Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Little Slice of Reality

Listening to: Little Feat, Dixie Chicken
Drinking: Sumatra Gayo/Ethiopia Moka Harrar (iced)
Other browser windows: Google Image Search for "Enheduanna"; blogdex
Wearing: bathrobe
Shirking: party thrown by co-workers
Worried about: Francis Coppola flagging WiHW when and if my post on Apocalypse Now ever comes up
Hopeful about: maybe seeing my guru in December and maybe also going to New Orleans in December if it's still there
Desirous of: more time to blog, dammit! it's like I can't even think anymore--this "work" thing has got to go! but--
Guiltily proud of: being told "you'd make a good Nazi" by a co-worker when I expressed an utter lack of sympathy for another c0-worker's self-created "misfortunes"...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I'm Still Alive--but

Going back to work after that last vacation has been a "unique challenge," as upper-management types like to say.

I am writing what I flatter myself is a pretty good post-- in my head--I promise. Und I vill rezpond to grigorss...

Angel tidbit: L. finds it hilarious that I know the difference between Walter Egan and Joe Egan, two relatively minor 1970s pop music figures. Why is that funny, though??

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Le Crépuscule du Soir

Ahhh--a lovely time with my family and I did not revert to australopithecine behavior, by the grace of Kali and Al-Anon. surreally extended, luxurious Vacation is coming to an end, and so I've been working on a strategic plan for some people I supervise. It's supposed to cover September through December, and though I've been attacking this thing alllllll day, I'm still only up to the middle of October. I've been listening over and over to
Love's Secret Domain by Coil and, now, to Dusty in Memphis. (I think Dusty Springfield must have been an avatar of the Divine Mother.)

To buttress my Spirit during my sojourn in the Great White North, I took along a copy of Christopher Isherwood's
My Guru and His Disciple. I found this book at a propitious time and in a most unlikely place, and took this as a sign that I should read it as soon as possible. Isherwood, like me, was a highly intellectualized westerner who for some reason found himself drawn to the highly devotional Bengali Shakta tradition of Ramakrishna. Also like me, he was an incorrigibly sybaritic sensualist who managed, with struggle, to reconcile the total surrender of self demanded by bhakti with the joyous embrace of the senses demanded by--well, people who go around alluding to Baudelaire in subject lines while listening to Dusty Springfield and sipping a scotch and soda.

Isherwood's style, both in
My Guru and His Disciple and in Ramakrishna and His Disciples, is distinguished primarily by the utter absence of bullshit. The guy knows what nouns, verbs, and narratives are for and, whenever possible, avoids adjectives and editorials. I found many sentences and paragraphs I wanted to remember from My Guru and His Disciple, and so as I read I copied a lot of stuff into my journal. I'm tempted to reproduce a lot of that stuff here but will try to keep it down to a few well-chosen quotes.

Here are a couple:

"'The Swami is too Indian for me' was a complaint I would return to again and again. But, even while persisting in my prejudice, I had to admit to myself that the very Indianness of Vedanta was helpful to me. Because of my other, anti-christian, set of prejudices, I was repelled by the English religious words I had been taught in childhood and was grateful to Vedanta for speaking Sanskrit. I needed a brand-new vocabulary and here it was, with a set of philosophical terms which were exact in meaning, unemotive, untainted by disgusting old associations with clergymen's sermons, schoolmasters' pep talks, politicians' patriotic speeches."

[Praying at a shrine to Vivekananda, Ramakrishna's disciple who brought Vedanta to the West:]
"Give me devotion--even against my will."

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Not to Sound All Barbed-Wire Hedgehog, But--

The unspeakable, unbearable horror: of the infinite pain and cruelty of this world, and the cold, indifferent dark void in which this jewel of misery is set...

I used to think a lot about this...obsess over it, really. Every second births a new atrocity, a thousand of them somewhere...every hour begets incalculable heartbreak, and our little islands of contentment sit so precarious, so open to that next torrential disaster that
must loom, ravening, over the horizon.

Yeeeeah. A pretty picture I made in my head of "reality," and since , as we all know, believing is seeing, external events usually tended to confirm it. In this state of mind, anything seems like a disaster, so confident is one in one's final, irrevocable doom.

My Divine Mother was always sending me little messages to the contrary. She sent me Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre, a song cycle by Current 93 about this very topic. She sent me Leaves of Grass, and Mary Daly, and my wild, witchy womyn friends who all ironically looked so normal they could crash a GOP bake sale, and a wacky transsexual pal who'd been dealt every shitty card in the pack three times and still was chipper as a baton twirling champ...slowly, I began to choose another way of seeing the world.

Where was I going with this? There was a punchline--oh, screw it. I'm off to my World Cup Al-Anon Challenge: a few days with my mom and brother. I may or may not blog from the Great White North...

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Not to Sound All Fluffy-Bunny, But--

I'm drivin' down the street, blasting Bauhaus so loud the rearview mirror is wobbling, a certain point I'm washed all over with the magnificence of the Divine Mother, for one second I see All around me--the traffic lights that sway a little in the hot wind, the vacated lunatic asylum they're about to tear down, the seedy car detailing place, the sweaty guy knocking on the Walk sign button so he can cross the street--I see it All as one Flame of Love, an endless throbbing Kind Heart...

music is miraculous, always...pure Shakti, pure loving Power and endorphins...and I feel Kali's power in the shaking distortion of this music from so long ago, and I feel the truth of the ultimate secret of Al-Anon [stop reading, please]...the ultimate secret of tantra [you are not authorized to read any further--please close this browser window
now]...the final secret of the Illuminati...the OTO...of Julian of Norwich, St. John of the Cross, Mirabai: the final Secret: that I have everything I need. That I don't need anyone's love or approval. That all I need is my Kali. And my Angel.

Those of you who are my dear friends: I treasure your love, and I adore you. You bring holy light to my existence. But you, too--you, neither--need anyone, need no one--you
need only the God of your need only the Holy Guardian Angel of your True Self, your true will--which some of you Do so well, right Now.

Monday, August 1, 2005

The Curious Incident of the Boy Novelist and the Girl Novelist

In a recent issue of The New Yorker there are two literary review articles. One is about a Boy Novelist. The other is about a Girl Novelist. The articles are placed consecutively in the magazine. Both are accompanied by caricatures of the novelists.

The article about Boy Novelist is written by a male. The article about Girl Novelist is written by a female.

Boy Novelist and Girl Novelist both write violent, disturbing novels about the darker sides of the human psyche. Boy Novelist is a quite well-known Classic and published his first novel in 1965. Girl Novelist seems to be on the way to Classic and published her first novel in 1985.

Boy Novelist "brilliantly ventriloquizes the King James Bible, Shakespearean and Jacobean tragedy, Melville, Conrad, and Faulkner."

"As a child," we are told in the other article, "Girl Novelist was crazy about Shakespeare."

Boy Novelist gets compared to Shakespeare, Conrad, and Melville a lot in the article about him. Girl Novelist gets compared to herself when she was younger and to herself when she is writing fiction and when she is writing memoir.

The article about Boy Novelist is three and one half pages long. It uses the word "myth" or words made out of the word "myth" eleven times.

The article about Girl Novelist says that she had a hysterectomy and that "she is a size 20." The article about Girl Novelist contains twenty paragraphs. Six of those are biographical. The article about Boy Novelist says that he "lives quietly in New Mexico."

The article about Girl Novelist says, "In 2003, Girl Novelist published her memoir, which, for all its useful information, I admire less than her other books, for it alone seems to complain."

This is what it says on the
New Yorker web site now: "This week in the magazine, Ken Auletta writes about the battle between Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer for control of the morning television audience."