Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Consquences of Living Life the Wrong Way

On my way home this morning I feel enriched by the beautiful colours and sounds. The dancing chilly breeze, chirping birds, and rustling leaves join me on my dawn stroll. Shades and tones which reflect autumn cast their spell. The exhilarating experience invites me to slow down, relax, and reflect on the light and shade of nature.

I encounter people walking briskly with grim faces, obviously in disharmony with the natural environment, reality and reason. No time to breathe due to their rigorous lifestyle. While they may work extremely hard, have they forgotten how to live their own life? Their eyes are dulled by habit, and as a consequence everything looks bland. The essence of their lives is dictated by uniforms, words, gestures, orders, verbosity, vague promises and rewards, and rituals, which only serve to fill their minds with confusion, compliance, manipulation, stress and despair.

A friend of mine, Quentin Bogdanovich - who has just returned from searching for wood in a forest near our town, to no avail - approaches me. Quentin disguises himself as a famous fish restaurant and smells like a grilled perch. Unfortunately, a passion for yoga has left him permanently in the 'frontal split' position. He gets around by balancing on a 'Wilton Cake Turntable' pulled by his friend, Simone Elmocake. 'The sun is quite loud this morning,' he says to me gently, while spinning. 'Can you hear it? It is so far away, yet we take its brightness for granted. Its glorious, warm body gives off a wondrous sound. If only people would listen ...'

Reflections:  I am seduced by the sound and smell of the fire. As I watch the orange and yellow flames dance, and listen to the wood crackling, I realise Quentin has a valid point. Salvation may lie in the natural world. One can read too many books, watch too many films, talk too much about ideas, society, people, and fill one's head with nonsense.

Quentin's outlook on life is haunting in its simplicity. Simply discovering more about oneself, rather than searching the shadows and depths of the world, may bring one more comfort and insight, and closer to the warm light which is the soul.   

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Prefer the Sound of Laughter to Tears

I've just returned from a hot, humid and crowded Paris. After breakfast each morning Cecilia and I walked the beautiful streets and squares - some loud, some flowing with serenity - and we sat down when our bodies told us it was time. Usually it was in one of the wondrous gardens: Luxembourg or the Place des Vosges.

When we were hungry we stood on the sidewalk and looked at the tables where people were eating to see if the food suited our taste and pocket. We mainly drank white wine with our meals to match our light-heartiness. This usually enriched our conversations with residents or visitors who sat near our table. The girls were young, pretty and stylish and the women were attractive, tanned and walked in a relaxed, unworried manner to parade their pretty legs. Pleasure shone on their faces as if they alone had a secret they would not share with anyone. Paris filled my heart and mind with magic. A magic only Paris can summon while you reside in its bosom.

Two days ago I finished composing the closing movement of my "Concerto for Microwaveable Cauliflower Cheese." I used Swiss cheese hence the quaint gaps in the work. The premiere, held last night inside a constipated cactus bent over a deceased housekeeper, was a success. A success due to the absence of an audience or mice, and the sweeping power and delicacy of the microwave which breathed new sounds, new life into a nocturnal sky. The intimate novelty of hearing the work moved me more than I anticipated. Art should be fresh - esp. when food products are used - it should awaken the mind, the heart, the soul, and keep you in unstinting luxury until you are unmasked as a fake. 

Some days it is hard to think of a captivating title for a short story or a novel. I take the John Cage approach. The title of my next novel (also, my first novel) will be 72,846 - the exact number of words contained in the work. I'm presently working on  83,218 and only have 18 words to go. In fact, by the time you read this post I may have typed them. It is hard to gauge how long it will take when one is seized with the horrible fear of failure and internal tremors. I nearly forgot. The words in either novel are not in order, and require to be chanted by a yellow rubber duck inside a carafe of oakey and intense Tempranillo wine while slapping the last people on earth with a dead fish.

Reflections:  Neither the dark, the black streets, or windswept pigeon droppings, can conceal that a once sensual, glowing and moody face has descended to one that is sour, brooding and overweight. The face of my wife? my girlfriend? my dog?  No, mine.

Sometimes my new-old face is a blessing. I can now obtain a seat on public transport, a bicycle, a toilet, and be served drink and food promptly in a restaurant and sit with my 'one true friend' for companya manila folder. A manila folder that drinks too much, lies and tells stupid jokes in amusing voices. Unbelievably it is more interesting than most people I have met and pays its half of the restaurant bill. It knows when I do not want to talk and when I am deep in thought. It knows I prefer the sound of laughter to tears.