Monday, December 29, 2008

Library Angels

As a lover of libraries, I found the internet an infinite amount of fun, because it allows the chasing of footnotes and cross-references (previously a leisurely activity, browsing and grazing) into quite a high speed sport. Well, sometimes. Occasionally I still slow down to book speed, carrying cross-references around in my head, or on a USB, or a little white library card...

And when you start hunting specific information it becomes quite a lot trickier, assessing sources.
In the Berlin Library - Wings of Desire - Wim Wenders
But still the library angels come to help (those pony-tailed people from Wings of Desire, leaning over the shoulders of the readers at the Berlin library) and in haphazard skimming I come across little gems. Don't ask me how I found this, I forget, but I have always liked Auden - a lucid poet.

The Labyrinth

Anthropos apteros for days
Walked whistling round and round the Maze,
Relying happily upon
His temperament for getting on.

The hundreth time he sighted, though,
A bush he left an hour ago,
He halted where four alleys crossed,
And recognized that he was lost.

"Where am I?" Metaphysics says
No question can be asked unless
It has an answer, so I can
Assume this maze has got a plan.

If theologians are correct,
A Plan implies an Architect:
A God-built maze would be, I'm sure,
The Universe in miniature.

Are data from the world of Sense,
In that case, valid evidence?
What in the universe I know
Can give directions how to go?

All Mathematics would suggest
A steady straight line as the best,
But left and right alternately
Is consonant with History.

Aesthetics, though, believes all Art
Intends to gratify the heart:
Rejecting disciplines like these,
Must I, then, go which way I please?

Such reasoning is only true
If we accept the classic view,
Which we have no right to assert,
According to the Introvert.

His absolute pre-supposition
Is - Man creates his own condition:
This maze was not divinely built,
But is secreted by my guilt.

The centre that I cannot find
Is known to my unconscious Mind;
I have no reason to despair
Because I am already there.

My problem is how not to will;
They move most quickly who stand still;
I'm only lost until I see
I'm lost because I want to be.

If this should fail, perhaps I should,
As certain educators would,
Content myself with the conclusion;
In theory there is no solution.

All statements about what I feel,
Like I-am-lost, are quite unreal:
My knowledge ends where it began;
A hedge is taller than a man."
W.H.Auden - image from poetry collection website
Anthropos apteros, perplexed
To know which turning to take next,
Looked up and wished he were a bird
To whom such doubts must seem absurd.

WH Auden

Auden at Poetry Connection

apteros = wingless

Saturday, December 20, 2008

NoFit State Circus in Mumbai

The circus is appearing at the Mood Indigo festival in Mumbai next week.

Article in The Times of India

NoFit State
In the coming year, you can catch them at The Roundhouse, London...

28 MARCH 2009 - 19 APRIL 2009

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I really got the Dark Day Blues

Hey ho - the solstice is on its way, and now I walk the dog every evening I will notice the lengthening days much quicker than the average city dweller.

I have so often been the 'bringer-down' or ghost at the feast at this time of year I almost have a role to play as Mr Bah Humbug.

I never have felt particularly against people having fun, but I do think we should attempt it every day of our lives, not just for some narrow season.

Still, everyone claims the excuse of illness these days, nothing is ever their own fault. There's a symptom, a syndrome, a genetic tendency, anything you like, but whatever you suffer from it's not your fault.

So I am going to finally suggest that I get ill and fatigued with S.A.D, and those factors make this time of year stressful for me, because of the 'busyness', socialization and all that.

My irritability and sneering don't arise from bad attitudes, I just feel a bit rundown.

The festival isn't lowbrow (although a house around the corner has a Nativity Scene complete with Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Santa and a Snowman); the shopping and sales aren't a frenzy of consumerism; the family get-togethers are not all miserable; the religion isn't all empty of genuine sympathy for homeless people (who only need a place at the inn) or the sixth of the planetary inhabitants who don't even have fresh water.

No, I am just under the weather. Nothing to worry about. It'll soon pass.

And I wish you all a very merry christmas time!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another one gone

Very sad to hear that Davey Graham has died.

Back when I worked at Les Cousins I saw all the guitar greats of my generation, a privilege I can't even explain.

I recently met someone who was equally into that generation of guitarists - and it reminded me of all those magic moments, hanging out with Roy Harper, John Martin, Bert Jansch, John Renbourne, and on and on - even though I wasn't a musician, just the tea boy.

Davy seemed like the grand master of the group, even though he never was as famous.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Hey, get some quality time online...

Click to go to current episode
Anyone (if such a person exists) who looks at this blog even erratically, will know about Bobby Campbell, an artist who I have collaborated with (remotely) for some time.

Mostly (mostly) I have done words and he has done images for short pieces, but he also scripts extended artwork for other people to draw.
What Bubba Had Did
So to sample that particular mixture, try the online graphix here @Gnosis where you can read a free comic adventure for the curious of mind (weekly, updated Sundays).

This - drawn by Marcelino Balao III, written by Bobby - a whole different graphic style and magical words, wonderful to behold.

Check it out. Stretch yer mind a little.

[Update 29th December: Bobby has begun contributing a regular-ish Thorsday posting at OM,Dreaming@Wake.

Worth visiting for the Toynbee Tiles alone!]

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