Of Profound

De Profundis is one of the most inspiring pieces of writing I have read in a long time. Oscar Wilde describes so eloquently the workings of a soul as it struggles to come to terms with the pain of this life. I know so well the temptation to be bitter and angry when I have to face suffering and so does Oscar but as we move along the passage we see a man transcending these emotions. He acknowledges the pleasure that he was given but realises that pleasure was not his earning, nor something that he deserved, yet it was something that he had come to be dominated by. For us in the Western world with pleasure abound us I think we need to be more like Oscar and seek truth in the suffering rather than in the pleasure. This is not necessarily a comfortable place to be but it is a humbling and honest place to be. He finds meaning in his suffering, he realises that nothing, my dear, is meaningless. In all my efforts I can not describe the passage as I would like so will leave myself with Oscar’s words. They will move me always.

 

“The first thing that I have got to do is free myself from any bitterness of feeling against the world. I am completely penniless, and homeless. Yet there are worst things in the world than that. I am quite candid when I say that rather than go out from this prison with bitterness in my heart against the world, I would gladly and readily beg my bread from door to door.”

 

This place of heart is exceptionally hard to reach and that is why it is so moving and humbling.    

Surfaces

I have often heard about Oscar Wilde but it was only this week we first met. Michael introduced us. Interesting guy he is. Shame about the tragic end to his life. Without being too morbid I can't help but wonder why does this world so often choke the flair out of people? Anyway enough about that let's go to him in his good days, his creative, amusing and insightful days. 

"This is an age of surfaces," says Lady Bracknel in a most resigned fashion.

This line is rather funny and having John acting out Lady Bracknel for the 7:30 Report cameras made them even more funny. Yet beyond the humour I wonder. Have we, since the 19th century, created more human depth or are we just as surface as we were in the past? Do we live more on the surface than ever before? Without even using the word Hollywood there is much to suggest this. Is this really such a problem?  

I don't really know the answers to these questions. All I know is that the tip of the iceberg, what one can see on dry land, is so much smaller than the whole iceberg. I want to see what is below the sea. I really want to know more than what simply appears on the surface. 

Song Lyrics

I just read this on internet news. It made me laugh. Sometimes people just excel in writing standards.


"British singer Des'ree gained the dubious distinction of being responsible for the worst pop lyric of all time in the world ... ever.

In a fiercely fought BBC Radio poll, she took the prize for: "I don't want to see a ghost/ It's the sight that I fear most/ I'd rather have a piece of toast/ Watch the evening news."

She secured almost 30 per cent of the vote in the listener poll conducted by BBC DJ Marc Riley.

The runner-up prize went to Snap for "I'm as serious as cancer/ When I say rhythm is a dancer

Third place went to Razorlight for the lyric "And I met a girl/ She asked me my name/ I told her what it was."

Michael Fry, lead singer of ABC, had been hoping to land the prize with his lyric "Can't complain, mustn't grumble/ Help yourself to another piece of apple crumble."

"I have been waiting for this kind of accolade for years," Fry told BBC Radio before the result dashed his hopes of dubious immortality.

"I would say to anyone writing songs that you shouldn't really put food in song lyrics," he said before finishing in a disappointing fourth place."


A Modern Story

Here is a scene that I am going to put in a book that I will one day write. I want to be like one of the famous 19th Century Literature people, a Tolstoy or a Dickens or a Chekhov. I hardly have their talent, yes I know, but they challenged the people of their time to look beyond. Superficiality adorns this culture too. It is everywhere I look. I try to avoid it but still I find myself in the midst of it. It drips of me as much as the people I want to criticise. Here is a story.

A girl named Anna turns the key and opens the door to her house. The door squeaks, it is a little old. The familiar scent of her place washes over her. All is quiet, the people she lives with are sleeping. It has been a long day and the night at work was even longer, but she feels restless. She picks up the phone and dials and old friend. She knows this friend is dangerous, but at 1:00 in the morning there is not so many options. They meet for a drink. Her friend's new boyfriend is there. It seems like a great opportunity for a chat. They smoke cigarettes and drink Bacardi. 
"What have you been doing?"
"Oh this and that." 
The conversation stagnates. Anna makes an effort to move beyond a conversation based solely around recent activities that relate to themselves but she sees her friend's eyes wandering. She realises her friend is not that interested in the political, social or spiritual. For fun they play pool. Anna is very good, so is her friends boyfriend. The competion becomes interesting but unfortunately it does not remain in the pool game. All of a sudden her friend is crying, she feels left out and jealous.Why do nice people so often become nervous? Why are intentions so often misunderstood? Why do we have to live on egg shells?
Anna realises that people are so preoccupied with themselves and all that is irrelevant and untrue that they have no basis in which to understand. 
Anna leaves. She knows she should have stayed at home but that does not help her restlessness.  
             

 

   

Comment on a friend's blog

I read this poem you have written and I agree that you are not of this place. You are of a world far more poetic. I read your words and I feel like you could be from the world of romanticism, with your desire to be free and to hold onto the transcendency of nature. Then I think you are like Dickens who challenges society to go past looking at humanity as souless and as a machine. There is nothing machine like in your use of the words vibrant, contention and invigorate. Anyway love your blog it looks and sounds great. 

Death

I love Tolstoy. I have read his classics, Anna Karenin, War and Peace and Resurrection. Now I am reading his short stories. His genius is undenible through his style and his reflection on humanity. 
In the past I have found his preoccupation with death confronting and unneeded but as I now face the death of my godmother, the reading of his short stories are actually bring me some comfort. The characters all meet God through their death. With all of this I have been thinking about my own death. How would I face it, if it was to come now? 

There is someone knocking at my door. I was not expecting them so soon. 
I thought they'd  come for dinner, but their here in the afternoon.
I know I should act graciously, but I have so much left to do,
lucky that the entree's done and I 've learnt a thing or two. 
Dessert is ready also, with pleasure I tasted you, 
but what about the main course Lord? Without it I will lose, 
the dreams of my dinner party, are slowly getting screwed. 

My guest is knocking harder, I'm falling to the floor,
I am hiding from my guest, but he's seen me, that's for sure. 
I knew that he was coming, a place I'd set for him, 
but now that he's here early I have to face my sin. 
I have to face the fact, that I can't run away, 
I wish we could play later, but it seems he's here to stay.  

With the strength that I have left, I scramble to my knees. 
I am happy to meet my God, I'm just sad for what I leave.


Sharing

I really enjoyed yesterday's tutorial because it was more personal than it usually is. There was someone who was really honest about some issues going on for them right now. He was vulnerable and shared his pain about feeling he was becoming too systemised and losing his creative edge. He asked Michael how to deal with this. Michael then told us that at one stage he had wanted to become a rock'n'roll star but found himself in teaching and that the trick to not becoming too systemised is balancing work with creativity and channeling creative energies in to teaching. Good advice huh?
More sharing happened when we discussed what makes life worth living. One girl said hope. What a beautiful answer. Michael continued on this idea by saying that depression looks down at the ground and hope looks up to the sky. Another girl said that is was really important to her to be authentic in situations. When I am happy I want to laugh, when I am angry I hit. This was honest. I realised authenticity really helps us to be in the moment. Relationships we agreed make life worth living.
What do I personally think makes life worth living? This isn't really something one can sum up in a sentence, I could have many different responses to this. My following answer has been influenced by going to the Blues Festival. Music and dance make my life worth living. This may seem like a simplistic answer but music and dance transcends me from my normal everyday thought based reality into another world of movement and noise. It takes me away while still keeping me grounded on the earth.

Freedom

On the Liberation theme I decided to write out the words to a favourite song of mine right now by Eric Bibb. This is the ultimate story of liberation.  

Nelson Mandela, tell them what you've seen,
They're blind and their afraid of the lights in thier own hearts
Nelson Mandela, oh, help us all to see
Courage and vision cannot be imprisoned
Only love can unite us all.
 
Mandela
Nelson Mandela is free 

Nelson Mandela gave us a gift
Worth more than all the diamonds in Africa
Nelson Manela gave us a gift
Courage and vision can not be imprisoned
His wisdom and love showed us all.

Comment on Diane's Journal

I love the painting you put up of "A Seat in St James Park." I love this painting because so much of the Victorian Age art has lower class seperate from higher class. This painting mixes the classes together, all congregating on the bench. Yes their clothes are different and the artist is probably highlighting rich and poor, but still there is sense that they are together in the journey. Anyway your journal looks really nice.

Liberation

I was on the rail bus today and felt like writing a poem to pass the time.  With no recent heartbreak to inspire me, I ended up writing on liberation. I am researching Liberation Theology for an assignment and am so moved by it. 

The experience of liberation,
transcendent and tangible sensations.
Such a word, 
embodies pain,
encites pleasure.

Liberation sparks the world
from the fires of our souls. 
What was bruised?
with passion moves. 
What was hurt? 
comes lessons learnt. 

Liberation leads us, 
from the bottom of the earth.