Do people get executed in mid flow on blogspot and the better systems like that, I wonder?
Looks like I'll have to be doing another Viennese Waltz to get my rail pass for Japan. Oddly enough, even though you can't buy these passes in Japan, you can't buy them outside Japan either, since all you can get are exchange vouchers which you have to change for the pass once you arrive.
After falling on the floor of Winchester Cathedral, my camera has been temperamental. It works sometimes but I might have to fiddle with the lense a bit. There's obviously a loose connection somewhere. I am not sure whether to get it mended before I go. I may need to get a new one anyway, and Japan, presumably, is the best place for that.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I just composed an entry for today, but because I left the page to get the above links, all I had written was deleted. Which is just perfect.
I may write more tomorrow, and repeat myself, but I can't promise.
Suffice it to say that the above links are interesting. The solarhealing one relates to sungazing, which Nick and I briefly engaged in this morning, courtesy of the Orange Aten in the sky and a momentary, gracious moving aside of some otherwise obscuring clouds.
I don't need to go to bed now, but I shall.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Trampolining Current mood: Serene
Went swimming in a different lake today with friends and paddled briefly in a peddle boat. But most magnificently, I finally found a trampolining opportunity that did not turn me away because of my 100kg+ weight. Trampolining, despite the urban myth, is not only for kids. Or if it is, it definitely shouldn't be. I have yet to master the somersault, or with confidence to execute a flawless 360 degree pirouette.
I also saw Woody Allen's "Match Point", which I thought excellent. A film which I feel demands to be seen again soon, quite possibly at 10.30 tomorrow morning after Nick and I (possibly) go swimming again. Or perhaps we will do some 'sun gazing', which we hope to do after dawn or before dusk before he leaves on sunday morning. Apparently, this procedure involves, as suggested, gazing straight into the sun for a sustained period of time, preferably with no shoes on, in direct contact with the earth. It should only be done, for obvious reasons, when the sun is just waking up or going to bed.
It has been great having Nick in town. He's back in Europe for 6 weeks before heading off to Nepal again. He has been regaling me with talk of his meditative techniques, reminding me of last year's involvement in the Asian quest for inner space. Very nice and lovely, indeed exquisite, though oddly confusing in ways, as it raises so many questions about the differences between the Abrahamic religions and those of the orient.
I wrote the following in an email yesterday to Walter, my German teacher friend, whom I met in a Karma Kagyu monastery in Trilokpur, India last year:
"I wish God could love humanity the way Buddha has compassion on humanity. Or to put it another way, I wish the Buddha had the power to help humanity to the same extent, or degree, that we see God exercising power in the Old Testament."
I also wrote this:
"I am interested in how sociology can shed light on spirituality and religion. I think that with the rise of democracy and the breakdown of traditional forms of life, it is ultimately inevitable that religions will change fundamentally. But the new shapes have yet to emerge clearly. For now, what we are left with is a clinging onto old forms of religion (old "wineskins", as Jesus might have put it) and, in lay life, a culture which, in the absence of meditative or transcendent outlets, is left combining an uneasy attachment to superficial consumerism with the liberal, well meaning, yet ultimately vapid, dogmas of post-modernity...."
Believe it or not but thinking thoughts like those delights me.
Faraz is also in town which has been extremely cool, too.
I hope whoever reads this has had a good day and will have a better day tomorrow.
love and light
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Yeah..sure,Laura (I'm responding to her comment from my last post). I suppose if you love enough people, or indeed, ideally, everybody, you won't ever have to face this total loss of loved ones nightmare, since there will always be enough of those around you that you love.
But less stratospherically, I am sure at least that it is true to say that it is easier to bear their loss, as long as you have said all that is positive that you have to say about them, to them, before they die.
Vienna was pretty good, as usual, though I didn't have time to see the new Mozart house exhibit. I did see the building "responsible" for Hitler's distemper, however; by which I mean the Academy of Arts. Still, I'm not persuaded that the threat "If you don't let me into your college so I can paint pretty pictures with you, I shall ravage all Europe" would have been taken that seriously. Or, indeed, that it should have been. Who knows, he might still have been the disappointingly dark charater he turned out to be, even if he had been admitted.
Still, it's conceivable that the causal chain that led to his rise to power might have been broken if he had been let in, I guess. But responsibility (the labyrinthine causal chains that lie behind things) is not the same as blame. It would be absurder than absurd, surely, to actually blame the admissions office for their high standards!
I also sat in 3 Viennese coffee bars, which I found sweet and romantic despite the boisterous, noteworthy prices. Then I travelled back to Bratislava on the new, fast speed, twin city boat, spending much of my time on its roof, facing the vigorous wind, trying and succeeding not to lose my camera over the egde...
Before walking up, high above the castle, thinking about Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Tractatus of all matters.
Did you know he composed this, possibly one of the greatest works of 20th century philosophy, while dodging bullets in the trenches in WWI. Another thing to note about the "other Ludwig" (if Beethoven be the first), and returning to our Adolf theme, is that Hitler and Wittgenstein were school boys together in Linz. But I have never come across any comment made by Ludwig about his classmate, and I can't believe that he would have had no memory of young Adolf (though it's possible I guess), or that there wouldn't be a record of it somewhere.
I spend too much money, I have discovered. And my kitchen floor is uneven. I think there must be air underneath it or something. It's made of that plastic wood looking material. I think it needs more glue underneath.
Astonishing the way things can happen in one's flat that one would have never dreamt possible. Like getting bouncy bubbles in ones kitchen floor!
Oh, the trials of practical existence! I am not, I suspect, expertly suited for a life of embodiment.
I also plan to eat less (as usual). Whether this happens or not is to be discovered.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Today, I had the thought again that we should perhaps put one day of the year aside -a day of sorrow, it might be called - when we would believe and deeply imagine that all those close to us, whom we hold dear, were already dead and departed. For the duration of that day we would avoid as much as possible contact with friends and family. Alongside a sadness at their loss we would focus on what it is about them we most appreciated, and meditate on the fact that we loved them, and the reasons why.
In this way we would achieve, whilst those we love are actually alive, what too much of the time we reserve only for when they are dead: a proper, heartfelt appreciation of those in our lives.
During this day we could write down our feelings, if we wished, and send them to those we love for them to receive later. But to prevent against embarrassed mockery and awkward self-effacement etc, it would be understood that everything written on that day was sacrosanct and could not be referred to, except in an appreciative and grateful way, by the recipient. Also, essential to this would be the principle that only positive, eulogistic remarks could be made.
On the following day there could be feasts and banquests and celebrations as we realise that all those whom we reflected upon as dead and gone forever are still with us, as if miraculously restored.
Through this day of sorrows, a threefold purpose could be served:
a) we would remind ourselves of the impermanence of life and the fact (as least as long as the universe is consituted as it is) that all those we love will surely die.
b) allied to this, we would find opportunity to be aware of how much people mean to us, and how it is that they are valuable to us.
c) we would be able to communicate our sense of appreciation to these people in a way that, because it would be socially sanctioned and enshrined, would not be sentimentally embarrassing or awkwardly intense, if yousee what I mean.
Just an idea.
But are we, it is to be wondered, in these days of post-modern nihilism, in this age of the sovereignty of the surface and of the image, capable, without succumbing to derisory laughter or an excess of fake sentiment, of exhibiting such a spiritual depth?
At least against such a custom none could set as an objection any notion such as the non-existence of God (if such an unproven notion be true).
Afetr all, there is nothing theistic or religious about the above suggested custom.
Indeed, it could be argued that the need for such a day of reflection and meditation, such a pause from the onward march of our immersion in time and nature, increases the less one believes in the transcendent.
But when could this day be. Spring or autumn? Any suggestions?
Tomorrow, I go to Vienna....again!:)
Monday, June 26, 2006
Swans and bread
The water received my whiter than white skin, smooth as a glove. It doesn't seem to be as dirty as it used to be, that lake.
I both entered and exited the lake amidst swans and, swanlike, swam, head forever above water, in what I hope was a dignified, yet slow, performance of breaststroke.
Swimming really opens the senses and the mind. Some of my very best reflections and contemplations have been had whilst swimming. To facilitate this experience I have usually found it necessary to swim slowly, ponderously, freed from the emergency and aggression of every sense of race.
Efforts to eat last night in a Lebanese restaurant were stalled by Mother's exhaustion and the closer proximity of a fine, Jewish restaurant, Chez David, whereat I ate an enormous quanitity of highly fine bread.
I read an interesting piece in NME about Morrissey recently. He's to play in Budapest soon but alas I will not be going, it seems.
Maybe I should make the layout of this blog more exciting. It has also been suggested that I put photos here. As long as it is accepted that I am not my image, then maybe.
Good morning .....(was that a statement or a wish?)
Its bloody hot. In that kind of a way that has people swooning for the good old days of 18 C, days when they pined for it to be hotter.
I like it. It makes me want to jump into water at every opportunity. This is rarely possible, alas, though I'll be visiting Drazdiak lake today with my Mother (here on a brief visit), wondering as usual at the marvellous planning decisions of whoever it was who strung live electricity wires across it.
Did anyone, I wonder, send me "Heal that camera" vibes. Well, thanks alot if you did. They worked a treat. It has mysteriously healed itself, though for how long remains to be seen. Technology, as far as I can deduce, seems very temperamental at the best of times.
I'm flying off to Japan in August. People ask me why and I don't really know what to say. Cliches like 'because its there' come to mind. I also say it's because it's a distinct cultural sphere from China and South East Asia. Thailand I feel I should go to with a gang of companions, or with a friend/lover. Something about it doesn't make me want to explore it alone. Not because it's unsafe or anything like that.
America will have to wait until next year when I perform best man duties at an as yet unspecified venue, at a time as yet undecreed.
My mum has come to collect me from the British Council. I must go.
Cau (slovak spelling)
Enjoy your day. You know it makes a very great deal of sense.
Friday, June 23, 2006
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sustained, balanced ecstasy (without a pill), always.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing my keys?
What historical figure do you most identify with?
I identitfy with nobody but myself. How could I? But of all historical figures, I admire Joshua Bar Joseph the most (aka Jesus Christ).
Which living person do you most admire?
A certain Canadian lady whose blog I contribute to. I trust she knows who she is?:) Her blog is at http://www.dearuniverse.org/. Who says all great people have to be famous? Since when has reality been the world's stage?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Not keeping my flat tidy, without feelings of tedium and a need for great effort.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Being always well dressed and well presented; also, the importance of good table manners.
On what occasions do you lie?
To save my ass from unloving, unsympathetic bullies. But I don't like doing this and don't have to do it too often, thankfully. In social contexts, it depends how you define lying. Is it uttering positive untruths or withholding all the details? If the latter, I guess I lie rather often. Just as we all do, no doubt.
Which living person do you most despise?
I despise nobody. It's irresponsible. I don't feel such hatred anyway. What I hate are certain ideas. Abstractions. Veils and shadows of the mind that afflict us and blind us from the indescribeable beauty surrounding us.
Which word or phrases do you most overuse?
'In my opinion' and 'I believe'. But I do feel the need to use these.
What is your greatest regret?
Not telling people whom I have loved that I love them; also, that those whom I have told this to (usually women) have not always enjoyed hearing it.
Where and when were you happiest?
Surrounded by gorgeous, beautiful friends, whilst conversing in my mind with the transcendent resplendence.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
My metabolic rate, so I could eat and drink endlessly without fear of bloatage.
If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?
That my family members would love each other even more than they do. Also, that they would come to see life only positively and in more of a celebratory fashion. Oh, we could do with a better relationship with Lord Mammon too:)!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I don't know. Maybe getting my entire school, including all the teachers, to stand up and sit down in assembly and laugh a lot. But hard to know what my achievements are since I only see myself from the inside, not objectively. Nothing I've achieved in the official, worldy, CV department has been especially great. Not at all, especially since University. But then I've never really defined reality or value by the world's criteria anyway, though of course there can be overlap.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Think it would be or want it to be? The same person, but with a faster metabolic rate.
What is your most treasured possession?
Mmy thoughts, feelings and memories. And then my writings. Materially, my laptop.
What is the quality you most admire in a man?
Confident, gracious, generous non-competitiveness.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Confident independence, allied to kindness.
Who are your famous writers?
Famous ones? Probably Nietzsche (ok in translation I grant) and T.S.Eliot, both as poet and prose stylist.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Prot from K-PAX and Winston Smith (from 1984) .
What is it that you most dislike?
Apart from sand in my sandwiches on the beach? Arrogant, dismissive judgementalism.
What is your motto?
Love your enemies. Recognize, ultimately, that there are no enemies.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Just had a fine weekend in blighty, though my camera, without permission, turned itself into a fish in my hands in Winchester Cathedral this morning, leaping and crashing dramatically onto the floor, just at the moment I sought to take a photo of an unusally depicted hexagram. Clearly a shy star, that one.
I am so incredibly happy that my camera is now broken:)!
Time will tell if I do not need to buy a new one, but my suspicion is that time will not be kind.
I listened to Christmas carols the othe day. In July. Well, they were more like those modern upbeat ditties, but they definitely had a christmas ring to them: "the weather outside is frightful" etc.
And you know, they meant so much more and had such a ruddier impact now when they are not expected; now when the sun and leaves are dominant and snow is nowhere. Of course, I was sensitive to the oddness of the event but this only added to the mirth, I found.
The temperature in Bratislava is now 35 degrees so I have to look forward to the boisterous challenge of negotiating humid, sweaty nights. Unfortunately Jessica, not being a triffid, is not able, she informs me, to fan me with her leaves :(.
Well, may I take this opportunity to wish myself a very happy night's sleep indeed.
I wonder how many of you are sleeping as I write?
May your week be better than the last one and not as good as the next.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Tom Cruise is just about to go up in the lift
Woke up early and am watching Vanilla Sky once again. Fine soundtrack. Poor old Julie Gianni, portrayed delightfully as she is by the ever majestic Miss Diaz.
I have moved my bed to beneath windows. I now have an altered relationship to light as I awake. Hmmmmmmm.
My big plant, well my landlady's, hangs imposing in majestic beauty above me.
Upon being pressed to grant the plant a name a few weeeks ago by a friend, I have decided to call her Jessica.
She cries calmly for water now and again. I am conscientious, I hope, in meeting her needs.
I do not have to cook for her, I am glad to report. After all, I do not cook. And that for reasons not only to do with the inadequancy of my oven.
Today is "Sunday" and it is sunny (so far).
I trust the days today on planet earth will be delightful for its inhabitants, animal and human.
I do not have to go now, but I shall...
Saturday, June 10, 2006
its so true
Today was a day in many ways like yesterday. In many ways it will be like tomorrow, but not in every way. There will be differences.