o magnum mysterium

"Awakened at midnight
by the sound of the water jar
cracking from the ice"
— Basho

2010 winds....

the sounds of revelry and gentle snow - en thaw - grey lumplings arriving home with frozen cheeks and noses - gratefully laid to rest & happily tucked in with....

..... kisses xx

Photo is Prague Winter Scene by fellow Czech, Zdenek Vozenilek

we journey afar to find our way back home

bear died in his dad's arms on sunday night. he was outside, where he wanted to be. his spirit went like a whisper; puff; gone.

i don't know where it went exactly, but i am certain, like all those who have ever left us, he is home.

angel bear: 1996 - 2010

attention: this is a live performance

"Why are you stingy with yourselves? Why are you holding back? What are you saving for — for another time?
There are no other times.
There is only now.
Right now."
— George Balanchine

Lives are changed because of silences. Because of words unspoken. Requests, desires, feelings, never articulated. We think that our actions are what shapes our future, but it is the void, the things not done, the scope of the unspeakable, unknowable ether is what weighs down upon us more than we know.

I have left many many places in my past, but as I explained to a friend the other day, the likelihood that I would have stayed put in any one of those locales had someone, the right someone, sat me down, taken me by the hand, looked me in the eye and said, "I wish you wouldn't go. Please don't. Please stay right here for a little while," is frighteningly grand.

Granted, I come across as pig-headed, as unswayable, as confident and unwavering and devil-may-care - to the point that perhaps it is my own fault that nobody ever had the guts or the grist to get in the way of one my decisions and request a serious reconsideration and reversal. Nonetheless, my life's trajectory has largely been shaped by drastic exits simply because nobody ever put up a good case, often any case, for otherwise.

Which brings me to an recent experience of a friend of mine (no, this is not a veiled tale about me). There is a person in this friend's life who was planning a move - a major one - across an ocean. My friend did not want this person to go.

Me: "Have you asked them to stay?"

Friend: "No. But isn't that a huge request? An unaskable request? Something that signifies neediness on my end. Insults them by implying I think they'd consider such a sacrifice, a redirection of their life, on my behalf?"

Me: "Maybe, but sometimes, the only reason I've left, is because nobody told me not to go."

So my friend asked. Imagine it. A life was asked to be changed. And guess what? The person in question is staying put - for a bit longer anyway.

I am not surprised.

We are so afraid of showing our need; showing our affection; our depth of care for fear of frightening away those whom we feel those things toward. But that is the true irony. For really, isn't that the grand quest we're all on anyway? Finding a person, place and thing who can furnish us with exactly that sort of unrestricted devotion.

This prevalent hesitancy and the potentially life-altering wrongness of this hesitancy reminds me of another of my favourite quotes:

"Say "I love you" to those you love. The eternal silence is long enough to be silent in, and that awaits us all."
- George Eliot

Ahh... the eternal silence. Which brings me back to my airplane theme that you've seen recently, together with the girls in dresses and the quotes from choreographers (above).

I've been taking a lot of risks lately (those of you who know me may say, 'but you always take risks' - true, but these are perhaps more directed, more *calculated* risks than usual). Risks of the heart and the deep deep soul. Taking plane rides and grand leaps of faith. Some have worked. Some not so well.

But a novel is being written (there are dancers in it - I feel eerily in sync with the zeitgeist and all the Black Swan buzz) and a venture is being formed. And if I don't hold back - well, actually, the *if* of that is almost irrelevant as I've reached a point where I don't feel I *can* hold back anymore... a sensation that makes me feel as if I've backed myself onto the right gang plank (diving board?)... a place of such overwhelming surrender because there simply is no choice.

In effect, to appropriately end with another Balanchine quote:

"I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance."
— George Balanchine

And if you have to dance, dancing then, is what you must do; the very abandon of your existence is fulfilled through the act of dance itself.

Photo is by the similarly-minded Rodney Smith, who (if you read his blog) rarely loves exactly how his photos turn out, but the process, the elements that make up the vocation of photography, is his reward.

cutting bait

"I imagine the feelings of two people meeting again after many years. In the past they spent some time together, and therefore they think they are linked by the same experience, the same recollections.

The same recollections? That's where the misunderstanding starts: they don't have the same recollections; each of them retains two or three small scenes from the past, but each has his own; their recollections are not similar; they don't intersect; and even in terms of quantity they are not comparable: one person remembers the other more than he is remembered; first because memory capacity varies among individuals (an explanation that each of them would at least find acceptable), but also (and this is more painful to admit) because they don't hold the same importance for each other.

When Irena saw Josef at the airport, she remembered every detail of their long-ago adventure; Josef remembered nothing. From the very first moment their encounter was based on an unjust and revolting inequality."
— Milan Kundera

I find it quite hard to leave people behind, even when I know I ought. Yes, more than places or work, people prove my foil. Don't they have a way of weaseling in and making it nearly impossible to completely abandon them? Even when it would probably all be for the best? At least, that's what I find...

This photo, entitled Nancy is by the fantastic Alex Prager. It's pretty clear to me that whatever impending circumstance awaits this red head, she needs an extra dose of courage. Whether she is running from or arriving at her fate, there seems to be an ominous fog and longing in the air of the sort we'd all rather avoid altogether if we could.

On a related, but wholly separate note, if you missed Prager's stylized short film Despair (somehow I did!) starring Bryce Dallas Howard - do waltz on over to Nowness for a viewing. It's totally worth the few minutes - ha - for me, watching it conjured up the the equally technicolour work (albeit, written) of Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down.