Sunday, August 27, 2006

Elemental Interaction

The words "friend" and "acquaintance" are often abused. I have noticed that certain cultures and subcultures have a tendency to call people they have just met and shared fleeting time at a bar with "friends". Other cultures seem reluctant to call even the most intimate relations they have known for years by that same name. I have been fortunate to be able to wander the globe a bit over my life time and it is interesting to wash up against hundreds of strangers on a regular basis, greeting, trading casual remarks, polite comments, overlooking rude mumblings and then sometimes bouncing up against people that one seems to have known for a multitude of millenia. What a sensation of warmth and home, when one begins an exchange that seems to be carried over from many late night philosophy discussions or coffee house political battles! Somehow it is like being one of those floating shells in the ocean that after washing up on the shore nestles for a time on a warm sand beach in some seaweed with other similar treasures.

I have just encountered such a peson, only to learn today that this treasure will be leaving my life again for a job in the big city ...and the tide comes in and we are once again swept back into the amniotic fluid of the sea. Friend or acquaintance? We have known each other 5 scant weeks. The depth of our exchanges belies the time. The words reify and diminish the experience.The sea is swirling with opportunity and life, but made of salt water, the same as tears.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Thursday, August 24, 2006


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sensed but unseen

Fourth Person said on his blog today, "There is always something moving beneath. It can be sensed but not seen." This reminds me of a realization I made because of a very close friend. He enters a house and locks all the doors, closes all the blinds. These are the actions of a person at peace with himself. At peace with himself, but fearful of the world outside. When I enter a house, I rip open the curtains, unlock all the doors and turn on all the lights. These are the actions of a person who knows the world outside can not do more harm than the demons from within.These people know that the only protection is escape away. As harborers of internal monsters, we become ever better at locking the fear down in the dungeons of our beings and pretending that they are docile and tamed. We know they are there, but we lull ourselves into a sense of security as if we have found the much vaunted stillness, but still "There is always something moving beneath. It can be sensed but not seen."

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Life-ous-ness and machinery

Early this morning I could hear the noise of a big ship shrieking and groaning at the dock. It had an almost musical quality, with its mechanical clanks and metallic grinding; quasi organic in sound. There is a rhythm and vivacity to port life. I want to say life-ous-ness. (Funny that there is a word lifelessness but no opposite, except perhaps the word organic - which is precisely what
these technologies are not.) These are sounds that are unsettling, piercing and tortured like small animals squealing and musk oxen bellowing - still their very repetitiosness and inherent declaration of productivity make them somehow reassuring. Funny how we take comfort in the habitual.

Monday, August 14, 2006

To be alive one should be able to see old things in a new way.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

On Photography

In my view you cannot claim to have seen something until you have photo- graphed it.

Emile Zola

Friday, August 11, 2006

On the Town

We have American sailors in port right now and I am always so impressed with U.S. Navy uniforms. They are by far my favorite American uniform. The women look so neat and efficient and the guys all Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra jaunty like they'll burst into tap dancing any moment. Perhaps it fits the enthusaism of youth on shore leave in an exotic place. There is excitement in the air.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sounds of Water

What a reassuring sound the drip drop of water, unless is coming down from the ceiling onto your floor boards.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Things of comfort

A breeze on a warm day, the sound of flute music in the distance, a slice of hard German bread with fresh sweet butter

Monday, August 07, 2006


Why is it that when one rewarms something in the microwave, one tends to forget it until it has cooled down to its previous temperature. There seems to be no such thing as a warm cup of coffee in the morning around here. Only tepid. Tepid coffee reheated endlessly. Dante must have missed this punishment in the inner circle, but I feel like Tantalus and Sisyphus combined. Up the stairs, down the stairs, no food or drink ever getting to my stomach or causing satisfaction.

Okay, after thinking about this a bit I realized that I have said and portrayed absolutely nothing new. The image below should present more than sufficient explanation. (grin)

(The painted image above is by Franz von Stuck. For a wonderful gallery of such images please check the website )

State of Mind

Cacophony - a marvelous word!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


When we are sick we sometimes isolate ourselves from the world in a casing of salt water. Perhaps it is a return to the amniotic fluid of our prebirth: Freud's oceanic. Unfortunately it makes me feel seasick. (grin)

Saturday, August 05, 2006


(Image from Check out her paintings! They are wonderful)
I wonder why illnesses can't be fun. I mean, if you have to be comatose in bed or stuck in the loo for half the day, then why can't there be a relaxing, euphoric feeling associated with it instead of fevers, chills and headaches? I have no problems with symbiotic relationships, but I'm in favor of appeasement, mutual support pacts, tolerance! I'm going back to bed to try to negotiate with my virus - I know I'm not working from a position of strength, but maybe viruses need love and understanding as much as the next being. Maybe not, but for now I hear and obey! Back to bed!

Friday, August 04, 2006

City and Town

I mentioned before that I am staying in someone else's (very elegant) flat for a few months and with this transformation comes a transition from a rural location to living in the city. I find it fascinating that in places where there are an abundance of people that there is concomitantly such an ability to isolate oneself from others.

I was sitting on the upstairs balcony yesterday and listening as the streams of people conversed while walking by and it struck me that they walk around little knowing or caring who else is out there and might be listening. I've noticed this in busy underground trains or buses in larger metropolitan areas all over. One sits in the car and might as well be in a glass isolation booth no matter how many people are packed in around one. In Paris, London, New York, Rio De Janeiro, Sydney, Montreal (and on and on) people chat with their comrades, but scowl darkly when unaccompanied or look off in an indifferent fashion as if they were the sole occupant of the cabin. In Tokyo it is even more extreme. Even when crammed up against six or seven others, a subway rider seeems encased in his or her own plexiglass world.

Interestingly, it is just the opposite in the rural communities I've inhabited. There it is impossible to get away from one's neighbors, their prying eyes and sharpened ears. Everyone instinctually tunes in to the business of everyone else and even people who believe they have secured the utmost privacy; locked themselves away in the most inner chamber of their domiciles to act their private acts, become the avid topic of local conversations.

I will be giving nothing away to say, I love the isolation of the city. Nowhere else do I feel less alone in my isolation, because there are so many others out there being alone with me.

(I wanted to cite the artist of the book cover above, but have been unable to locate any information. The novel is by Greg Egan, a science fiction writer of dystopic visions).

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Heat is not a drag

"Heat is the enemy of drag."

Boy George

(Perhaps especially if you get arrested by them for Cocaine use?)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


“Desire links non-being to being.”

Riq Veda

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I'm sure I seem like a Kafka obsessed individual to those who read this blog, and it is funny because before undertaking to write it, I had not read him for years and rarely thought about him. Yet now I seem to be living his existence. I say this, because I had one of those days today. You know the kind comprised of solving endless, trivial, boring, intertwined, neurasthenic tangles. The kind of day during which you think these little things should take ten minutes to get ironed out and then one little snag leads to another and yet another and so now I find myself thinking about Kafka working meticulously in his bank and I understand perfectly why he came home late and wrote uncontrollably all night.

But in the long run I remind myself to keep a sense of humor:

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