30 September 2008

Googong

On Sunday 28 September, we held the Sri Chinmoy Googong Challenge.

I was quite busy and did not take many photos. Still...

A lightness of spirit o'ertakes me,
As if I rode the giddy chariot of Heaven.


ODE ON AID STATION

Refreshment for thy betterment.
Miracle of ages,
Wonder of aeons:
This clear liquid,
Life-sustaining
Since first life
Breathed not
In its self-same origin.


Not many paddlers took notice of my warning though...


Upon your ‘ware!
The rumours tell of
A giant cephalapod
Lurking in the lake’s deeps –
The famed Kraken
Being not half its measure!


I can tell there were that day numerous unexplained capsizings of craft, yet all thankfully returned to dry land.

27 September 2008

New Plastics

'The end of writing is to instruct; the end of poetry is to instruct by pleasing.'

Thus wrote Samuel Johnson in his Preface to The Plays of William Shakespeare.


I have glasses now for mild astigmatism. Putting them on is like applying Unsharp Mask to the world. I was shocked to learn they are made of plastic and not glass. I told my father that my sister paid me the ultimate compliment by declaring, "You look like Dad!" The affirmation offered by Louise Hay for this condition is, "I am now willing to see my own beauty and magnificence." I never realised it was a problem! But I'll try...


The gentleman below most definitely has The Right Stuff.


Swiss pilot Yves Rossy lands near Dover in southern England after flying across the English Channel on a jet-propelled wing. "It was perfect. Blue sky, sunny, no clouds, perfect conditions," Rossy told the Associated Press. "We prepared everything, and it was great."

Rossy jumped out of a plane at about 8,200 feet, fired up his jets and made the 22-mile trip from Calais, France.



I want one.

20 September 2008

Financial Meltdown

When I remember, there is a blog I check called A Suitable Wardrobe. The posts are short and frequent. The author could be described as a flâneur. Forgive the accusation, but he doesn't seem to do anything except spend inordinate sums of money on clothes. It is possiblee Prince Charles spends more on clothes. I don't know.

I try to think of myself as a semi-reformed dandy at the least. Anyway, there was a recent post on Silk Scarves which included the picture below:



Allow me to record a conversation from the comments section of this post:

Commenter:

"Great post, Will. And the graphic is timely too. I am assuming the figure on the right represents Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who is instructing the local grave digger where to bury the body of the US taxpayer, recently deceased."

Owner of the blog:

"The scarf-wearing man pays no attention to the vicissitudes of markets until he has to sell the gardens to a developer in order to pay his tailor."

Respect.

19 September 2008

Dulcify

The babe of innocent wonder
Is not complete in divinity,
Though possessed of the measures
Of heaven’s high rank,
Purity and simplicty.
Then age teaches
Our earthly sense
A convoy of thought
That conveys us to doom.
Freedom sought is hard fought,
And all travails
The passenger must learn
With joy to entertain.
So I ponder upon
The journey to perfection…


I say I have different varieties of poetry. It all comes unheeded, but some bubbles forth from the pure silence of meditation and at other times a simple word will birth transcendent thought. It is like standing before a raging river or wandering in a wood seeking a distant brook just heard. I can say the above is an example of the latter. I quite like that the earliest meaning of 'convey' was 'escort.' I found that very appealing, but I was prognosticating a prologue at the time.

O fancy, all abysm break!


There is my battle cry.

I just started reading Chronicles of Tao. I am enjoying it a lot. Perhaps it is the refreshment of not reading a dictionary! If, on the other hand you want to read a dictionary, then I recommend one of the recent abridgements of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary. Penguin do a good one. It is a lot lighter than the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and is full of great illustrative quotes that won't strain the eyes. Lot's of Shakespeare. That is the point of reading a dictionary - the quotes. The lack of etymology in Johnson is compensated for by the historical view of English it affords and the lexicographer's infamous foibles.

Read an interview with Ammon Shea who read the whole of the OED. Since I got a year's free subscription to the OED Online it has come in handy. It's very good if you know what you want, but not so fun to browse. I hope Oxford decide to make it a bit cheaper in the future!

13 September 2008

Spring

So, forth issew'd the Seasons of the yeare;
First, lusty Spring, all dight in leaues of flowres
That freshly budded and new bloosmes did beare...

Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queen

This morning I had the time, inclination and glorious sun to head out of doors with a camera and catch some pictures to match words.




O come verily Spring
And let the day begin to sing,
Mend all the discombobulation
Of chill Winter.

12 September 2008

Life-Energy

I rewrote the poem of my last post, so forgive me for publishing it again here (as well as updating it where it first appeared):

Cease your rule O stars of fortune.
Tremble dust!
Where I lead you do not chart!
The hest of Destiny has unwound
The trammels of my past.
From the cords of life,
Wind, Master-Weaver,
Your tapestry of beauty.
Creation shall have its reckoning
Upon this spot.
Born of breath,
Most beloved of death,
I admit no regret.

Here is a photograph of dawn in Sydney a few months ago:



In Sydney, I often stay with a friend of mine named Pranavanta. His name is Sanskrit for 'full of life energy'. He is an artist; he lives in a studio and this is his collection of brushes.



That is not even all of them, but the proof of his profession is more evident in the advice he gave me about painting: To fill a canvas, appreciate that the forms of nature all arise from necessity. It is necessary to make the subject of the work feel at home like a crab in its shell. I am just paraphrasing. He also told me about how important the corners of the canvas are. He was very specific that a drawing is fairly different to a painting. You can 'get away' with a lot more in a drawing apparently.

I will publish some shots of his nature paintings later, but here is a painting of his I really like. Pranavanta explained that the the colour spectrum develops from the edges towards its full intensity in the middle. That is obvious once you think about it, but he has employed this effect in a most subtle fashion. There is a lot going on in this work - enjoy the close-ups. (I reccomend clicking on them for a really good look.)













05 September 2008

Colossus

Not far ago, one evening, I heard an Englishman upon the radio, lauding a composer of his fancy. In reference to the musical genre, he said that this artist, "...bestrode it like a colossus."

I was so struck by the magnificence of this phrase: it gave vigour to the mind and lit the night.

I just found out that Shakespeare had Cassius speak of Julius Caesar so:

'Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.'

The secret message of Cassius to the brooding jealousy of Brutus is revealed by Sri Aurobindo:

'Fate can be changed by an unchanging Will.'

Cease your rule O stars of fortune.
Tremble dust!
Where I lead you do not chart!
The hest of Destiny has unwound
The trammels of my past.
From the cords of life,
Wind, Master-Weaver,
Your tapestry of beauty.
Creation shall have its reckoning
Upon this spot.
Born of breath,
Most beloved of death,
I admit no regret.

Ruth

I am sure you know the word ruthless, but it derives from the now mostly defunct word ruth, meaning compassion. Upon reminding of this, I birthed a verse:

Thine eyes of ruth
Have never left me -
I may not doubt it:
They pierce all penury
And sow smiles in woes.


It was 1374 when Chaucer wrote:

'If therewith-al in you ther be no routhe, Than is it harm ye liven.'

More recently Walt Whitman told us:

'And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy, walks to his own funeral, drest in his shroud.'

How ruthful then the advice of Sri Chinmoy:

'Be kind, be all sympathy,
For each and every human being
Is forced to fight against himself.'

01 September 2008

Flight


A sweeping deep of doubts,

I ride upon a wistful nothing.
Tight I draw the reigns of my chaos
And urge the victory-speed of forward-march:
Thy Cry is Silence-Light.


August 31, 2008

The world


What is the world

but beauty's glance,
As if the falling tear
Split into a thousand laughs.


August 28, 2008