Archive for April, 2022

April 29, 2022

.la””; “”; “How Story
.la””; “”; “”; “ Of Jonah
.la””; “”; “”; “”; relates to idea
.la””; “”; “”; “”; of Amor
.la””; “”; “”; ” Fati”

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l eli k cl enfrentamientos armados

What was the name of the hundred-handed being in Greek myth?

April 28, 2022

What was the name of the hundred-handed being in Greek myth? It is literally A Hundred Hands, Hecatoncheires.  (Public Opinion was like this many handed mythic entity, was my thought at the time, but I couldn’t recall it’s name then, and now can’t recall why I thought Public Opinion was like this mythical being.)… Was I occurring, and what did it mean to occur? (Look up etymology occur. After further searching, turns out there were actually three Hecatoncheires).

Called the hill “tiredless” but what I’d meant was that hill never tires or wearies of resisting you.  The hill doesn’t give up one day and make itself easy to ascend like a person may give up one day and make himself neglect his ascent of it/ take the bus. (Though this misunderstands a lot I suppose. Hills fall and are worn away as a function of Nature, and people do or don’t climb hills by virtue of a sort of nature, — is among the things it misunderstands) (Alternatively: does one get up out of bed with the same power that the hill resists our ascending it? Is it gravity, viewed rightly, that makes us rise in the morning?)

Collapsing at hill top — “tired legs, the hard tiredless hill. The hill which does not feel fatigue or grow weary of resisting you,” was the phrase I’d ultimately written (phrase which itself clambered, tottered, breathed heavy, went half way). Head bent over my middle while I gasp — discovering at just this moment a new hole in my shorts. [I have since thrown away these blue bleach stained gym shorts with holes. This was after I was walking around in my neighborhood and a woman looked with surprise and censure at them, at which point I realized not that they were in no condition to be seen, which of course I knew, but that they could be seen at all, which I really hadn’t: did not realize as completely or acutely as a person should that one was in fact quite visible — that one was The Visible Man. And that one had, in consequence, to be somewhat sensitive to the plight of others experiencing this visible.]

“Shorts are to hill as hole is to gasp,” is thought, while I’m bent over at the hill top, noticing this hole. (Somehow the gasping inspired by climbing the hill is conceived of as a hole in the hill itself.) And that’s it. I was so tired and hot I thought I’d cool off by sitting on a searing hot iron bench in the sun, and after sitting their some while with flesh burning, sweat pouring down, I realized my discomfort had sharply increased and shuffled off elsewhere in search of relief.

how can a random person be asked “what is the meaning of life?”

April 28, 2022

What are we here for? What is the human race here for? had asked customer. Too broad and impractical a question, I responded. But now, by myself, what was the answer? What was the answer? To Glorify god? Live a just life? Embrace the random chance with which we’d been brought into being? Even if I rejected the question, it was in a sense incredible that I had no substantive answer. And yet how can a random person be asked “what is the meaning of life?”

Then later I’m walking home and I recall for the first time in a long time, twenty years, the anti-science films I was shown in an evangelical church when I was growing up. Evidence that dinosaurs were only five thousand years old, sort of stuff, was what they were showing and being shown in that church. Not surprising the distrust in science today.

What is the meaning of life is to seek out the meaning of life. What is it to be a human being; it is to know we are the most advanced form of life on this planet and so must nurture and shepherd all the other life forms. To be a human being is to be a voice for all the other life: to speak out and say we are this; we have won this, suffered this, encountered this, were wrong in this. That we seek to share these things and be not alone.

Doing whatever works and avoiding whatever doesn’t (though sometimes the bad is inextricable from the good)

April 27, 2022

Interesting discovery as I was tossing out old writing today, the original poem (one of my “Hart Crane imitations“) I wrote from which I drew the lyrics for Like a Wire. Or maybe it was not the original poem (it has choruses, which I would not put in a poem, and is a handwritten clean copy, which is strange) but a sort of mean between that poem and what eventually became the (much shorter) song lyrics.

(I had a very short song writing career, most of the fruits of which can only be heard by standing very close to me at random times.  This song Our Love is Like a Wire was one of my first mature efforts and made it onto record.)

This is perhaps what is generally referred to as navel gazing, but still, nothing matters, and it is interesting to reflect upon how you turn a piece of writing from something that doesn’t work into something that does; the difference between all you want to say and the little you in fact can; the difference between one of my Hart Crane imitations and Like a Wire.

Basically the process is — you’ve written a lot yet there’s nothing interesting in what you’ve written except for these words and that line —  so you cut out everything except those working elements, unite them, add nothing else, and that’s the song.

If it doesn’t exactly or explicitly make sense, well, that is first of all fine, because very many excellent songs either make no sense or are not appreciated for the sense they make, while a lot of perfectly comprehensible songs are thoroughly terrible; and second of all, the next song might be a better clarification of your meaning, if that should be important. Chief thing is — that you do whatever works and avoid whatever doesn’t.

Touting my own euphonium: I’m Small

I’m Small was an example of a song that really didn’t know what it was about until its last stanza, but I bluffed my way through the bad lyrics, instead of excising them, in the hope that the musical elements would carry the day, which I feel that they did. (Bad lyrics of course are different from lyrics that make no sense: bad lyrics are obscure or make bad sense. Obscurity is different from making no sense: obscurity is pretending to make a kind of sense. Sometimes the bad is inextricable from the good.)

The lyrics in the first half are really searching to bring meaning to the idea of being small — was this about arrested development, sexual organ self deprecation jokiness, “childhood”…?– but gets around to making a strong statement:  a person whose life is mainly behind him reflects on when his life had mainly not begun.

I really like the intimacy of this recording, I will tout — done on 16 track I didn’t know how to use, and with the assistance of Eleanor Underscore Reed’s sensitive euphonium accompaniment. Final Verse:

And all these days that I recall
They are shadows on the wall
Dusty ruins on the web
Soon to break and lose their thread
They are the tokens of the dead
And the sins that won’t have fled
They are the days that can’t be lived
They have fallen through the sieve
Once for all
But I was small.

 It was such a stupid thing to plan yet it did seem to be the case. 

April 25, 2022

Bilby was seated by the window, several feet distant from the group, who were seated in a group.

Davis had stood up, bent his elbow and sat.

Bret and Stephen crossed their legs; their gaze had fallen on the crown of Jeffer’s head. (They were seated.)

Jeffers had recently joined the group. Although he was thought by the others to be proud, Bilby had through various gestures managed to communicate that though he was proud one could also get on with him, as he said.

There remained the woman, or perhaps it was a man, with a long coat draped over his or her legs, a peacoat perhaps, sitting in the alcove. His or her face was directed away from them. She or he was perfectly motionless in the seat.

“I say,” said Davis finally, “I say there you in the alcove, who are you? will you stand up?” The figure remained silent. Davis bent both his elbows, Bilby raised up his arms, Davis mouthed, “Who is that?” at which point the figure stood.

“I will stand,” said the figure in the voice of a man. Many people thought he spoke in the voice of a man they knew by the name of Maxwell so that they said out loud or thought to themselves “Maxwell!” but it turned out to have been spoken in the voice of a man they knew by the name of Hercule, so that now they all said they didn’t know what to think.

And it was notable that on finding that the man’s voice was Hercule’s and not Maxwell’s that they did not affirm the voice was Hercule’s but would only deny it was Maxwell’s, as if the most important thing about Hercule was not that he was Hercule, and had Hercule’s voice, but that Hercule was not Maxwell, and had not his voice.

“Ah but –it’s Maxwell too!” a voice that again sounded like Maxwell’s suddenly said. And here indeed, Maxwell himself had just opened the door, –this at the very moment that Hercule had turned around,– so that everyone could see that both men were actually present. “So, it is Maxwell,” some of them said, while others had been made speechless.

It was as if this had been all planned out to the last detail months ago but no one doubted it was anything but spontaneous and no one pointed out that it was obvious that it must have been planned. It was such a stupid thing to plan yet it did seem to be the case. Hercule and Maxwell met each other in the center of the room and shook hands with wide smiles and bright shining eyes. Clapping each other gaily on the shoulder, they had a way of shaking, almost of shivering, whenever they met and touched.

April 25, 2022

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Purporting to propound (unless one can find something new)

April 23, 2022

Looked up Clark Gabel: last time I’d looked up Clark Gabel there was a story of him having killed a person while drunk driving, which I see no mention of now. From Ohio. (And Mogambo: yes, I’d seen Mogambo.) Looked up “molly-guard” — any relationship between that word and the word “molly measure”? (No: both were named after Mollies but they were different Mollies. The former was the toddler-child of an IBM researcher who kept disturbing sensitive equipment, the latter was a government employee during the Johnson Administration. Might have been coined in the same era though.) Looked at my internet history from the previous day: it had taken me longer than I’d thought to figure out roughly how many excess deaths there had been in the United States since April of 2020 and I had come across a community of single men distressed and even a little sad in the comments about the possibilities for manhood today. (He was a man, was what Gabel’s costars would say about him, according to wikipedia. “The manliest man I’ve ever known. He had balls.” Many marriages and affairs, served in the war, apparently Hitler had put a bounty on him.) Writing, I had wanted to use the word propound; it had certainly been some while since I had used it, but I had only just used the word purport and one could of course not purport to propound, which was nonsense. So I didn’t use the word propound though I had it in mind now to use it. (Looked up propound: which was “to put forward or propose” while to expound was more to explain or discuss.) Had randomly opened Gravity’s Rainbow to the song The Penis He Thought Was His Own and fell asleep in my bed to the first few pages of Ulysses — Dedalus had the Jesuit in him, according to Buck Mulligan, but “injected the wrong way.” Looked up Alaska Days with John Muir. Looked up Majuro, Banu, Knesset….

Way that this could end: it never ends. Like a Kafka parable, the first step of an infinite journey is itself infinite. As I breathe my last, the palace guard will close the shop door, then will appear the bulldozers. (“This shop had been opened only for me.” Therefore, I must really insist on more from myself, and do today what I imagine can occur only “someday.”)

Way that this could end: it never ends. Once the store ends some new version of it starts — gradually the outer reality conforming to my interior pattern — unless I can find something new in myself.

Nymph of the poor drainage area

April 21, 2022

Had this been a Greek myth, it would have been the magical voice of a stream I had heard, but since it was instead the suburbs, it was the magical voice of a poor drainage area, the sweet voice of the nymph who inhabits the distinctly soggy place, was what I’d encountered in my dream the previous night.

The sweet voice was exactly like dripping water –you would mistake it easily for dripping until you listened closely. The nymph thought she was alone and was speaking and singing to herself until I said some friendly words to her — which was the moment she realized someone was there and the moment I awoke. That’s how it had happened in my dream of this spot.

The wet patch just off Barton with the store in view: a large pool where the sidewalk was and the area around it too marshy to circumnavigate. “If I could only concentrate my thoughts on what I had seen in that dream I would use a better side of my mind,” I thought to myself that morning I’d had the dream, “if I could just recall the child’s voice, human but also a chorus of drips, a mystical true fairy’s voice but in my own mind, then my penchant to verbalize would be subdued, a sturdier more courageous person would emerge…”

This dream remained like an atom in my brain and perhaps Athena-like it could grow step forward, a better self. There existed definitely a firmer and clearer seeing person in myself, but I could only see it in dreams or other such conditions.

April 17, 2022

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April 16, 2022

If this article is any measure, it doesn’t sound like the U.S. military is taking the right message from the Moska’s sinking. The message being sent is, “the day of big ships is over.” The message being heard is, “the Russians had inadequate anti-missile defense and poorly trained sailors.”

April 15, 2022

Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves? (Tolstoy):

All human life, we may say, consists solely of these two activities:

bringing one’s activities into harmony with conscience, or
hiding from oneself the indications of conscience in order to be able to continue to live as before.

Some do the first, others the second.