31 December 2010

Mount Ainslie


Right. Yesterday I went for a ride instead of a run because I was just too sore. Today it will be 35 degrees so I was out the door at seven am to reach the summit of Mount Ainslie. Leaving that early was a little difficult but I knew it would ne'er be otherwise. My alarm plays this harp sound and it may be a little too dulcet because it goes for many minutes before penetrating the vale of my head.

I listened to Beethoven's 9th Symphony and I was about half way through the choral movement at the end by the time I got to the top of the hill. I tried not to stop when on the up-track. Chanting 'life or death' in my head helped, but I was barely faster than the walkers to begin with and took pause three times.

Upon the apogee, inspiration struck and although it took me 15 minutes to get to the base of the hill I decided to try and get home in 8 minutes. Going down the hill was easy and very liberating for the hips. Then I took off to the side of the track, psyching myself up out loud, "Of course it's possible. Nothing is impossible." Veer left when a fellow runner appears out of nowhere to avoid frightening them anymore. Through back streets alternating betwixt a grimace and grin in spasming ecstasy. And and and ... it was surprisingly close.

The Australian War Memorial is at the base of Mount Ainslie. I have not actually been there since moving to Canberra so I had a quick look around. Something about the handsome gentleman below recalls the French. I'm thinking of La liberté guidant le peuple. I could have read the plaque but then I would just be an educated fool.


Next is Simpson and his burro. I learnt all about him in Primary School, I am sure most Australian children do. A very nice statue, the eyes are awesome.



Lake and world looking hazy from the bottom and the top.







29 December 2010

Running


Because I now have free range internet in my house again I will try and post more frequently and/or regularly. Perhaps this will provide a thrill for my dedicated fanbase. Whoever not and whenever if you are. Of course, my quotidian existence is mundanity in extremity, only with clever words.

Today I went running for over an hour and forgive me, it had been five days since my last run. I went to Lake Burley Griffin from home and went from bridge to bridge. Although it was 5 o'clock pm, it wasn't crazy hot, but I skipped lunch, so it was a little tough. There were refreshing sprinklers to run under and this kind of thing really makes one feel alive and ten years old again.

I took my phone because it is an iPod too and I can call emergency services if I start to die, much much more suddenly than expected, that is. Also, I started taking photos on the way back, which keeps it interesting. I listened to most of Beethoven's 6th Symphony and the start of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto #3. I did listen to rock in between, but it was annoying because the songs are so short and I can't particularly boogie while running.

I intend to run the Canberra Marathon next April, should aim to beat 4'12", which means considered speed work or drills or something, whereas I just love to be out there for ages when I run. In any case, regular running will give me the stamina to finish, which will not be a disgrace.







28 December 2010

Sweet and sour spaghetti


from the
Tao Te Ching translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. My favourite. A copy that has served me faithfully for many years:

SEVENTY-EIGHT

Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.

Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;

It has no equal.

The weak can overcome the strong;

The supple can overcome the stiff.

Under heaven everyone knows this,

Yet no one puts it into practice.

Therefore the sage says:

He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people

is fit to rule them.

He who takes upon himself the country’s disasters

deserves to be king of the universe.

The truth often sounds paradoxical.


***


I want to see some opera, although it can be pretty annoying. Here is Rodolfo in Puccini's La Bohème:


Aspetti, signorina,
le dirò con due parole
chi son, e che faccio,
come vivo. Vuole?
Chi son? Sono un poeta.
Che cosa faccio? Scrivo.
E come vivo? Vivo.
In povertà mia lieta
scialo da gran signore
rime ed inni d'amore.
Per sogni e per chimere
e per castelli in aria,
l'anima ho milionaria.


Wait, mademoiselle,
I will tell you in two words,
who I am, what I do,
and how I live. May I?
Who am I? I am a poet.
What do I do? I write.
And how do I live? I live.
In my carefree poverty
I squander rhymes
and love songs like a lord.
When it comes to dreams and visions
and castles in the air,
I've the soul of a millionaire.

***



26 December 2010

Poems



Musings on love

The sands of time
I sit upon
The ocean watching
All along
I hold a tear
For beauty's song
The horizon long
My empty heart
Makes me strong
The waiting
Makes it better.

*



I have stained You
With the darkness
Of my mind.
But You do not see that,
You always draw aside
The curtain and find
The treasure of my life
Called heart.

13 December 2010





I drew a bird tonight...

When he sings
The song of man
He forgets God's Plan.

Sorrow, sorrow, sorrow everywhere.

When he sings
The song of God
Joy rings the air surround.

Nothing to do, nothing to do, all done.


09 December 2010

Classical


The other night I saw, well heard I 'spose, some beautiful classical music, including a performance of Frühlingsstimmen which means "Voices of Spring". It was so joyful and full of delight. Bloody marvellous in fact. The singer was accompanied only by piano.

Lately classical music I prefer to listen to, so today I bought some Chopin, Satie and Schubert to help me relax. Alas, poor Schubert, who once wrote:

"'My peace is gone, my heart is sore, I shall find it never and nevermore,' I may well sing every day now, for each night, on retiring to bed, I hope I may not wake again, and each morning but recalls yesterday's grief."

We've all been there, but only one of us composed the Piano Trio #2 in E flat major, Opus 100. The second movement andante con moto is awesome. Here is part of it, adapted for a movie.



07 December 2010

from Gitanjali by Tagore

72.

He it is, the innermost one, who awakens my being with his deep hidden touches.

He it is who puts his enchantment upon these eyes and joyfully plays on the chords of my heart in varied cadence of pleasure and pain.

He it is who weaves the web of this maya in evanescent hues of gold and silver, blue and green, and lets peep out through the folds his feet, at whose touch I forget myself.

Days come and ages pass, and it is ever he who moves my heart in many a name, in many a guise, in many a rapture of joy and of sorrow.


73.

Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight.

Thou ever pourest for me the fresh draught of thy wine of various colours and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel to the brim.

My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame and place them before the altar of thy temple.

No, I will never shut the doors of my senses. The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy delight.

Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy, and all my desires ripen into fruits of love.


06 December 2010

Things


What remains then?

Love is patient
And all things
To all people.

That is enough to sustain the universe, so it will suffice.

*

And I bought an apartment. The place is being repainted now before I move in on the weekend. The weirdest thing is that there are countless shades of white paint, with names to put the poet in me to shame, but none of them are quite, well, exactly white.