Monthly Archives: January 2016

Live your life: Maurice Sendak

This interview with Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak, is everything that those Sunday sermons of my childhood should have been.  How different life could have turned out.

Still, a fellow atheist signing in.

Still holding my nerve.

 

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‘I saw a sentient being’

So said a scientist on the radio the other morning, as he described being on an oceanic dive whilst coming eyeball-to-eyeball with a sperm whale.  What confused me was that I was sure that not a few moments before he had admonished the radio interviewer for rank  anthropomorphism.

Anyone has ever lived with a pet, is unlikely to find this a revelation.  What animal does not have its own personality, different from another, even of the same species?  Some while ago we had tropical fish.  Even they were distinguishable from one another, not just by their markings or colouring, but by their character alone.

The morning radio interview continued along the usual lines.  We do not know if animals communicate and so forth…  Well actually we do.  They do communicate, but not in ways that humans can understand.  We humans have become so much the stars of our own show that anything that sits beyond our immediate cognisance, our limited range of five empirical senses, is somehow in doubt.

This says nothing at all about the abilities of animals to communicate, or to understand; rather it says everything about the assumed current supremacy of humankind in what could be a more collective cross-species experience of the world.  This seems to me a shame.  There is so much more to life than what we limited creatures can see, hear, touch, taste and smell.

 

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Nobody writes anymore

Nobody writes anymore:

No postcards

No letters

No aide-mémoire

Nobody writes anymore:

No blogs

No cheques

No n.b.

Nobody writes anymore

It’s all just silent tapping

On a greasy touch screen

😦

 

Speeding Up, Slowing Down

I feel like a passenger in  a car.  The world is whizzing by outside the window.  There’s nothing I can do to stop the car, or the world.  I glimpse this or that, yet I know that I see little; the experience is one of nothing other than the sensation of passing through, quickly.

Experiencing nothing: sounds like death.  Passing through some otherness sounds like either purgatory, or a circle of hell.

Have you ever tried to meditate mindfully whilst travelling?  I just can’t do it.

I try to step out of the car.  Get a handle on life.  Experience the whole experience, not just the rushing through.  I can.  And I can’t.  I never quite know which, partly because the world conspires against me, space time rushing past my window whether I like it or not.

I know that there’s an explanation for this shit: that as we age our perception of time speeds up.  And yet… there is nothing like the 46th festive period in one lifetime to isolate how consumerism colludes with space time, as I try to slow the whole thing down, just a little.

Christmas arrives in the shops in autumn.  Naked displays of fairy lights go up in people’s front rooms in November, only to be ripped down before New Year’s Day is out;  it’s like the Epiphany never happened.  The sales start before Christmas, some end before January 1st.  I can still remember when a sale started on January 1st, if you were lucky.

The whole of  December becomes a debauchery decked in twinkles; January an ascetic’s dream: detoxes and dryathlons and gym memberships fight for space on soon to be failed lists of resolutions.  Gratification must be yesterday, otherwise it just doesn’t count.

But. None of it… none of it is real.

The world speeds up.  I slow down.

Do you hear me you world?