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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2015

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

 

flavorwire.files.wordpress.com 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.

They want to inspire fear and helplessness

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art and design / culture / Islam / personal / philosophy / Psychology / Questions

And they are doing a pretty damn good job at it.

History is a subject that some follow while others could give a rat’s ass to know.

Whereas, now history lessons are brought into our living rooms. All the while we’re living out our quiet moments of our own home grown desperation, there has been those whose situations desperately outweigh our concerns.

To bring this home, Baraa Abdulrahman, an anti government activist in the Damascus suburb of Douma had a cage constructed like the one that the Jordain pilot was burned alive in by bearded numb-nuts proclaiming their idiocy.

www.nytimes.com 2015-2-20 10 59 31

“I’m very sorry to get to this point, to use the kids,” said Mr. Abdulrahman, who uses a nom de guerre for security reasons. “But this is the fact. Our kids are getting killed every day, every moment, getting under the wreckage.”

Yet images of mangled children no longer get traction, he said. “These sights, people now are used to them.”

The pathology of these extremist is not dissimilar from a diseased body. You hear those stories where people feel more alive since being diagnose with cancer, that before the cancer they felt more dead than alive. Also, as the disease becomes more pronounced the body kicks in to combat it very much like now there has developed a growing Islamic based opposition to stem this stank tide of terrorism.

 Within the body of Islam will come forth the antidote.

We Have to Come to Grips With this Problem of the Will to Power

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2015 / art and design / blogging / culture / essay / Islam / personal / philosophy / Questions / religion / war

Especially at a time when cruelty is a discipline acted out by those whom want to spit on our carcases.

They want to have their moment of glory even if it means showing a disdain for human life. But what it the cost of adopting such a point of view? For those whom have nothing have all the advantages simply because they have everything to gain. That is too simple. But one has to consider the every day plight of the average third world Muslim. Their lives are boxed in by poverty. Even when they do live outside of their birth lands and live within the confines of a western society again their lives are boxed in by poverty. That is too simple this idea of wanting to give reasons for what is happening.

We as a world-being are driven by ideology.

World dominance is a real life belief. As a child reading comic books, I felt it was pure fantasy that one person would strive to rule the world. But now as an adult, I see that art that had passed through my child hands was created out of the wake of Nations Waring for Wold Dominance. The warnings of one ideology ruling out the rights of the individual seemed to my adolescent mind too outlandish to even take serious. To read Animal Farm or 1984 was to read something not possible. At least, for my then naive thinking. But now I see that these books and such books as Lord of the Rings one ring to rule them all were written by men whom had seen first hand the atrocities beget by ideologies.

www.utsandiego.com 2015-2-19 11 11 59

 

The origins of al-Baghdadi’s ruthlessness supposedly lie in the bloodshed unleashed after the U.S. invasion to topple Saddam. Looking at the above picture of the American Outpost built to house prisoners united in their faith and you begin to think Orwellian thoughts. Their shoes scattered about them makes me think of the Holocaust pictures of the stacks of shoes of the murdered Jews put to death in the gas chambers.

Why can’t we just go into where they are and expunge them from the face of the earth?

We can’t because they are hidden within the context of Political discord, the vacuum created by the Syrian Civil War, a country divided now between only two choices: Radical Islam or Bashar al-Assad regime. A third party will have to come from an outside force, a force that will sweep into the heart of their madness.

That will have to come from a united front against these spawns of Saddam Husein. His former lynch men have consolidated around radical Islam.

 

 

This Will to Power that has Plagued Mankind since Nietzsche Placed his Hand to Pen

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2015 / Islam / personal / philosophy / Questions / religion

From an era now passed down into the annals of history, we read with wonder at the atrocities of man against man. And for a brief respite, we thought the worst of what man was capable was passed out of existence. That with the allied forces against Germany, mankind could remake itself into something other than monstrous. That the climate of violent death was reserved for history books. That man’s will to power and the millions of slaves to imperialism was brought to a close. That senseless, mindless destruction of human life had found a culmination point. That man had seen the worst. And from the ashes he looked out onto a brave new world.

But man has many faces, many points of view.

I am reminded that in my youth that the events of today were foreshadowed in the TV coverage in the 70’s on the world news tonight of rocks being thrown by Palestinian youths.

The have and the have nots.

I have been thrown into a state of confusion every since I did a web search days ago and found a web site that has an endless scrolling of beheaded bodies. It has tainted my every thought. I look at the paper and I read about normal every day things and I think our reality is not the reality of all people. That right now as we sit in the lap of luxury there are those whom fear for their lives.

And I am at a loss for grasping what needs to be done.

Even Gandhi condone violence against a stronger force. I will have to find where I read that. But it is there and it makes sense. Even now Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe  is pushing to rewrite their laws to allow for them to be factored into the growing opposition to those whom disdain human life in the name of Islam. Those whom wave a black flag. Those whom seem well fed with thighs fatted by the fruits of their madness.

Total eradication. It’s like if any American/European/Asian/Russian/Islamic Person Professing a View that is All Inclusive had the chance right now to put their hand to a button that would snap the fat neck of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would do it with out blinking an eye.

I have a confession, I think Islam is a beautiful faith and that even one day it could possibly move us forward. That the counterfoil to jihadist Islam is a more pure reading of The Koran.

 

Learning to write again for myself

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2015 / art and design

Pages have been written that I will not share.

So much of what we think and write is not worth the time spent on them but write and think we must to be free of these sort of thoughts. It’s hard to sit down and to write how you feel when how you feel is off-centered. I would rather be writing on a story but I lost the gumption that is required. This too may turn out to be something that just gets put away, stashed.

There is so much going on that needs thoughts, maybe more than thoughts maybe more towards action.

 

To get distance from any given thing offers in itself relief.

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2015 / art and design / blogging / culture / essay / Journaling / life styles / meditation / personal / philosophy

I have a tendency to revolve around certain actions.

Maybe we all do. For instance, I like to skateboard. That I do a lot. Just like some months ago, I had liked to drink alcohol. For the third time, I quit because it reached a point where once again it felt like I could not stop. It was no longer fun just to have a drink. Rather it was the point to drink. So many nights had I lay awake with the resolve not to drink only to drink the next morning. One event brought it to a head; it came by a revelation; better yet an observation of me in action. When drinking becomes a problem you want to enlist everyone to drink. Depending on the context, the results differ. The particular event that I spoke of was school related camp out. I found myself offering everyone a beer, as if that was the point of being out of doors; not the children but the opportunity to drink.

The next morning I knew too well this oddly familiar me and I did not like that person who wants everyone to be complicit with his drinking. And for the third time in my life, I quit. And each day thereafter became a countdown. I know too well the clinical studies that state it takes 14 days to break a habit, that is a behavioral habit. Drinking for me was only partly physiological. Sure my body loved to soak in the booze, but I have never been an alcoholic. I know too well their habits.

Myself, I would term a problem drinker. At best, a binge drinker who drinks regularly.

Strangely enough when we find separation from a controlling aspect of any given thing, we find resolve to tackle others things that may not sit well with us. For me that thing was blogging.

Blogging? Alcohol? Are the two related?

Yes, blogging has that quality that once you start it’s hard to stop. This is my fourth year. It has been just shy of a week since I have posted. Not just posted. But since I have even glimpsed my blog.

It became self-rewarding days into my blog fasting, that by not opening that page I felt freed.

Freed?

Yes, liberated if you will from a one sided relationship.

Onesided?

Yes, though people do like my post and on occasion make comments. The relationship is unrequited.

What did I expect? I will admit, my thoughts border on the grandiose but I thought I would be recognized as a writer. That it would be self-evident that I had talent. And because of this talent others would want to collaborate.

Not the case, far from it. Apart from bored house wives, there was really no traffic. Sure, there was nibblings, bites if you will but nothing meaty. No one to share ideas with.

So imagine this you write a post and post it; then you spend the next few hours looking to see how many likes you have chalked up for your efforts. Surely this time they will recognize my talents. But no such luck, just those same few that pop up to like you and then to fade just as quickly into the ethers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets at all for having been a blogger. Much like my drinking without which many different species of female would have gone uncourted. Without blogging, I would not have took up writing again. For that, I owe a lot.

WordPress offers a venue for any and sundry to poke around and to make jabs at the larger world connected by the web. It’s a social media, a place where we find other lonely people wanting to communicate with others. It some way it is fashioned after Facebook which has proving a good business model. It’s almost like there is a social media for every type of person: snapchat, pinterest, and the list is seemingly endless.

Social media is a tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks. That is well and fine, but these social medias can distract one from higher aspirations. Makes me think of a Richard Pryor skit where he expounds on being in the throes of cocaine, that at first it helped his love life and improved his performance at work. But latter he quits his girlfriend and calls his boss and tells him he has a new boss.

For me, I find it hard to write while looking for direct feedback. It’s like I would start a story and feel that is was good and going places and good enough to publish online. I could generally go for about six days tapping this new creative vein with some days writing two or three post ahead. But I finally reach a point where I realize what I wrote has garnered no real acclaim and for that reason I feel despondent. Even down right hateful to my inability to write, to continue to write. It just stops, the outpouring. I believe it has to do with not getting the rewards that I had expected. That I was writing less for me, then for those likes. And those likes were paltry compared to other bloggers.

As an aside, this piece may be my first piece that I really feel merits public acclaim. It speaks of my personal experience. But to go further, i feel I must think about an outline. Or in the least, think about what I am trying to say; what is my point. Is it so simple, that I want to be a writer and blogging seems to have gotten to a point that it hampers, distracts me from actually writing something that could be published.

A compulsion to look at my blog won’t leave me alone but with each day having not looked I find myself involved with other matters that pertain to writing. Maybe that is one aspect of defining a habit that controls you, that because of this control it leaves little room for you to do other things. It’s like putting all your eggs into one basket. To be truly free of any given habit, one must let go of its seemingly compelling necessity. What necessitates our existence is the need to grow, to expand. When we keep barking up the wrong tree, that tree continues being a tree while we just finally tire ourselves out.

This is what it gets down to writing. Nothing more, nothing less. It sustains me to know that i can think something, write something and by putting it down into words I can look at this something and decide if it meets my present standard as to who and what and how I think about the world.

It is quite exhilarating to be here now writing without recourse to pushing publish just to garner likes; only to find myself disappointed because the likes are so few. And no comments really that amount to any real exchange, just cordial words, back slapping.

I smile because I am writing. But for me writing is thinking. It offers feedback by allowing me to loop back upon what I have written to more closely examine the idea, the thought, the feeling; what have you: whatever I was trying to express.

What is the one thing we don’t know? Come on think about it. I have discovered most of what I know is limited to what I think I know about any given subject. But if i want to know more, than I must look how I feel about any given subject and write out these thoughts. Only then can I begin to describe my condition. It seems i have spent years wanting to write about what I felt would garner attention. Mainly stuff that involved violence and sex. Two subjects that have occupied a lot of air time in my life. But the in between time, I have left out, left it unexamined because of embarrassment.

Embarrassment? Yes, shame too. I am this but also I am that. We don’t know much about that. That which we are not we know too much. We tout this to be the all mighty truth. While inside we suffer.

Is it Ok, that I have lost my thread, my chain of thought? No worries, I will simply pick up the needle and rethread it with a new thought that I hope works within the confines of what my original intent to begin this piece was to make a declaration of disconnecting myself from blogging.

That it seemed analogous to having quit drinking, that by quitting drinking it gave me strength to quit blogging. Makes me think what else will I quit.

But maybe it would be better to speak about what I would like to begin. Often times when I do some design work, it starts with first clearing an area. Back to this idea of letting go of something that holds us in a place that may keep us from doing something that may have more meaning. What could possibly have more meaning than blogging? Writing towards being published not towards being liked. (As an aside while removing myself from the room to go take a piss, a thought presented it itself as a question: would I ever again open my blog again? The answer is no. i would just as well drink again than to blog again. I would compare blogging to my many years smoking and now my long held abstinence from marijuana. Drinking affects our emotions; marijuana our thoughts. Blogging messed with my heart much as if it were a woman. Reminds me in fact of a similarly episodic event in my life wherein I had to physically leave the presence of a woman because she could not make me feel comfortable with our relationship. What a minute: why is she responsible for your feeling comfortable? Granted, she should not be but that is the nature of relationships. If we stay it is because the other seems to have bought into our bullshit and ses beyond it.

This is where eding will have to come to the rescue. I am chronically off topic and lack insight as to how to stay tight to my point.

What is about blogging that has made me one to quit it? Maybe the answer is tied into that last sentence of Thoreau’s at the end of Walden’s Pond, that I am leaving for the same reason I came.

Maybe we quit things not because they are hurting us maybe just because they no longer give us what we need.

A woman who helps with my mother in the afternoon asked me: why do people drink? Is it because they are covering up some kind of pain.? What drives people to drinking?

People drink for many reasons and pain could be one of them. But what underlies this label pain? I think people start out drinking as merely something they see others do. Which has nothing to do with pain and more to do with conformity. For me at the age of 13, I took to the idea i wanted to smoke and to drink. I was big for my age, tall and gangly. And there was a lack of adult supervision in my life.

Drinking starts off as a social thing that becomes a habit that becomes an addiction. For every drinker there is a different story, but overtime their stories begin to merge. And what they tell concerns that downward spiral. Later, we like to think of reason why said person drinks. He lost his family, his home; everything he owned was taken from him.

It’s complex when you try to put your finger on what drives some people to drink.

Let’s try to make this more simple: what drove me to drink?

I liked the feeling of being able to lose myself in the bottle. You start off downing that first glass, the effect minimal. You follow with that second glass, the head feels it. By the third you have forgotten all else accept the bottle.

Romantically, we could at times drink to hide the pain and become drunk about something that we have lost. Say it be a girlfriend and the pain we might experience because of absence. Here is where habits start to creep in and we learn that when in crisis we drink. And we drink and drink until our life is in crisis. Drinkers are romantic souls lost inside a bottle.

What not drinking frees me up to do is to be at ease with the fabric of the day. The same feeling attends to me not waking up to check  like counts. This philosophy of letting go of anything that controls you stems from my earlier readings from Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations.

I keep flipping back to the idea of returning to my blog; I even entertained the idea that these latter writings would be my ending post. But at this point, it reminds of the gains one gets each day from those initial nearly impossible days that began one’s fasting from food. Day one gives impetus to day two without food, subsisting only on water. By the time you reach day 12, you don’t want to give up your gains. At least, not easily. You think, I’ve come too far.

A similar parallel notion is when one is on the road, when one has chosen to set out on a journey. Not just any sort of journey, but one wherein you believe that all that you leave behind is forever behind you. Your one concern becomes an awakening. We live our lives as a flower bud, tightly concealed from the elements. But take that bud on the road exposing it to all and sundry, rain, sun, wind and that longing that comes from seeing the road bend in such a way you feel compelled to see what it will bring. That bud will open up and flower. And you begin to count off the days that soon amass into months, months out there alone unto the world and if you ever for a moment touch down on upon the landscape called home, your trip will be immediately terminated, ended at that precise demarcation and if will seem as if you never left. The spell will have been broken.

Writing at random towards a preassigned spot, a place in your mind where you think something takes getting use to because it proves to be difficult not because of anyone reason but because of multiple reasons such as how to know what is proper as regards grammar and how to keep to a point without being misled by tangentially thoughts that seem just as important but may waylay your efforts leaving you where you started with something written again that is unreadable. But you set back and you write anyway with the idea that your thoughts seem to be lending themselves more to be wrote.
Writing only begins at the point where we stop being too concerned with how we write and instead we place emphasis on what we are writing about with the expressed intention to be clear, but clarity in itself must correspond with your inner guidance system. If you side with truth which seems relative to who you are and what choices you have made, then just maybe your point of view will be validated by others.

Ten Loon Redux

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Cinéma du corps/Cinema of the Body / cinema / cinema of the body / culture

Wearing work boots purchased at the at the farm co-op, other boys at school took to calling him cowboy. Long and lanky, with arms ribboned in hand scrawled ink, he walks behind the school. His hand trailing along the brick wall. His hand pulling from his shirt pocket a cigarette. His hand striking kitchen match to flame. One pull, one puff. Removing shirt at the sight of Eddy standing taller than the other boys. They see him walking at a pace that soon will have him atop Eddy. Within the time it would take to say hello, ten Loon begins the arc of drawing back and seeing at the moment that Eddy turns in deviant mode to meet him, he changes the course of his balled up fist and impact’s Eddy’s lower jaw with an upper cut that sends the now dead-weighted boy reeling backwards. With a resounding thud the ground meets his head. The boy makes no attempt to rise. The other boys have now formed a ring around the two boys. Standing over Eddy, ten Loon is amazed with when the boy shoots up out of his possuming and lunges at ten Loon now sending him backwards . All the while flailing at Eddy with clutched fist. No school administrator to break up this fight. These two are left to fight it out. Put the boot to him. Don’t make him mad; make him glad to be living after you put the boot to him. These words as oft spoken by his uncle now fuel his flagging resolve. Turn the table on this boy. Make him glad to be living. If not he will come back. Got to beat him within a square inch of living. Tasting blood and bone, ten Loon spits. The other boy is standing over him with fist raised. Ten Loons boot makes an upward thrust, catching Eddy in the ball sack region. Sending him, toppling him over onto his back. Eddy turns over to crawl away and  with this added advantage, him prostrated as if praying, ten Loon puts the boot to him. Begins kicking him and kicking him. Head to toe. Toe to head. All Eddy can do is try to crawl into a ball. With his hands wrapped around his head and his knees drawn into his stomach. Looking fetal. The others boy now start pulling on ten Loon to stop. Spittle is admixed with cursing god damn you let go of my arm. Soon all the boys are atop ten Loon desiring so to quell his rage. Laying in his filth and blood, Eddy is moaning.