Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
"All pleasure is just relief" - William Burroughs - 'Junky'.
These words have been floating through my mind for weeks. I'm not sure if I agree, or disagree - but it's a delicious, aesthetically perfect concept and I adore Mr Burroughs for thinking it. I had a wonderful moment last night with the cool breeze and light kiss of autumn rain blowing in through an open window which brought me great pleasure, although I'm not sure how it adheres to the second half of that statement. Perhaps it doesn't need to. A perfect moment is a perfect moment, and a perfect idea is a perfect idea. Pleasure is not always pleasure and relief is not always relief.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I am more afraid of the creature called Time than anything else. There is no beast more immortal or powerful than Time, and it cannot be stopped. Not ever. I am approaching a birthday next week, one which I should be excited about. Alas, Time has noticed and growled a warning at me from afar.
I have been contemplating this phrase from one of my favourite novels, Peter S. Beagle's Last Unicorn. It is part of a conversation that one of the protagonists has with a human skull, guarding the Grandfather clock in the great hall. I have an Osteology exam next week, and so I have been fondling many human skulls the past few days. I cannot help but think of the flesh that once clung to those bones, and wonder what they would say to me.
"When I was alive, I believed--as you do--that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said 'one o'clock' as though I could see it, and 'Monday' as though I could find it on the map; and I let myself be hurried along from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, as though I were actually moving from one place to another. Like everyone else, I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes, weekends and New Year's Days, and I never went outside until I died, because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls." Peter S. Beagle - The Last Unicorn.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I don't know him very well, but I know that laugh. He throws his head back and laughs in that way that means everything and nothing. He smiles, which means a little more and a little less. I try to smile too, then repeat my question - "will I ever see you again?". More laughter, then silence. I understand.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I love this picture of my father and step brother. It was taken on the banks of the Thames, and I feel so sure of whoever I am when I see it. It's not at all tangible, but there's a misty idea, a concept of the family name, blood, mystery and adventure. A kind of mission, a 'something' which needs doing.
"My lady," he said, "I am a hero. It is a trade, no more, like weaving or brewing, and like them it has its own tricks and knacks and small arts. There are ways of perceiving witches, and knowing of poison streams; there are certain weak spots that all dragons tend to have, and certain riddles that hooded strangers tend to set you. But the true secret in being a hero lies in knowing the order of things. The swineherd cannot already be wed to the princess when he embarks on his adventures, nor can the boy knock on the witch's door when she is already away on vacation. The wicked uncle cannot be found out and foiled before he does something wicked. Things must happen when it is time for them to happen. Quests may not simply be abandoned; prophecies may not be left to rot like unpicked fruit; unicorns may go unrescued for a very long time, but not forever. The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story."
And thus, the happy ending is so clearly there, but we are only in the middle of our stories. I have found some of the characters which will define the adventure, the cheshire cats which will smile and point me in the right direction, the foxes to tame and befriend. The chapter titles are written on the first pages, ready to be perused. There is the sense of an end, and an answer, which is a bittersweet relief. Like any good book it will be sad to turn the last page, but oh! How delicious it would be if you had uncovered the mysteries.
Equally though, this sort of thing is always followed by a beautiful paradox.
"There are no happy endings, because nothing ever really ends" Shmendrick
- All quotes Peter S. Beagle - A hero if there ever was one.