Saturday, 30 January 2010

To the New Moon, On a Night of the Full Moon

I used to welcome you as my true friend -
  A toenail waving in the evening sky:
     You'd put the zing back in my run-down volts,
     But now your merciless appeal jolts
       My soul's unkempt exhaustion. Your command
Pricks sore; your charms I reprehend:
   I curse for peace as round your track you fly,
     Once more, my shaking service to demand.
Such is my plea, that in this monthly trend,
   That I, at peace, my conscience freshly preened,
     Does not deserve the mud in your white hand,
     Nor taste of your addictive contraband.
       I speak quite nervous of your reprimand:
  Be merciful; don't play the spiteful fiend.

(two weeks ago - or a year and two weeks ago - damn it I can't remember!!!!!)

Friday, 29 January 2010

Proverbs of Hell

What with having felt somewhat crumbly over the last couple of weeks, I dug out some Blake. Strange chap. I used to have his complete works, but a bore inveigled his way onto the boat we were living on and in the end I gave him the book to get rid of him.

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.
Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.
The cut worm forgives the plow.
Dip him in the river who loves water.

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.
Eternity is in love with the productions of time.
The busy bee has no time for sorrow.
The hours of folly are measur'd by the clock, but of wisdom: no clock can measure.

All wholsom food is caught without a net or a trap.
Bring out number weight & measure in a year of dearth.
No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.
A dead body, revenges not injuries.
The most sublime act is to set another before you.
If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.
Folly is the cloke of knavery.
Shame is Prides cloke.

Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion.
The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.
The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.
The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.
The nakedness of woman is the work of God.
Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.
The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man.
The fox condemns the trap, not himself.
Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth.
Let man wear the fell of the lion, woman the fleece of the sheep.
The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
The selfish smiling fool, & the sullen frowning fool, shall be both thought wise, that they may be a rod.
What is now proved was once, only imagin'd.
The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbit: watch the roots; the lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant, watch the fruits.
The cistern contains; the fountain overflows.
One thought, fills immensity.
Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.
Every thing possible to be believ'd is an image of truth.
The eagle never lost so much time, as when he submitted to learn of the crow.

The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.
Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
He who has suffer'd you to impose on him knows you.
As the plow follows words, so God rewards prayers.
The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
Expect poison from the standing water.
You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.
Listen to the fools reproach! it is a kingly title!
The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.
The weak in courage is strong in cunning.
The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.
The thankful reciever bears a plentiful harvest.
If others had not been foolish, we should be so.
The soul of sweet delight, can never be defil'd.
When thou seest an Eagle, thou seest a portion of Genius, lift up thy head!
As the catterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.
To create a little flower is the labour of ages.
Damn, braces: Bless relaxes.
The best wine is the oldest, the best water the newest.
Prayers plow not! Praises reap not!
Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not!

The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands & feet Proportion.
As the air to a bird of the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.
The crow wish'd every thing was black, the owl, that every thing was white.
Exuberance is Beauty.
If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning.
Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.
Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.
Where man is not nature is barren.
Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believ'd.
Enough! or Too much!


Right. Bathtime Friday. Keep safe all.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Simply Brilliant

Mania and the Risk of Power - riveting stuff, and absolutely fascinating. I urge you to read it in the strongest possible terms.

http://www.windhorseguild.org/pdf/jcp/vol_4/Mania%20and%20the%20Risk%20of%20Power,%20Vol%204.pdf

Keats: Melancholy.

Some Keats. I haven't read this for a few years. Or months. Or something.

Ode on Melancholy

NO, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kist
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globèd peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

Pretentious Claptrap

http://alcockart.blogspot.com/2010/01/personal-philosophy-of-pinhole.html

The pinhole is remorseless, a fixed view, focused equally on near and far, denying salience to the subject, or putting the subject in its lack-of-place with Nietzschean enthusiasm.

However, this decentralising of the subject is not its true virtue. What pinhole photography does best is to show us Time and Insignificance in the visual context.

People fall apart, despite their hardest effort. A tree shows us its constant vibration. Grass becomes water.

Pinhole photography is the supreme visual medium of flux; of the chaotic god's-eye-view of the world (all our gods have been chaotic over the last hundred years and more).

It is an unparalleled act of reduction, and perhaps an honest and much needed viewpoint. Man is made little in space, time, and importance.

To that end, I feel personally that the best pinhole photographs are the ones where the people in them aren't. Or if they leave traces, it's like a ripple on water, or smoke in the breeze.

10x8pinhole07

10x8pinhole06


If you want to comment, please do it on the other blog! and then let off steam here. Dx

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Why Do Mad People Like To Get Naked?

I've tried googling. Everything is from the Outside looking at the Pickled Toad. The connection between madness and nakedness is taken for granted. But no-one seems to have ever asked "Why?"

The simple answer is that it makes one feel better, of course. But still, why?

The casting off of complications, becoming a baby, a forked animal, a simple being unencumbered symbolically as well as physically... Or perhaps a statement to society - a cry for help, a definitive burning of the brogues or boats or scuds or pants.

I might try to write an essay on this, since no-one appears to have done so (as far as google and Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy and a few more texts etc have served me fruitlessly).

Any suggestions, personal reminiscences, or off-the-wall theories welcome.

Take care all, I'll leave you with the last snow picture of badness. Dx

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Waiting Room

I'm in the waiting room. I don't know where I'm going. Up, down or sideways. All I know is change is on the cards. This winter so far I've been doing a good job of making sure things don't build up. Usually I'll be crashed in February and March. I want to try not to.

K has had all her tests. Now we wait for the pleasure of the consultant to look at them and deign to inform her what he thinks the problem might be. How many days, weeks or months that will take, who knows.

It is very good, I suppose, that I live somewhere where it is pretty difficult to scare the horses. Well, I might scare the horses, but horses don't use telephones. But at the precise moment I wish I was in the middle of a city.

Lots of you have been having a shitty time. I'm sending you all my love and solidarity.

I want to type a word that doesn't exist, something like: eeeighghhgheiighqarerihdfdhgh!!!

There. That didn't help did it?

I'm going to go upstairs and carry on reading Augustus John's autobiography. He does a nice line in very polite scathing vitriol.

Take care all. We'll all come through. And keep coming through.

Dxxx

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Morons!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/jan/19/british-men-ancient-farmers

I'll quote two and a bit paragraphs:

Most men in Britain are descended from the first farmers to migrate across Europe from the Near East 10,000 years ago, scientists say.


and

Genetic tests on women showed that most are descendants of hunter-gatherer females. "To us, this suggests a reproductive advantage for farming males over indigenous hunter-gatherer males during the switch from hunting and gathering to farming," said Patricia Balaresque, a co-author of the study.

"Maybe back then, it was just sexier to be a farmer."


Try this thought-experiment: take a brother and sister. The brother is going to be descended from fertile crescent farmers. The sister is going to be descended from indigenous hunter-gatherers. I just want to know where the parents were screwing around...

Bloody cheap science-writing, and crap sub-editing.

Just had to get that off my chest.

----

Here are the wiki entries for Y-chromosomal Adam (Y-MRCA) and Mitochondrial Eve. As for me, I should go to bed, and not delve into gauche explanations.

Suffice to say, the XX chromozone CAN'T tell us about male ancestors of women. The article conflates what we can know about men and women and their separate ancestries and what we can't know. All the 'don't know' stuff is passed over in silence. It's just poor bloody writing that will only confuse the lay-reader.

Take care all. Dx

Monday, 18 January 2010

Ticktockticktock

Thanks for the kind words on the last. The state still stands, except I forced myself to concentrate and work work work and has bumped me out into a state of alternating focus and unreality. Which averaged out over a day feels fine in retrospect. Not so good minute per minute, but I'm not complaining.

Last night I slept for eight hours in two four hour blocks. Bliss.

I always crash in February. I don't want to again. Maybe if I can force myself on (and yawn yes the yoga is helping) I won't go screaming back up in April as per usual.

When one recognises a syndrome in oneself, and one doesn't necessarily like it, then try to change it. That's my motto. Who knows? We'll see.

Unrelated, apart from yoga. Have some man-candy:



Take care all, Dx

Friday, 15 January 2010

The Hollow Eternal Tock Follows Tickticktickticktick

I am writing because my brain and heart feel strangely as if they have vanished. I feel a need to put words onto paper - considered, clear, warm words - in an effort to prove to myself that my brain and my emotional warmth have not vanished.

I suppose I should have seen it coming. A couple of months of rushing about, productivity, new plans, ideas a plenty, culminating in behaviour that while it can be cannily justified as 'art', is in reality little more than finding high-falutin excuses to lie in the snow in case I spontaneously combust.

And at some point - yesterday? - the day before? - my memory feels erased - something pulled the plug. All that is left is a sense of extreme disinterest in all the things around me, all the plans I was executing. Disinterest, and a horrible generalised irritation at the universe and everything in it.

I have been trying to keep myself contained and unobtrusive. But it doesn't work in an emotional household like mine. Any change in behaviour sets off responsive behaviours, and sooner or later sparks fly - be they intentional sparks meant to strike fire into the sudden cold ashes - or unintentional sparks of anger at my all-too-predictable inconsistency.

So - I feel thoroughly out of sorts. (Such a comforting phrase, 'out of sorts'.) I feel completely unreal in an unreal world. I've been here before - it doesn't frighten me, although it irritates the hell out of me. Perhaps that is the cause of my unfocused irritation?

It will pass. I hope it passes without causing too much offence.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Naughty Snow Bath

10x8pinhole04

I should just say go and read the comments.

But just have to say - I had to lie very still for 2 1/2 minutes. I found that quite trying. Managed it, but only just.

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Americanization of Mental Illness

Absolutely fascinating.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine/10psyche-t.html?pagewanted=1&hpw

Via Gianna.

Bags of Slop

All we are are bags of slop. But to our own species, we are beautiful. I doubt a fox, or a wolf would ever see us as beautiful. Remember your beauty, O homo sapiens, and whatever the female version of that term is or should be.

I'm lucky. I see beauty in grandmothers, grandfathers, all through the whole gamut of the type right down to the babe.

Beauty beauty beauty. The only time we see ugliness is when we haven't opened our eyes to the beauty that is there.

It's like a yoga stretch. You can't do it. You can't see it. Then the hips go urgh and the eyes go BING! and there it is.

There is NO POINT TO LIFE. That cannot be stressed strongly enough. The thing is to accept that and make the FUCKING BEST OF WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN which is, of course, life.

Lust, love, adore, worship.

Do the fiery positive things.

Wait til the grave for the negative.

This is probably my last word on mental health on this blog. (Auditorium rises to feet and applauds while cat-calls ring from the roof).

But it's true.

A year ago, a year nearer to when I was diagnosed, I ran over frosty fields, feeling that I was mad (oh, I had no clothes on of course).

This year, well, last night, I did it again in the six inch snow, and didn't feel I was mad.

Now, does that make me more mad now, or more sane now? Answers on a postcard.

Look at the stars. Look at the universe. Get over yourselves. That's what I did a long time ago. I'm utterly insignificant. I know that and have known that for at least 30 years. It helps. I promise. Of course, you have to work out for yourselves how to survive when you know you are almost ALMOST (bigger bigger) AALLMMOOSSTT nothing. That's a personal thing. But the root of it is the recognition that this is all you get. So make the bloody most of it.

I sound like an old fart. So I'll stop.

All of yis, take care, Dx

Saturday, 9 January 2010

To Roll Or Not To Roll...

Is taking a snow-bath at 3.15 mad? I don't think so. Is doing yoga mad? Putting your body into poses where your joints go eventually cxxxcrxxx? I don't think so. Rock climbing? I don't think so. Sky diving? I don't think so. Base jumping - they're fucking nutters. Hmmm. I just had a lovely roll in the snow. And now I feel warm again*. The funny thing is, that a welsh llyn in summer feels colder. (Scientific explanation - it takes a minute for the snow to start melting on you and conducting heat away fast - water does it quicker).

But why o why is it a turn-on? If I could get to the bottom of that, I'd be beginning to understand myself.

Night and take care all! :-)

* thanks LorWKate for reminding me of the joys of cold tonight.