- push yourself to get up before the rest of the world - start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.
2. push yourself to fall asleep earlier - start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable.
3. erase processed food from your diet. start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. use the rule that if a child couldn’t identify what was in it, you don’t eat it.
4. get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. sit and eat it and do nothing else.
5. stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.
6. buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.
7. buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.
8. strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. make your bed in full.
9. organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.
10. have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.
11. push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.
12. message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.
14. think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything.
15. become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.
16. lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes. take small steps to make it happen for you.
- push yourself to get up before the rest of the world - start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.
The problem with building something from the ground up is that you are constantly nagged by the inevitable feeling of surprise. You are never the master of your own destiny. That is to say that, in trying to be, you are plagued by the opposing reality that you will not be successful. There is always something outside of you that will surprise you. There is no escaping ignorance. There is only the more—than—vain pursuit of defending against it.
This pursuit defines part of our human dynamism and is measured daily until the time that we die. That is when we can not be dynamic anymore. We can not help ourselves at that point, when entropy gets the better of the flesh that makes our minds and electricity stops flowing through us.
“Creating something” is the name we give to a process. We take five steps forward in order to take four steps back, and then we must repeat. You must repeat.
Information is the currency we use in this process of creation. We pay with it. We pay for it. We live with it all the time knowing still that there are vaults of it out there, that will still determine our success, but for which we have not yet made or received the key.
Traders of information are more intimately acquainted with ignorance than others are. They deal in the substance that defines it — whether you have ignorance or not. They can be driven mad by the feeling of being so sensitized to their necessary and never ending failure. The motif ripples through literature as a “void” that, if stared into long enough, the gazer is left troubled by some incessant reminder or another. All these references are proxies for human kind confronting ignorance and losing.
I am a creative. I am a trader and, more importantly, a builder of information. Even as I see my creation rise up and have life, I am terrified of my own ignorances as to how to finish it. It is a daily fear that some days stops me from getting the information needed to drown my fear; the knowledge that the race will never stop repulses me. It seems sometimes, in those dark moments when I am alone, that if I just give up, then my ideas, as they currently stand, are perfect. That is a lie; it is an insidious mobius strip that information traps us in.
I am emotionally indulgent. When I love, I love hugely. When I fear, I am possessed by it. This is who I am. I can dull the feelings for a while with alcohol or Xanex or by blithe denial, but my brain keeps working in the same ways. And it is always driven by the same question: how can I make the world and the lives within it more beautiful?
How can I express my firm belief that the meaning of life is intrinsically linked to its lack of meaning? That no god pitted us against an etherial and unvanquishable force like entropy. That we will lose to it does not hurt me; it helps me. It provides me with my greatest challenge: summoning the strength and continuing impulses to build and make better what little life I have.
The buildings I build will be ripped down. The people I love will all fall apart when they are food for bacterium, fungus, bugs, and grass. The companies I start will limp, and then fall to the ground, dead like the legal beings they are supposed to be.
Good ideas, whether they result in a physical body like a building, or a book, or live only as impulses navigated by software and interpreted by our eyes as we surf the web, are the only things that are maintained. They are maintained! They do not keep on existing without great expenditures of energy and time as other people buttress these ideas by cleaning the Tube, or repairing a facade of a government building, or by reading and passing on the book.
What makes a good idea? I am not sure. Is it work? Is it thought? All I know is that they are entropy’s greatest adversaries — even as fledgling as they may be. They say that time is the greatest teacher, but that it kills all its pupils. Time is not the agent. It is the substrate only. In it travels something that breaks us all.
I find irony in that entropy—the phasing of less complex systems towards greater complexity, randomness, or disorder—is itself an idea. As long as human beings are alive in this universe to hold a thought in their heads, the idea of entropy will live on. It seems it was a good idea.
“What a lovely thing a rose is!”
He walked past the couch to the open window, and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects.
“There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion,” said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. “It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers.
“All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it.
“It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”"–Sherlock Holmes, in The Adventure of the Naval Treaty by Arthur Conan Doyle (via bellapok)
I think I accidentally accepted the premis of a question I never understood or enjoyed. Recently I have been musing to myself about whether or not the whole of my adult and social life can be summed up as people attempting to loosen me up, as if my crutch was that I was somehow too intense.
Intensity is a funny word. It is a noun that, in describing the general nature of an actor, connotes any number of verbs—the actions committed in myriad form that add up to a life. All of these verbs have objects that they act upon, whether they are intransitive or transitive. I am being a bit liberal in my use of ‘object’ by allowing it to be either a thing or the subject, in this case me, acting upon itself, but permit me for a moment. The funny quirk about intensity, and where I think a lot of its negative connotations come from, is that while it reflects upon all of the many actions that I may do, it does not in itself relate any of the other information about those actions. “Passionate,” by contrast, is a word that shares much of the same information about degree of interest and the acuteness of my presence while I am conducting myself, but it also shares one other thing: a positive description.
Passion can be overwhelming. It can shock others. It can drown its possessor. It is also widely understood as the foundation to everything we hold dear about ourselves and our tiny individual worlds.
Just because I am passionate about many things does not mean that others around me will understand my passions. They will not necessarily be able to identify what it is that I am grasping for at any one of the moments the meet me. Even more true is that many of the things I am passionate about in my young life are processes, so they in themselves do not have shape — they too are growing. They are narratives that need to be shared such that another could even start to feel what it is I think I feel so symphonically while looking around and thinking, or yelling, or musing, or writing, or any of the other things I do where I am most blissful but am not smiling. Others not being able to permeate those thoughts easily is more alienating than thoughts displayed by others that are far more simple or a more simple sort of fun. To these people, to all the people who look at me and, for that instant, do not get it, I am easily labeled as being intense.
I have been trying to reconcile that label with how I feel about myself, how I feel good in the way I live my life and how I am overwhelmingly happy about being me. I did not like how there was nothing intrinsically positive about this quality of mine that I relish in. I am not intense; I am passionate. I am passionate about many, many things.
If they tripped now, they would hardly feel it as the pavement came up to give them a quick hello.
Two men are running through the streets of Verona on a Friday as the afternoon is turning into evening. They are heading for the same market. They aren’t running together, but both men are running the same direction down parallel streets less than a half mile apart.
The smell of their sweat mixes with the smell of everyone else’s sweat and freshly baked bread. It is August in Italy.
Agapito is wearing a deep blue cotton suit, a white shirt, deep brown-red leather shoes and sky-blue ascot tie. He has a hand-made leather belt and a hand-made leather bag that match his shoes. He combed his hear nicely this morning, but his hair and shirt have come askew as he runs. He is generally considered strong-jawed. He does not have a girlfriend, but when he does they are usually in love with each other.
Ferruccio is wearing a brown suit, a white shirt, black leather shoes and no tie. His suit has been in need of mending for years and is worn thin at the backs of the knees and on the elbows. Ferruccio has not combed his hair for the last seven hundred and forty three days. He has counted. His once noble face is sagged with age and drink, and he has been unhappily married for twenty five years to a woman who is much older than him but who he thinks will not die.
The streets are narrow, and people these two men have known for their entire lives are thronging like rocks in a churning river. The runners flow over them and in between them as they go. These people are in the streets where they live before a Friday night and the runners are each passing them with the turbulence and grace of quickly moving water. To them it seems like their neighbors are barely moving at all.
These two men are thinking with fervor.
Agapito is sprinting towards the main market square dodging to and fro. He is saying, “I have to get out of here. My loneliness is consuming me. I have to find someone I can stand. None of you understand how my hands shake each and every time I do what I have done one thousand times before. I have lost all sense of the wisdom I was taught. I have no sense of why I do things other than habit. I have no sense of camaraderie with the people around me who also do not understand why, but who also do not ask. They call me intense, and wrong. I may never be correct, but I know they are wrong. I am hobbled by this feeling that the only meaning I know is continuance in the face of futility. I am searching, but I do not feel I am close to the end of searching. It may never end. I may search forever.”
Ferruccio is running towards the main market square dodging people who ever seem to be in his way. He is saying, “I have to get out of here. My loneliness is consuming me. I have to find something I can stand. None of you understand how my hands shake each and every time I do all the things I have done one or two thousand times before. I have lost all sense of the wisdom I had learned. I have no sense of why I do things other than habit. I have no sense of camaraderie with the people around me who also do not understand why, but who also do not ask. They call me out of rhythm and wrong. It is they who are wrong. I am hobbled by this feeling that the only meaning I know is the flow of our lives against the sucking ebb of futility. I am searching, but I do not feel like I am close to the end of searching. It may never end.”
“But you will, old man,” a teenager says.
Ferruccio races up to him with a raised fist like he is going to strike this boy savagely, but he thinks against it and races on towards the square.
The women in the streets are wearing white dresses with scarves over their hair while the men are wearing cotton trousers rolled up their calves. Some of the people on the streets are tourists enjoying the sights and sounds of evening shopping. They’ve come from all across Europe and the World. Like the running men, they seem to care about everything they see, but these people aren’t moving quickly. These people are set apart by their type of curiosity. Unlike the running men, they are seeking what it is they can find.
These tourists are in the minority. Most everyone knows not to come to Verona in the lazy August heat. Therefore the rocks are mostly people of this inland sea, people who call Verona home.
Some of the shops are Verona-green, or Wine-Burgundy, or the color of lake water, close to shore, that’s reflecting the sky. Some of these shops are selling things; others are only sort of selling things. The patrons and the proprietors are friends. The ledgers, and the concise language of business, can’t track what is being traded here.
“A little of this for a little of that.”
“That one is free for you.”
“Only for you.”
“Say hello to your mother.”
One man says ‘Cazzo’ with his hands as a boy tries to take an apple.
“Prego,” says another man.
The stores all look similar but different in the street-dust and the slowly elongating light. Like a race of people with wildly different skin tones, all these buildings belong together. The apartments rising up above the shops are their hair. It’s their unifying feature. They all have four-story, travertine hair.
There are women buying fogaccia, there are families buying spices, and there are a few men old men who don’t have women or families anymore. They drink grappa and smoke cigarettes, and they’re playing bocci down the narrow side streets.
Young boys in cotton shorts watch these men. They range in age between seven and thirteen years old. They’re learning the game.
Bocci can be played by many at once, but here four usually play at a time.
The streets are steep, and the men play with hand-made wooden cubes covered in colored leather. These don’t roll as far as balls would. The lead is the smallest cube. Sometimes it is plain wood. Today it’s Mr. Raphael’s lead, and since it’s the day before Assumption he’s using his great grandfather’s silver dropper. It’s scuffed and scratched, but the other men respect that this eighty-seven year old padre is sharing one of his treasures.
Fourteen men are in the pool of players knowing their game’s semi-silence well.
They watch as the winner of the previous round casts the silver lead forward with an aged underhand. It rolls a little bit and stops. The four current contestants put down their grappa and collude at the right cobblestone, waiting their turn to play. Each of them gets three throws. Their colored cubes role down the hill, and the man whose piece is closest to the lead is the winner.
The children wait with eagerness on stolen crates farther down the hill. Their wooden seats are shoved into the small doorways of hidden homes, usually blocking entrances, trapping this or that matron or cleaning girl inside. They do not block the alley though. They are sitting to the side. The boys are waiting for when one of the men will forget his strength and throw too hard —because even a cube will keep rolling down these pitched and curving streets. As if by silent contract it’s the boys who run after the lost toys.
The most observant rush off first. They are not distracted by most of the bored musings of their friends. They’re not distracted by Antonio’s story of how he saw his sixteen year-old sister’s breasts, nor their friend Etzio’s chirping questions about their shape or size, nor whether she often closes the drapes while changing. Antonio pushed him.
“I wouldn’t know,” Antonio says.
It’s a race.
If the observant boys can get their first, before it’s rolled too far, then it’s theirs to give back to the men.
The strong boys, or the dumber boys, give hunt in sequence.
It is like a parlor-sized dog race. The smart boys see the fake rabbit and run after it. The dumb boys follow with vacant hunger in their eyes because it is time to run. If the cube is too far, too fast, then the strong boys are able to pull away in the chase down the street.
The streets are narrow. Small boys can get boxed out against the stones, door handles, or low hanging lamps. Each of these pose their own perils to property and safety. Bocci is not for the weak, even for the young of Verona.
Once the chase has started it is a known promise that each of them must run as hard as they can for as long as possible until a pair groping hands find victory.
The prize for catching the cube is being able to return it. It is simple. The old man who lost his toy watches the race down the narrow steps and over the stones. He watches when some of the children fall or scrape their knees. He sees the winner. This dirty-ankled boy squeezes through his competitors and walks back up with the cube in his hand. He hands it back. The old man smiles like he’s saying thanks for something that he needed help doing, but that he was never forced to ask for. It is a contract. It is a weekly pact.
Agapito Voce and Ferruccio Lavori both used to chase the bocce balls down the steep cobbled streets. Agapito did so for the seasons between fifteen and twenty summers ago. Forty-seven summers have passed since Ferruccio was racing down those same streets.
Agapito gets to the main square. It is a large square; at least five thousand meters by meters. That means it is large enough that only the people directly around him look at him when he screams in frustration to no one in particular. Ferruccio gets to the other side of the square and also screams. Again, the people around him hear it and look.
It is getting dark, and is finally starting to cool off.
“I cannot take this,” Agapito says. He is sweating through his clothes. He is only now catching his breath. He stomps his way to the bar of the Cafe Estate, sits under a fan and orders a bottle of Negroamaro — one glass.
The waiter, Ernesto, is also a young man and knows Agapito. He does not know him well, but he has respected him for as long as he can remember — since the age of nine at least when they used to chase bocce together. Ernesto recognizes that something is unsettling his acquaintance.
He asks, “What is the matter, Agapito?”
Agapito says, “I feel lost, Ernesto. Is there some way I can help others; is there some way I can take from others? These two directions are laid out in front of me so clearly, but I do not know why I should walk them. It is natural for me to to want to help those who are most able to help themselves, the people whose work speaks to me, but there are not always ways to help these people. They, and the skills they need from me, are so far away from this cafe.”
“On the other hand,” Agapito continues, “look at these men at the other tables. Not a single one of them is my enemy. I do not know a single one of them well, but I do not wish them any harm. Yet I am told to compete with them for jobs, and women, and riches. I am told that I can only get it is what I want if I beat them all — them, the wide-eyed, nice-faced competition.”
Ernesto doesn’t know what to say, but one of the other men, the one at the nearest table leans over and says, “There is nothing incorrect about what you are saying, or your resentment, but you will find that all of this is okay when you know why you are fighting.”
“I do not feel like I am fighting anyone, but that I am fighting,” Agapito says.
“You are fighting. We all are. Life is a fight. It is a fight against futility first, and then against specific battles for good and possessions later,” the man said.
“I do not know why I am fighting,” Agapito said.
“That is okay. It takes us all different amounts of time to get started. The beginning is the painful jostle of mind and soul that there is a fight to be had and that we are a part of it at all. After that epiphany we are still nowhere, but we are starting to think correctly. You are on the right track. You are fine.”
“I think so as well,” said another man from across the room.
Every one of Ernesto’s customers that is in ear shot adds to the motion.
“Once you find out what you are looking for, come back and we will help you on that path.”
“You see? It is okay,” Ernesto says, “it is just like bocce but you have lost track of what you are racing after. You will find it, and when you do all these people, and probably more, will pass on their experience and help you make it something great.”
Meanwhile Ferruccio goes into the Cafe Autunno across the square. He also orders a bottle of Negroamaro with one glass. He sits down at a table under a fan. There is sweat through his shirt, and he is regaining his breath. The waiter brings him his wine and his glass. Ferruccio looks at the waiter’s eyes, and then at the faces around him, one at a time. He sits with his fingers tapping on the wooden table. He keeps looking. Not one of these faces,or sets of eyes looks back at him. He sits alone with his wine, under the florescent lights of this otherwise adequate cafe.
Bocci is a game the smart boys play for the praise of the men who would shepherd them into later in life. The dumb boys play for the cheaper thrills of victory and violence. Both groups bring their own pungent passion to the contest and conversation.
Generations of older brothers and cousins pass this ritual to the next generations. “This is where the men are made,” they would say. “This is where the men of Verona make themselves.” It is a hardy cake slathered in frivolity and baked in the boredom of summertime, and they would pat themselves on the back and walk together into their lives of sunshine and simplicity.
It was the middle of the day, but it could have been night. So little light shed through the clouds above; it was as if a thousand spinsters’ ghosts had quilted the day-time sky with stillness.
The trees around me were the same color grey as the sky, nearly black swirled with a distant dimness that gave no warmth. The dark created a bowl for my senses, as if I were in a small man-sized dish. I could not touch, or see anything beyond the double radius of my arms. I could only hear.
An uncertain number of seconds would pass and I would hear it again.
Crick. There was a sound in the undead leaves in front of me — fallen but not yet brittle on the ground. I could not see its source.
I looked up and the clouds had gotten lower. The ceiling above me was now even more colored like the long-dead. It was swollen like a horse’s corpse in a creek, a grey-green that was mostly grey, bulging towards my eyes, propelled by a pestilential leaking gas I can almost see, like small streaks of vaporized bacterium entering the air I breath.
I had seen the dead horse in the creek that I speak of, a long time ago, floated down from my neighbor’s property. The image came back into my mind. I could imagine entire portions of the horse coming away with a simple swipe of a stick or my arm. The forest, sky and greyness all around me seemed just like that. Fetid thoughts were upon me in this place as is only possible where the sun does not shine well enough or long enough to purge the permeating blackness it daily leaves behind.
It still smelled fresh here. That was completely unlike the ghastly metamorphosis as death-abundant flesh’s stink came slowly, unannouncedly upon my life-abundant scene. A picnic by the creek was interrupted by its wetly belching stomach, popping with viscous tendrils launched under the pressure of its decay and resulting gasses.
Hoooo! I didn’t have time to jump as an owl’s wing touched my cheek while it trumpeted in my ear. By the time I threw my hands in fright it had come and gone, but it was upon a rodent in stepping distance of my place. I could not see it though. I could hear its prey’s last squeak and the chomping of it’s beak.
Why was it not afraid of me? It’s brazenness… This place was like none I have ever been.
Then the sound stopped. The owl was no more. Did the night-time flyer go back to the poplars silently?
I had not taken a step in minutes. I was rooted where I stood as if my shoes’ soles had been grafted to the ground.
Crick. Crick. This time the step, or what I thought was a step, passed through the top, and long-hardened layer of leaves below.
“Hello?” I said. I could not think of anything else to say.
Crick. Crick. The sound was no more than a furlong in front of me now.
“I have no money,” I said, for it seemed a safe thing to say.
Music started to play behind me. I turned to face it. It wasn’t frightening, but inexplicable. It was full as if the grey all around me carried music, a pregnant substrate of sound. It was a soft requiem or nocturne built of fifteen violins, a piano, and a harp. Their notes hung like picked, black, meaty cherries in the thick night; they were unlike the other phantasmagoria of this place. A clarinet joined in the baroque paganism before the violin and the piano took the center of the sound with a siren-like melancholy that stirred with the refreshing sadness of late autumn — when there is no life in the seasonal death of trees.
Crick. Crick. Now the sound was behind me, so I put my back to the music again.
The approaching sounds melded in my ears. The crunching leaves in front of me were a staccato in reflection of the sad, strange song of death and night.
I was sure I was going to die. I clutched my chest and could feel all the rosacea leave my cheeks. My face, hands and feet were small glaciers, permanent edifices of my cold terror.
My throbbing heart was filled with the same longing as the music in my ears. Premonition gave way to apparition; there was no guessing that something was coming for me as it closed in upon me from two directions. My terror subsided however as it was so strong and strange as to transmute itself in my heart into a macabre curiosity. The looming doom-like sounds around me had conspired so poetically that they seemed a perfect mirror to the night’s motives.
Each night promises to deliver something: every night delivers the day, I thought. Most nights deliver sleep. This one delivers a mystery to me. And same as the way all nights come to us, all I had to do was wait as this danced nearer, as this mystery came to me.
The violin, like a woman singing, reached deep into its bosom for long resonant echos in my left ear, and my brother’s voice sounded in my right. “Hello,” it said.
I spun around and I could feel leaves flying from where I stood. Nothing was there. I spun the other way with music still in my ears. Still I could feel the leaves get thrown from under foot, hitting nothing and no one. I was still alone in this dark corner of the woods.
“Who is there?” I asked and flailed my arms to know.
There was no answer.
“I heard you. I still hear you. Your music is with child, with sorrow, and you have the voice of my brother. Your steps danced with this music unexplained.”
“They did dance,” my brother’s voice answered.
This time it was directly ahead of me so I stumbled forward looking for a body.
Once again there was nothing there, and I tripped over what I think was a root and fell into the loam hands first. I lay there and the music seemed to swell even louder as I floundered to regain my footing in the leaves. I got to my knees when I was overwhelmed by an un-fightable fatigue. Try as I might I was so taken by this sudden loss of energy that I lay back down. I was almost pushed to the ground by this feeling, as if by a hand unknown, so all I could do was roll over and face the still grey sky.
“Brother, why have you come back?” I asked.
The violin and voice answered in a somber dreamcatcher’s melody. “I am not back, brother.”
“Then what are you?”
“Hear my silent prayer, heed my quiet call, one that’s dark around you, let the grey surround you. Look inside the light, you will know that I have found you,” my brother said.
It continued, “ You carry guilt alive inside of you.
“I am your fears. Look inside the light. Let the grey surround you.”
I looked directly into the sky again and found the first keyhole of sunshine. I had such a will as I stared into that feeble blotch of light that I squinted and strained my neck off the forest floor so that I could be closer. Try as I might the light did not change. I lay my head back down and just looked, as I would look at anything. Slowly my mind became awash with all things, which is to say I thought of none in particular. Then the light grew. It doing so was not a product of my intent. Like staring at a spot on the wall, I saw nothing else and was free to contemplate its radiance.
I lost consciousness in the tired hours of the day.
When I awoke it was darker than it was before, as if the ember of a day had finally given way to the fullness of the dark. I did not even try to move. I still lay in the loam. I lay there for a long time listening to nothing in particular and fearing nothing about the blackness around me.
I could feel a bug crawl over my neck. I had no idea what type it could be, but I was unconcerned. I felt a rodent between my feet, but I lay still. I thought I could even feel the slightness of bacteria or grass growing in mass between my unmoving fingers. I suspect that was a fiction born of under or over-stimulation from the silence.
There was no music around me. I could not tell from whence that music originally came in the darkness.
Lightness finally came across the far stretches of the sky. It happened in the normal way; the distant stretches of the world above me became a lighter dark-blue, then a grey and then a pink upon the trees. The clouds were gone and a red sun erupted from the ground, only partially obscured by the thinning forest in the east. I sat up and saw the sun and it looked only as tall as a man. Indeed it was an obese, happy man in the distance that was too brilliant to look upon for more than a few instants. Then this man grew and grew and took flight, slowly drifting up into the sky like a warmth-giving balloon.
I got up. I walked back to the inn I was staying at the night before and at which I never planned to stay again. I got my previous room once more and sought about for pen and paper. I got breakfast—sausages filled with pork and sage, tomatoes, and eggs—and sat writing this down long after my scraps got cold. I suspect I will have no need to re-read what I have put here; I have strong doubts about whether such a remembrance can ever leave a mind.
I closed my writings in this way:
I am haunted by the day my younger brother and kid sister died. It was the day the horse passed by our picnic. Bandits or vagrants, from I know not where, must have watched us from the undergrowth. These men came upon us as I went to go inspect the hideous remains of the horse. It was my last act of youthful curiosity. They struck me about the head with a branch that I later found. I fell into the horse. I woke later to find my brother’s and sister’s throats cut. A few of their trinkets and the basket with the food were gone. They were taken from me for the lowest of costs, one I wish I just could have paid. I woke and still had three times that value mixed with the horse puss in my pockets. I kneeled there looking back and forth between the change in my hand and the blueing body of my seven year old sister.
I went into the woods to hang myself last night. The rope was in my jacket. It is what I clutched when I thought to clutch my chest. This morning I found a stick not ten feet away from where I lay last night that looked like a clarinet, so similar to the one used to incapacitate me years before. That was remarkable enough a thing for me to find that I lost the name of action. Perchance I will try again; perchance I won’t.
Last May I incorporated a limited company in the UK in order to distill the first American-style whiskey made outside the United States. This is the first and last time I will ever call it that in public. I just can’t use the “B-word”.
I want to thank you all for making my time on Tumblr wonderful. I posted nothing but what I wanted to. I tried, for the most part, to post things that I like and what I thought other people should see. It took most of three years to get 100 followers, and sharing what I find interesting with you has been a real joy.
This Tumblr Blog is suspended until such time that I either have a glass of distillate in my hand or I have failed. Either way this is my last post.
I would welcome any and all help, or kind words, if you think that a whiskey start-up in London is exciting. If you do, you can always reach me at email@example.com. The site will be up in a few weeks. A few others of you have my personal email, and know that it is always available.
With warmth and well wishes to all of you,
I saw someone post a picture of a movie scene that featured J Lo in it, and they said, “Classic movie.” It occurs to me that the “Jazz Singer” debuted in 1927. Most of us will be able to see the 100 year anniversary of some of the greatest movies in early Hollywood history.
I try to tell people now that Casablanca is one of the greatest movies of all time, and I am, more often than I would like to be, told that it is “so old” that it doesn’t warrant any excitement anymore. It shouldn’t be watched. I wonder what kind of response I will get if I ever tell my grandchildren to watch it in 2042.
“Grandpa, that movie is literally 100 years old!”