The thought of being without talent is not enough to staunch my resolve to write

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2015 / Aesthetics

Maybe it’s not that I lack talent, but stamina, that capacity to sustain a thought. But more to the point, would be my gross inability to recall words that would abet my writing. Or better yet, the great divide between what I am capable of repeating back and what just wont adhere to my working brain.

We stand at a point seemingly far removed from where we want to be. And we run in place thinking we are making gains.

Life is episodic. We are held by a tenuous thread that pulls us out bed each morning. Some are guided by a thought to remove themselves from the world; while others are motivated to hurt people. Then there are those who run in place, not getting anywhere. They are looking for a hand out: brother can you spare a dime? Sister can you take a knee?

How can we live our lives of quiet desperation while others are playing havoc with the world?

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art and design / Islam / pantheism / personal / philosophy / prayer / Psychology / Questions / religion / self-help / war

It’s the strangest thing to read about the advent of a war between citizens of the same religion. Why is that strange? Maybe better put would be it’s incomprehensible to think that people as a body polity still want to actualize themselves through the malingering and killing of the other. Where are the higher aspirations? Where are the love children of the sixties? Are such lofty ideas of peace and hope, love and joy just that: lofty ideas?

There are those whom stare at death with passionate attention.

What are we to do to make it otherwise?

This all reeks of the Vietnam War era, a clash of values, a melding of ideas that brings harm to those that think differently. While all anyone wants is the right to manifest their destiny, no?

We in the West, so accustomed to having it all are squeamish when it comes to dying. We don’t have the stomach for it.

It gives us indigestion, an unpleasant feeling that lingers.

The victims were not identified but were in their 20s, witnesses said. The woman was described as being married. It was not known whether they had been given a trial, but none was held in public.

Twelve ISIS militants were standing there who had bags with them filled with stones, and they began throwing the stones at them, and after the third stone the woman was killed.

Where is the wisdom of he whom is without sin cast the first stone?

 IMG_4372Annihilation of the abomination.

While others go in circles

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art and design

I collapse unto a ball and roll away. Incoherent thoughts shall begin this discourse because if I don’t begin it now it will be days away and it frightens me to think that I cannot coalesce my thoughts into something coherently readable.

Before slipping off into the nether reaches of sleep last night it occurred to me that I am a compulsive reader. Someone whom is orally fixated on the printed word.

I just pushed published and now I can relax and write. It is happening, the act itself is liberating. Much like oral sex, the preamble to bigger things while we oscillate for days upon multiple subjects.

Point in fact is that I am never far from a book. Not all books can sustain my attention. In some way it may also reflect my taste in women. Though I am in a relationship, it seems I still see value in other women. Are some men predestined for polygamy? Or are they just pigs by nature? Or are my reading habits more indicative of my inability to stay focused on one thing for long. In some way, reading works as a ballast by keeping me upright.

In not equal parts, I read for information, inspiration and for a synaptic high. Also, I see reading as a mini tutorial on how to write, how to think, how to be. And hand to mouth, I read continuously.

You know too well my present fetish Murakami though that has waned since finishing Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, still in the wings is a nearly read after dark and 1Q84 which is a tome of a book. But what derailed me was acquiring A Confederacy of Dunces which had me bustling with laughter from the start and then to read that writer had committed suicide 11 years before it was published and that what i was reading was literature, reminding me what I was reading was not. Not that Murakami is so bad a writer, style is hard to press through translation. But some writers just have that literary flair, that knack for telling a story that seems to include the full sweep of humanity. And I feel Murakami is just  a tad short to be considered literature. I know this because I find myself skipping ahead whereas with literature you want to imbibe it like scotch. Leave it long enough in your mouth so as to quicken its entry  into your blood stream.

Reading has various hand holts on me. Some pertain to the arts. Especially those concerning Michelangelo whom has a broad reach on my esthetic underpinning. Everything is via everything. Especially those things that connect reoccurring patterns. In some sense, I have concluded my study of Michelangelo. I can only stare at his architectural works and ponder for so long, or read about him or about his works but a greater thing has occurred that is perhaps more significant. I have discovered Francesco Borromini whom shares a similar fate to Brahmans. Both men were guided by their love of another man’s work. As was Brahmans to Beethoven; Borromini to Michelangelo.

I had not found the spice to spike my curiosity concerning the Baroque. I could not find access, there seem to be no discerning point. Sure my eye was entertained but my soul was left wanting. That is until I read a New York Times movie review of Eugene Green’s La Sapienza. And had to do an image search to see what this Borromini was about which lead me to the library where I found a dated book by Anthony Blunt who ties  Borromini into Michelangelo and now I am hooked. Distracted if you will away from other reading matters.

Reading Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki would just go living his colorless life

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2015 / Aesthetics / art and design / novels / writing

Having to find where I left off when I put the book down but first having to find the book from where I had laid it has me thinking over what it means when one reads three novels in tandem. What it brings home is a sense of discernment, especially when the three novels each have their own style. Also their structures are distinct. For example, Colorless Tsukuru is limited to his finite story. Everything relates to his pilgrimage out of his pain of having been rejected by four people whom were close to him. While 1Q84 has multiple points of view, plots within plots; am not even sure if these layered plots are subplots of a larger plot. But distinctly there are two main protagonist, one male and the other female; the chapters alternate between the two. Which leaves us now to After Dark which has two main protagonists, this time they are sisters.

What all three share mostly is that a mystery underlies the telling of their story. What keeps me riveted to his printed words are his mundane observations and his ability to craft sentences that segue perfectly into mental images.

We read with him as he punches out sentences that give visual cues as to what people are wearing as we encounter these people and I begin to think that what people wear has never concerned me. I tend to be looking at their faces and maybe briefly look at their clothes but I want to attempt now to be more observant, but not just observant of peoples clothes but of applying myself to describing what people are wearing. For instances, I am sitting in my boxer shorts and am bare chested and I am without shoes and besides me is a lamp that lights up my key board better for me to see to write by.

Haruki Murakami has me believing once again that there is the possibility to grow as a writer. I feel as these last few post have been informed by Murakami’s style of writing. That is my nature, to ape what I see or feel that brings new life to me. Writers have to learn to trust that the act of writing is intimate. Writing is a shared intimacy between the reader and the writer. The reader leans into the writer and the writer feels her breathing.

If I had to peg him as a writer, I would type his fiction as pop as in Warhol tapped into a similar vein.

But just as well, his novel 1Q84 is philosophical in that he ponders and waxes on this idea of people involved in cults. I think if I were to read some of his nonfiction essays, I would have a more complete picture of his thinking. I think he has thought about issues present to Japan and has begun writing from a place where he wanted to find answers but also, he seems to want to have the upper hand; in that he sense that there are injustices in the world but he creates characters that can have battle against such injustices.

After Dark

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art and design / culture / personal / review / writing

Haruki Murakami’s eleventh novel that coincidentally preceded the writing of 1Q84- his twelfth novel and his last novel-  Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. I say it coincidental because I had not planed on that the particular order of beginning my first readings of his novels would by happenstance be his last three novels. And it was only by a strange turn of events that lead to this ordering. Having first picked up on the idea of reading Murakami was through a book review by Patti Smith reviewing Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. Then by chance first finding at my finger tips 1Q84 and feeling an adjudicative thrill at discovering what the title indicated, that one of the main characters had lost contact with a portion of time and thus referred to 1984 with the Q as to indicate a question. As I question the year 84. Which goes back to my youth having read 1984 and thinking that there has to be layered complexity within this novel. Made me that much more want to read Murakami. But while reading it, my daughter became curious and I just handed over the novel to her because that’s the way I am with my children, overly generous especially if it relates to cultural artifacts. Having just read only a third of the novel, I hankered for more Murakami. Back downtown, back to the book store back to the M-section where by chance was an avian, Asian woman. Wanting to give her space because she had occupied the M-section first but also wanting to merely peruse the same space, so I mosied along the books and shyly asked if Murakami was about here and she said yes and we struck up a conversation around a Paris Review interview of Murakami. We each struck salient high notes from the interview and we each also were curious about the Japanese writer whom shared his name: Ryū Murakami, whom wrote Almost transparent Blue. Of all the books before us that laid in a row, I asked her which she recommended and she squatted down beside me quiet casually and I was taken in by her close proximity and less about what was at hand and more about the straightness of her hair and the fact that she was wearing a blue denim skirt. With short fingers she picked through the books and matter of factly handed me After Dark. I read this in one setting, she said. Once again, I found myself reading Murakami. Though After Dark was more a novelette, way smaller in stature compared to the heavy tome of 1Q84 and remarkably wrote way lighter, with more metaphorical turns of senescence and less objectivity. Also, there was this subplot that was supernatural. Metaphysics comes to mind. He makes us sheer point of view, bringing home how we cannot change things that are occurring in the novel. There is a lot I don’t understand simply owing to the fact I have not finished the novel. This happened because while at the library waiting to check out, I eyed in the large print section: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. That novel is now nearly consumed and co-occurring with that novel, I have regained 1Q84 from daughter whom has put it down and has instead pick up Joyce’s Ulysses. Which I commend, but told her she would be better served to start with his Portrait of an Artist a Young Man. Ulysses’s an required taste that would come by appreciating his early style. She has since put it down and has begun Atlas Shrug. The fickleness of youth. It reminds me of my own former literary reading ambitions. She’s always has impressed me with her desire to read and her capacity to sit through a novel. Though I have the book in hand 1Q84, I have left off making it my primary Murakami. That could be because library books have have a shelf-life, a time limit and Colorless Tsukuru is thick and it is lighter and more…

Haruki Murakami

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2015 / Aesthetics / books / philosophy / photography / writing

Even now some months into reading three of his novels simultaneously, I have to make a conscious effort to apply myself to learning by rote his name. It falls away as soon as I say it. My mind is that way, if I want something to be remembered I have to make a conscious effort to remember it. Learning for me maybe twice as hard as it might be for someone else. It took me the longest time to be able to say back Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky. But now recall is instantaneous. But is was gained by rote learning. Also, when one reads 600 odd pages of novels, by the time one finishes them one becomes in earnest as to how to say the name of the novelist. That only applies to literature, only the classics do I remember author names and book titles. Those books that were the hardest to read stay with me the longest.

Haruki Murakami is one of those writers whom I have been wanting to read. His book titles pop up often in the New York Times book review section. Then came a chance find at my local used book store; it was his novel 1Q84.

I began this novel and was immediately pulled in but by chance one of my children wanted to read it so I handed it over without a second thought though I was a little disarmed by the sexual content but thought maybe it was OK.

Wanting to continue reading Murakami, I went back to the book store and found another woman standing in front of the M’s and we had a chance encounter discussion about Murakami. I asked her which book would she recommend from the books that were on the shelves. There were only about six of his novels all of which were not familiar to me. We were close enough that I could hear her breathing as she took from the books After Dark.

I read this in one setting.

I thank her for her recommendation and we departed company.

But when I returned home to read, it seemed our shared intimacy was immediately felt upon my starting to read After Dark. In between the lines, I replayed our exchange and thought about her ethnicity. She could have easily been Japanese.

After Dark is still not completely read some months later because by chance at the library I came across his Murakami’s novel Colorless Tusukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgrimage.

Which all along has been the one novel that I had most sought because of New York Times book review by Patti Smith, the punk poet laureate.

Where it stands now, I have not finished either three novels but am stuck within each and each is so differently written though each share common themes. It now seems that they are one novel.


Cold and rain make for nostalgia

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Days now it has been warm enough to leave off building a fire. And as I step out the back door to gather kindling wood a feeling came over me that everything was just so beautiful. And I wanted to write what I saw at that moment. The retaining wall acting as a fence keeping the prying eyes of my neighbor boxed in with an arbor in slow decay. And the drip drip of rain. Parts of me would like to stand forever staring at objects amid the plant life. A new object found, a red plush couch removed of legs. When I saw it I like what it made me feel.

Strangely, it was beautiful sitting on the side of the road out front on a mobile home. I passed it and had to stop. At first, it was enough just to look at it. Then I had to take a closer look. Then I had to see if I could lift it by myself. Then if it would fit.

Now it is my back yard clearly visible from a large bay window. It comforts me while my woman says that thing is not coming in this house. It don’t need to. It provides simply by being representative of plush existence. It possess a quality that I would like to invite into my life, a certain bourgeois decadence no longer sought after. I want more pretty things in my life. I like to be beguiled by objects.

Not sure what i will do with this couch. I don’t see parting with it no time soon. Right now the rain is pelting it. I think I might secure it to a oak tree that is nearly centered with the bay window. That way I can cop a look when I look out to see the greening of the green stuff that grows about and the squirrels and the birds and the cats.


Anticipatory Acts Accorded to Writers

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2015 2015-2-22 10 32 16

Are slated by a need to first write. Writing in itself is exciting. The idea rides inside of you till you park it. In between times are wasted moments. The void must be lived in-order to one day write. First we do nothing, from this lost of time we gain a renewed sense of a hunger to sit down and to write.

It’s like I am riding the fence. On both sides of me are what has to be look at. The house needs my attention. My body longs after yoga and mediation. Plus, I need to shave.