“It happened on a May morning — I have forgotten the year — but I can still point to the exact spot where it occurred, on a forest path on Martinsberg above Baden,” “As I strolled through the freshly greened woods filled with bird song and lit up by the morning sun, all at once everything appeared in an uncommonly clear light.
“It shone with the most beautiful radiance, speaking to the heart, as though it wanted to encompass me in its majesty. I was filled with an indescribable sensation of joy, oneness and blissful security.” he wrote in “LSD: My Problem Child.”
“I steal into their dreams,” he said. “I steal into their most shameful thoughts, I’m in every shiver, every spasm of their souls, I steal into their hearts, I scrutinize their most fundamental beliefs, I scan their irrational impulses, their unspeakable emotions, I sleep in their lungs during the summer and their muscles during the winter, and all of this I do without the least effort, without intending to, without asking or seeking it out, without constraints, driven only by love and devotion.”
The analogy with Pina Bausch performances and this quote from Bolaño comes perhaps from the darkness that usually accompanied Bolaño and the intensity and deepness of Pina’s work -which really impacted me when I saw it on stage, even for a few days after. The works produced by these artists are inexhaustible, both poetic, coming from a dream-like state, definitely like love letters to our generation.
“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things”
Not many times you read a book and you just don’t want to finish it. The book shows Miller’s soul, the funny and eloquent ways he expressed his views, the special people he met throughout his life in Big Sur and the genius he developed here as a writer, as a father and as a Human.
So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years-
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres–
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate – but there is no competition –
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
PLAY THE GAME.
Endanger your work even more.
Don’t be the top dog.
Seek out the face-off.
But be unmindful.
Have no thoughts in back of your head.
Keen nothing secret.
Be soft and strong.
Be sly, enter the fray but hate to win.
Don’t observe, don’t test, but be ready for signs.
Tremble, quake, shatter, heal.
Show your eyes, wave the others on into the depths,
care for spaces and behold each one in their own picture.
Act only with enthusiasm.
Fail with ease.
First of all, take time and the long way round.
Go on a holiday as it were.
Overhear no tree and no water.
Enter where it pleases your heart and treat yourself to the sun.
Forget your kinfolk, strengthen the strangers, spaces,
a hoot for the tragedy,
spit on misfortune,
laugh conflicts to smithereens.
MOVE IN YOUR OWN COLORS.
until you are in the right
and the leaves’ rustling turns sweet.
Walk about the villages.
I will follow you. –
from: “Passe par les villages”
Do you like to get intimate with fear ? Do you like to feel disappointed? Normally I would said no. I’d usually ran away from fear and I would hate to feel disappointed.
Within almost four decades I have had certain moments where pain, difficulty and misery have affected me somehow. After the death of my Father – and the process of his disease, a divorce, and other devastating events such as break- ups-, problems at work and other situations, that I sometimes used to call or see them as failures.
As many others, I’ve been running away from fear and from the fear of suffering. Instead, I had always put in place hope, to block the fear from coming. The thing is that fear and hope are actually two sides of the same coin. The hope we create in our minds is nothing but an illusion. An illusion like: “everything will be better”, “we will find the right person”, “we will get perfect job”, etc. For now I’d say: hope is not something we really need, because all we need is what we have NOW.
The only thing that really exists is the now. In the case of fear/pain, I had finally face it, recently. Even though I’ve always thought it was horrible, because suffering involves crying and pain for hours-days-months sometimes, those days when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep and on, but after all theres something I liked about it. When you finally face your fears and suffer, what you’re doing is that you’re opening your heart. You are growing stronger. It’s in the midst of troubled times when you see the light. Its one hard but meaningful moment of truth and awareness. “An illumination in the darkness of ignorance” says Pema. Here- when getting to know your fears and facing sadness and suffering- you are able to realize how much harm you have done to yourself…. and also the harm you have caused to others and from this stating point, a sense of forgiveness and of acceptance arrives. In the case of disappointment I will leave it all to Pema who wise fully says: “When there’s a disappointment, I don’t know if it’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure.”
Pema Chödrön, an American Buddhist Nun and meditation master of a Tibetan Buddhist Practice, wrote a book called “When Things Fall Apart”, a book that both me and my very good friend Efy are currently reading. Will be back with a lil more from it… ❤
“Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.”
The Tropic of Cancer, tropic referred to as the Northern tropic with the sun at its zenith, its an event that occurs once per year at the time of the June solstice. Regarding the second word, Cancer, the author explains the title of his novel: “It was because to me cancer symbolizes the disease of civilization, the endpoint of the wrong path, the necessity to change course radically, to start completely over from scratch.”
Published in Paris in 1934, this title can be read as a metaphor of the City. Indeed, the City is the main character of this extraordinary book I’m currently reading. The ironic relationship of Miller with Paris, a love/hate relationship, with a city that shines like the sun at its zenith, that promises the splendor to the young artist who enters it, but that reveals itself as a disease while the same artist actually begins to live in it.
This aforementioned quote I find brilliant, refers at some point to the huge scandal that this novel had because of its language and its approach to some taboos for that time, the 30′s, especially related to sex. Prohibited in USA and UK for three decades because of the confusion between ethics and aesthetics that seems to lead to its interpretation, the novel was considered immoral and obscene.
I feel now very fortunate to read one of the greatest modernist writings in the universal literature and as Annais Nin said in the Preface “a book that might restore our appetite for the fundamental realities”.