23 February 2008

A lake, a lake, my kingdom for a lake

Last weekend was the Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims in Lake Burley Griffin. The first link will take you to the entire gallery I published, but here are my favourite shots. I stood out in the water for the starts, which I have never done before, and it gave me a different take on the action. If you click on the photos they get bigger. Yes people, the "...files are in the computer."






The history of the man-made Lake Burley Griffin is a very interesting one.

In 1961, a visiting monarch at an official state function expressed the strong desire to skim a few pebbles across some water. An awkward silence ensued; for although its dimensions were grand by the standards of the time, the bathtub at The Lodge offered limited entertainment possibilities in this regard. Unfortunately too, Canberra itself was at least 2 hours drive from the beach. Incidentally, it still is, for the disputed impact of global warming has done little to remedy this situation. Thus, to avoid a faux pas over the canapes, Lake Burley Griffin was constructed at the request of the then Prime Minister Menzies.

It took a day and a half to make.

16 February 2008

Forte Piano

Prachar is a man who demands that to be considered classical music, the composer of the music must be dead. (In fact, it was Arthur Honegger who first said, "The public doesn't want new music: the main thing it demands of a composer is that he be dead." Bad reviews will do that to you I guess. Seriously, I have no idea what Honegger's music is like, but it sounds like he was under-appreciated. No pun intended.)

So, here is a song by Sufjan, that is, to quote Prachar in a "modern classical style."



It is a favourite of mine, particularly the ending. I don't mind the maudlin flavour. According to Sufjan's bio, he composed 90 minute concept albums for The Nine Planets, The 12 Apostles, and The Four Humours. The bio is an amusing read if you have the time. If you liked the song above then check out the medley below. Sleeping Bear (the second half) has always been a highlight of Michigan for me.



Well, if you are in the mood for more music in the modern classical style, then check out Prachar's album The Road of Ecstasy: Sri Chinmoy Vision Muse in Action. Here is a direct link to Chalo, Chalo my favourite track. Prachar is the master of the black and whites. A reviewer of this album once said, "I only listen to it on Sundays." True story.

Unfortunately, somebody had forgotten to invent the pianoforte when Shakespeare was alive so no title from The Bard today.

14 February 2008

Et tu?

It was a significant day for Australia on February 13th, 2008. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stood before Parliament and the Nation to deliver to the people what they had demanded for years. It's a parochial story, but what really impressed me during his first speech to Parliament was the depth of vision and sincerity that I saw our leader really possessed .

Afterwards at work, I was working on a strategy paper and I decided to start it with two quotes. The first was from the speech Rudd had just delivered. The second was the words of Brutus:

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Julius Caesar by Shakespeare
Act 4, scene 3, 218-224

It was that sort of day.

Very inspiring.

The rest of the team liked my paper, but reminded me that Brutus was a murderer. Hey, nobody's perfect!

In the long term, it is predicted that we are all facing a future without Shakespeare.

king of infinite space

My Lord,
Every day,
I wish to wake
In the rich heart-land
Of Your Love.

12 February 2008

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

Beyond the strife which makes my life ripe
Above the mind of thunder night
There is a place outside space

The voice of silence grows
The voice of silence grows
The voice of silence grows

There goes the burden of abstraction,
The certain demand for proof,
Wanting, wanting, wanting, always

The voice of silence grows
The voice of silence grows
The voice of silence grows


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A few weeks ago, I was talking to my excellent friend about life these days:

"Everything always seems to work out so well for me. I seem to live this charmed existence. I can't understand it. I don't know if there's a reason why my life is like this."

His reply:

"Of course there's a reason - it's because God loves you!"

It gives me a lot of joy to remember that love again. It is so easy to forget, but once you know it, everything else is surplus: entertainment or opportunity as you will.

This all came back to me after I read Sumangali's story. Highly recommended.


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The title of this post is courtesy of Shakespeare. It's apropos of nothing but my poem was untitled and it sounds cool. In fact, Horatio is totally tripped out by the ghost of the King (Hamlet's father) wandering the battlements. Hamlet is like, "Chill bro, There are more things in heaven and earth..."

04 February 2008

Wide Open Doors

Last week, I saw I'm Not There. It's a film best described as esoteric. It is really rich in symbolism and highly stylised cinematography. As a result, you feel a little self-conscious, which makes it a pretty challenging viewing experience. Imagine Tim Burton on acid. That's probably a redundant concept, but the film is reminiscent of Big Fish.


I felt like it was time I listened to some more Bob Dylan. I went for "Love and Theft" (2001) and Modern Times (2006.) The critics adored both of these albums. They work so well, it was oddly underwhelming to begin with. Some of the lyrics actually make sense and that famous voice has mellowed with age. With repeated listening, I started to appreciate how smoothly he brings it all back home. There it is, a degustation of a century of popular music without flaw. It will really grow on you.

On January 30th, Bob Dylan recited a poem by Sri Chinmoy on his radio show.

Listen to Bob Dylan reciting poetry.

THE LOCK AND THE KEY

Doubt is the lock,
Faith is the key.

Hate is the lock,
Love is the key.

Body is the lock,
Soul is the key.

Ignorance is the lock,
Light is the key.

God's Heart has no lock,
Man's mind has no key.

Sri Chinmoy