Man alive! Even an exceptionally large bowl of porridge (though desirable in its own right) might not boost my mind enough for an adequate response to such gushes of thought. So an inadequate one it is. I also only just read your newest entry (!!), so, as usual, there won’t be much coherence.
Life is suffering – isn’t that what the Buddha said? I read some of B. Gunaratana’s “Mindfulness” recently, and Iyangar’s thoughts on pain sound quite familiar. We shouldn’t pretend something is different from what it is just because we don’t like the looks of it at first sight, but learn to observe what we dislike, or something along the lines. This goes for a headache as much as for the state of humanity (whatever that is). It sounds like autosuggestion is the way forward for office workers in little boxes only. I have a long way to go, but Thoreau knew what he was talking about when he demands “rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” (read Walden last month, and F was right, it’s the kind of poetry you could wallpaper your house with). People disregard truth with a passion though; it’s like a nervous fear of pain sometimes causes the complete combustion of all links between reality, the brain and sensory receptors. Our seals appointee told us that he once saw a group of people forming a panicking circle around a baby seal lying on the beach. “What are you doing? Please keep a distance of at least 300m.” – “But it’s trying to get into the water! We can’t let that happen, it’ll drown!” We simply love obstacles, as you’d noticed outside the Peace Museum in Vienna, and as it says in the songs – “put up your barricades, there’s money to be made”, or “there was a high wall there that tried to stop me, a sign was painted, said Private Property…”. I’ve interpreted way too much into this, but it’s an exceptional story of the twisted human psyche regardless. Thankfully there’s no failure in meditation, or no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all.
I bought my train tickets to Hamburg (less than 2 weeks to go!), just before realising, as you will not be surprised to hear, that my German rail card expired last month. So back to the railway station I go, where they tell me to get a jar of Nutella in the shop. Turns out the people of the celebrated, well-beloved poo-poo brown paste of sugar and industrial waste (of course I’m just kidding, and well know that “the popular hazelnut spread is created with a precise blend of a few simple ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, low fat cocoa, skimmed milk powder, whey powder, lecithin emulsifier (soya) and vanillin”) are running some sales campaign where you get a free one-month rail card with every jar. Possibly the first good idea they’ve ever had. I can now use the same ticket of a reduced fare with a clear conscience and will not have to worry about hypoglycaemia along the way.
It’s funny you should have doubted Lady Gaga’s vocal competence; in an interview she tells the anecdote of how someone came up to her after a show and told her they were surprised to find she could actually sing. She didn’t expect that compliment: Well, isn’t that what I’m supposed to do …? Am I not called a ‘singer’ for a reason? I suppose “it’s never too late to give up our prejudices” (Thoreau again). Having said that, ‘singer’ does lose all its meaning when listening to German radio music: I relive some of our hours in the sugar truck each time. It’s rather depressing to think of the huge wealth of perhaps not quite Cohen, Cash & Co., but at least remotely varied and creative music being made all over the place, and yet all these particular channels decide to pop their listeners’ brain cells with are lyrics like “Now if we’re talking body, you got a perfect one so put it on me”. Really? Even the tune of that song is an imposition.
Also, an oystercatcher lay its egg right at the edge of a footpath which had been closed due to building works. Now that it’s reopened and big groups of cyclists are tearing past mummy can’t always remain seated for brooding.
I seem to have managed to sound more negative than I feel again, so on a different note: the sun broke through the clouds like some bright curtain of self-fulfilling prophecy this morning when I walked along the beach.
Uncertain whether to be more incredulous about the fact that you met up with Joan, you won’t be able to tell me about it in person in the near future, or that Bob gave the crowd a smile, but certain of more stories of surprise from you,
T on the patio