I’ve been busy lately.

Perhaps you see very little link between the Charles of 1267 with all his newfangled French notions of chastity and chasing after Holy Grails, the Charles of 1867 with his loathing of trade, and the Charles of today, a computer scientist deaf to the screams of the tender humanists who begin to discern their own redundancy. But there is a link: they all rejected or reject the notion of possession as the purpose of life, whether it be of a woman’s body, or of high profit at all costs, or of the right to dictate the speed of progress. The scientist is but one more form; and will be superseded.

Now all this is the great and timeless relevance of the New Testament myth of the Temptation in the Wilderness. All who have insight and education have automatically their own wilderness; and at some point in their life they will have their temptation. Their rejection may be foolish; but it is never evil. You have just turned down a tempting offer in commercial applied science in order to continue your academic teaching? Your last exhibition did not sell as well as the previous one, but you are determined to keep to your new style? You have just made some decision in which your personal benefit, your chance of possession, has not been allowed to interfere? Then do not dismiss Charles’s state of mind as a mere conditioning of futile snobbery. See him for what he is: a man struggling to overcome history. And even though he does not realize it.

The supposed great misery of our century is the lack of time; our sense of that, not a disinterested love of science, and certainly not wisdom, is why we devote such a huge proportion of the ingenuity and income of our societies to finding faster ways of doing things—as if the final aim of mankind was to grow closer not to a perfect humanity, but to a perfect lightning flash. But for Charles, and for almost all his contemporaries and social peers, the time signature over existence was firmly adagio. The problem was not fitting in all that one wanted to do, but spinning out what one did to occupy the vast colonnades of leisure available.

One of the commonest symptoms of wealth today is destructive neurosis; in his century it was tranquil boredom.

Only I have no luck any more. But who knows? Maybe today. Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.

The setting of the sun is a difficult time for all fish.

 

[Later edit:] This was almost prophetic. Sometimes I can’t believe it.

Well, not really, but definitely much better. Not only do I know what I’m doing wrong, I also have a strategy to fix it.

I’m so angry, I need to scream at somebody.

I know it’s not the end, I know there’s so much more left to do, I know it will be OK at some point, but I am oh so… tired.

Un ceai de meduze la ora 5.

- I created this perfect image of you. So perfect, so unreal, it drove me insane. I guess that’s why I would always seek your company.

- I don’t understand.

- Well, being around you made life bearable. Seeing this real person in front of me, with both faults and wonderful qualities, anchored me into reality. Otherwise, I’d be this lunatic dreaming hopelessly of something that doesn’t exist. Impossible, unachievable and, ultimately, a waste of time. Incredibly painful, too.

I miss you and I like to think you’ve missed me too. There are so many stories to tell, some of them wonderful, most of them confusing and pointless.

  • Boarding a bus on the motorway – driving the wrong way on an exit lane, parking, trying to estimate if it’s safer to stay in the car, watching army airplanes doing loops and worrying the drivers might get distracted, feeling the breeze every time a car passed by, mistaking lorries for buses, stopping a bus on the exit lane, 4 people circling the bus with suitcases, saying goodbye in a hurry, how on earth did we get back on the motorway?
  • snowy mountains over the Malian Gulf
  • passing Thermopylae without even realising it
  • the amazing grill and fireplace
  • the τσίπουρο and tasty seafood
  • sunken Argo and the ghostly cloud
  • “Just a little!”
  • Pilion and Makrinitsa
  • oranges fallen from trees, pretty much as plums in grandma’s garden
  • realising the Parthenon was destroyed  by stupidity in 1687
  • sunny mornings with fresh orange juice and raisin biscuits
  • “Sit!”
  • babysitting Iorghia
  • the grandmother sleeping in the hotel
  • the lake and the frogs
  • George’s people
  • “It’s special! Maybe you want to keep it!” and “I don’t think it’s kosher…”

BookFrenzy

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O pata gri intr-un ocean de culoare.

august 2014
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