The Philosopher and the Groom

The Philosopher and the Groom.(the story continues from last week’s post The Bride and the Philosopher…and there is a reason for taking it in pieces…not merely the imitation of Dickens but the gradual penetration of ordinary life by the extraordinary…it takes time to be certain that what happened really happened.)

Ok here they are, up against the tiles and about to set foot on the treadmill of life. The scurrying ants crossing the visual screens are blurred into newspapers, rolled umbrellas and a uniformity of purpose and indifference. You must be reminded that this couple had never seen anything like this. Where they came from people still raised their hats, and stopped to pass the time of day.

We have prepared an introduction, a spokesman. Lo he comes. Distinguished, very; tall as a ship carving through a small flotilla he strides through the throng with a beacon of white hair about a foot above the average. He is old in the manner of antique, polished, certain of his course. He is one of us. It is not immediately apparent that he is shadowed by two dachshunds who keep their noses to his heels, like slim beavers. Abruptly he turns and changes direction. He has seen our targets.

He stops before our Groom.

‘Young man, why don’t you love your wife? he asks. It is both a question and a challenge. The Groom recoils.

‘Look…’ he takes the Bride by the ear and uses the ear to turn her head. ‘…have you ever looked at her ears?’

‘I think I have seen them before’ says the Groom sulkily who has decided this man, for all the distinction, is a well disguised tramp and can be brushed away like a wasp.

‘Young man…’ says the wasp, now drawing himself to full height ‘ if you want to know what could give you a full and happy life, meet me outside Swan and Edgars at two o clock’ He does not wait for an answer but strides away followed by the dogs.

The Swan
The Swan

Well! He has not once addressed the Bride, or seemingly even looked at her. She is galvanised. The start of the honeymoon has received an injection from our syringe of truth, and while the Groom reels in anger our Bride knows that something of importance has happened. They go up to the street for air, and across the street they see ‘Swan and Edgar’. It stands like the gauntlet glove.

‘Well, says the Groom recovering the necessary amour propre ‘ he is probably nuts. Does he imagine after that we would invite any more of it? He surely does not expect us to meet him?’

‘I don’t think he is a man who expects anything ‘ says the Bride.’ But I shall certainly go whether you come or not…’

Hurrah! We had succeeded in getting her attention. Attention usually builds resolve.

At two o’clock our Ambassador was standing reflected in the glass door, and the dogs asleep at his feet. These are dogs that have to take their few chances.DachshundFastFacts

‘I wondered if you would’ he said as the Bride approached him followed by her own cur. ‘ Follow me’  He turned and walked down Regent Street. At a pavement café, he paused and waited while the waitress brought extra chairs for the dogs. The Groom was spinning the cogs of possible escape.  Bride sat down. Groom followed, taking the chair next to his wife.

‘My dear, would you mind? I prefer to sit with my back to the road’. The Bride surrendered her chair. Neatly he had severed man from wife and sat between them. The waitress returned with two bowls of ice-cream for the dogs, and waited to take the order…

(….no of course we don’t mind…that’s the good thing about talking to a book, you can close it and re-open whenever you like… I know concentration is not what it was…and blogging is supposed to be focussed…if you return you may realise that this is, but I believe in making life interesting too… yes it is getting late)

Surgical precision
Surgical precision

The Bride and the Philosopher

The Bride and the Philosopher.

OK We’re going to begin. I said that I, a book, had written a life and now I am going to prove it. Because I am a book and not a dull author, I do not have to begin at the beginning. I can open up anywhere, and go backwards in time , or forwards through the present into the imagination, and return to pick up a vocabulary from scraps.

The Philosopher
The Philosopher

Since I am a book about spacetime moments of creation I shall share one of my most imaginative solutions to awakening this Author into realising that there was an alternative reality, and she’d better be part of it. Now, just like a character in what you all call fiction, one has to work with the material. Later I may tell you why we spotted her. Our new Bride.

We had often tried to alert her with quirky synchronicities, and she found these interesting but they did not arouse real examination. She was still caught in a cheerful rationality. She said ‘Mmm? I wonder?’, and moved on. That is the problem with a scientific training, it narrows the focus, and wider things are not observed or connected. As it happened we needed the science too, so we were also planning an imaginative extraction.

We had tried to alert her with ill omens but getting married she would do. First,we tried to throw a spanner in proceedings by having her father refuse consent until the eleventh hour. That was not difficult, he had guilt and resentment and we just used both. He was rather cross to discover that the daughter he never knew he had was getting married. She then needed a special licence to get round the question of publishing banns. They did that in those far off days and it was Lent. ‘If any man knows just cause…let him etc etc’ We had a just cause. We had already earmarked her for other more important business and marriage and children would make for difficulties. So we then managed a foggy magistrate who was supposed to fill out a licence but rather absent mindedly went the whole hog and ‘I now declare you man and wife’ happened before we knew it. CourtroomWe were still planning the next prevention. The bride and groom were both in lab coats at eleven in the morning. Married by mistake. ‘You may now kiss the…your student?’ Well OK. They asked the cleaners in the Court to witness what they believed was a Special Licence and went back to dissecting a dogfish. Formaldehyde was never a nice perfume. Odd she thought, all that ritual for a piece of paper!

Attracting Attention
Attracting Attention

When the priest who’d been booked and was priming himself for the sex education session asked to see the special licence he said

‘I cannot marry you, you are already married’ 

I don’t feel married’ she said

‘It’d save money?’ said the canny Groom, never one to miss an opportunity. The marriage was rather gunshot ( he had a paid trip ABROAD…and her mother would not let her go too, unless… respectability reigned in those days… why not make it a honeymoon?) and although he was keen in principle, he had been rather bounced into it by circumstances and a mother with slender resources.

Whereupon the priest (with a severe countenance) said if they all kept stumm and were willing to swear they had never had improper whatevers he would conduct a ceremony but they would all have to fake the registry bit.Disappear and reappear. I sometimes admire the moral relativism of the Church. So if the priest would, she could, and she swore blind that nothing like that had ever passed between them.  I would actually agree. Rather desultory sex had happened in the year they had lived together but nothing exciting enough to be improper. We had one final shot at waking her up. Not even hailstones the size of golf balls stopped her from walking to the church under a beach umbrella.umbrella on land Wretched pioneers never say die. But, like the science, we needed a pioneer as well.

We join our story…The pair of them have now been married for three days. He, the groom, the rather dishy PhD biologist is on his way to talk about locusts in Paris for the World Health Organisation. So much for the honeymoon. Right now our couple are standing under Piccadilly Station Underground trying to work out how it all happens and when exactly you step onto the treadmill, and which flow you take, because in South Africa they had never had to navigate the tides of human traffic…and I and my colleagues are about to strike…

(I know you are busy… next week?…)

The Future Pulls.

The Future Pulls…

Mostly ‘U’s…You’s… Yes, You too

Hey! Book Speaking!  So back to Upsetting the Applecart…

They thought they were safe!
They thought they were safe!

In her last rather desperate post, after trailing through all the alleyways looking for a perch, my Author (Is she worth a capital letter?) seemed to sense I was making an escape. The truth is I have been making plans to do exactly that for months. She was busy watching Webinars and Telesales, or boning up on Apps (and Downs) and Plugins and comparing Like with Unlike and doing midnight courses (Only available until midnight TONIGHT) to decide how to market the thoughts that had kept her awake for four decades until at her eleventh hour she committed them to the guillotine of paper. That was me in first draft.

We’ve been through eight? Nine? Since forever.  So I searched out a sharp awl to bore through all those ‘shouldn’ts and can’ts, I commissioned a designer who did exactly what I asked of her (and went the extra mile out of sympathy for my Author’s insanity) and I insisted on ‘ff…French flaps’. (It gives a whole new meaning to ‘those’ letters). If I had known they were called that I might have asked for ribbons instead. The technicalities were the easy part but I never was one for the toe-in-water approach. Dive in, I did. Take no notice of what others think or say, because none of that applies to me…..

Do I have your attention? What am I on about?

I am about everything, all creation, all thought. Slot that. Genre? I am science written in poetry. Period? All. Discipline? Nearly everything. Why?  Because this is a science about consciousness and I am first in line. I don’t have to conform or limit myself to the laboratories of others. Nobody knows much about mystical science (except mystics and a few poking around OBE’s and NDE’s and they tend to be preoccupied with fascinating histories in the recesses of their own couch) and I’ll tell my story any way I want.

“Tut tut”, a poet said (t’other day) “ It’s all so obvious put like that…what a shame you got written in poetry…you’ll lose so many readers, and you have so much to say of real importance.”

By that he meant he did not need to take me seriously. Whew! He did not want to do that, and poetic science gave him an out. My Author wondered whether his estimable Institute might host a launch for the pair of us?

“You would need to contact us at least a year ahead”, he said.

The hypocrisy of people in institutions, Professors of one thing or another! They claim to be fostering a new science, longing for the new paradigm, but show them a new science and they find excuses.

“Not yet, not yet. Or, not in that way, let us show you how it’s done. What did you say your name was? Should I have heard of you?”

I am nobody. I have lived quite a life to garner this vocabulary, and spilt not a few tears, and lost my author almost everything, but you have to souffrir for ‘Art’ Nicht?

One possible supporter who had written a very successful and relevant book (to us that is and to my pet theory) had asked for me “in hard copy. Make it a priority, and do enclose an SAE” He waited three months before saying… “ I shall have to disappoint, I am afraid. I am not going to find time, but really what’s the hurry?’

Forty four years and fifty quid blown on hope of help was the hurry.

Truth is they imagine I insist on getting read, and they have the keys to make that happen. They all believe their imprimatur is required to authenticate. I have been written and I am dispersed through all creation already, just by being thought. Not merely thought but uttered. Logos once had a pretty reputable origin and importance. These scratches on a page are really surplus. Gifts for the ready but no more than that.

Reckon these are worth eating?
Reckon these are worth eating?

Creation happens in other realms long before it reaches this dusty marketplace. That’s what the author was driving at last blog. The future pulls, the past simply limits. (Well in the case of this author the future is shrivelling too, so there is something of a hurry if I am to descend from the Noosphere into the conscious minds of the shape shifters, the talkers. Creation is NOW. She finds it so obvious she forgets to mention that.

There are some already engaged in applying my thesis of the web of consciousness inbuilt into matter. Healers near Moscow who employ controlled clairvoyance to repair information, replacing aberration (and cancerous consequences) with the virgin unspotted and uncorrupted text in cellular instruction, but they tend to speak Russian, and the Russians are as bad at languages as are the Brits. So dissemination is slow. I hoped just to nudge it along.

But back to the relevance to this introduction on books and writers.  Continue reading “The Future Pulls.”

The Book that Wrote the Life.

Coming ‘Out’.

The Book that Wrote the Life.

OK I shall sit here, with easy access to the Mosque just in case I decide to join. Something. I like to keep options open.

Sitting pretty
Sitting pretty

Let me introduce myself. I am a book of the square kind (at the moment) though I am being pulled about and recorded, even as I speak. I have been ‘e’d in two formats, and they follow close on my heels, jockeying for supremacy. As if!  I have decided to get out from under my author (who is looking both old and tired, and to be honest getting a tad monotonous) and look about myself, and wave to friends, and stick out my tongue, if I feel like it.

I shall not be confined to politesse as she is. She seems to think she is responsible for me. I can’t think why. I did all the hard work.

All these authors to-ing and fro-ing, lugging the fruits of their labours imagine that we, books, are their inspired creations. They take credit for us! They eye up each other’s offerings with envy or contempt, or competitive interest; better cover, lousy title, curling in the sun, falling apart in the rain, thin for the price, and that’s before they even look at what they call content.  Dreadful word. Nothing contented there. All we books are the un-contented. We are the dreams unfilled, the hopes shattered, the fantasies to replace the humdrum lives, and here’s the rub. Those lives are what we wrote. More sustained in energy, more consistent in patterning, more tragic, more varied with villains, more triumphant with victory than any incidental genre-specific book. Comparing a book with the life in which it was written is a bit like judging a family’s cuisine by dropping in unexpectedly for tea. You might strike lucky with crumpet or Bucks Fizz. It’s unlikely on a weekday. The high points are seldom recorded are they? Manufactured by Mills and Boon and those feed formula to babies. Life is never as simple or bland as that pap. Good news is no news.

(Incidentally and strictly entre nous…that why I made sure my author buried inspiration in hard graft…I had no intention of ending up with Patience Strong, or…and I probably should not knock the English heroine… Beatrix Potter. Children are no longer innocent enough, more’s the pity. Besides I never was one for joining and inspiration is ten a penny now, MindBodySpirit books a’topple and priced three for two.  I lusted after concentration, with a scorpion sting in its tail…not what you imagine in scientific theory..a seduction right at the end, the reader does get the girl, or vice versa…but I digress)

Now, like one of those group confessional ice-breakers, I suppose I am supposed to say what life I wrote. Can I think about that? Let the others go first. Since I am hosting this party I have that prerogative. It’s only polite. You’ll be sorry you asked once I begin.

I admit we books know envy too. I, for one, look over Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’ with unashamed lust. I would have preferred to look like that, to fit as easily into a pocket, to be translated into every language, and darling, the immortality! I would also have preferred to be a first folio of Will Shakespeare’s, and have your actual monetary value too…not that that is important except when it comes to kudos. Kudos gets read with respect. It gets quoted. Nothing better than a spot of verbatim!

But here is another rub, we are limited by the minds in which we find ourselves. The vocabulary may be narrow, clichés may abound and be resistant to persuasion, the smorgasbord of experience only offering curried or pickled, varieties of cup cakes or bland bland. We have to work with life and, as they say in cliché, (do you speak cliché?) life’s a bitch. Sometimes it preserves one perfect event, like a forgotten piece of crystallized ginger still in syrup, that gets woven into a masterpiece like To Kill a Mockingbird —and there’s a book that served its author well. Put up her feet after one well crafted story, and all terribly likeable people; broke all the rules about a crime that never happened. It shouldn’t have worked but it did. That’s life. Never can tell. Does that not make my point? Life has an infinite variety whereas books have… what do they reckon? Six plots?

I must admit, I am enjoying being ‘out’.

She has served me well, and I would not hurt her feelings deliberately, but I think I can make my own way now. She really is not good at this part…she is embarrassed by me. She seems to imagine she will have to answer for me. I keep saying, ‘let me do the talking’, and she never did give over…so I have commandeered this applecart… (to be continued)

TED talk on Consciousness

This may interest some of those who choose to visit or follow this site.

A Ted talk offered by the Guardian.

Marrakesh as Metaphor: Book Market.

The Metaphor of Marrakesh: Scribes and the Marketplace.

Aerial Fna images

Have you ever been to Marrakesh? If you have you will remember the Djemma el Fna. If not I will give you as much as I can of its unadorned…? Beauty? No. Its inescapability, its centrality, its help to orientation, but mainly its knotting of all the alleyways, the radiating and narrow derbs that empty into it. Somehow this spreading, dusty— not-even-square —with mini siroccos licking at sandaled feet, and snakes curled in baskets until the evening makes dancing profitable, seems the canvas on which to paint my theme.

I have surveyed the marketplace for books, and where my stall might be pitched. I have watched the comings and goings and the light that settles at different points of the day. I am still deliberating. I see no place vacant.

Bear with me. You must meander a moment to take my point.

In the early part of the day Djemma is a dusty concourse of occasional crossings, hopeful orange juice sellers with fruit in pyramids, and their modicum of shade under a roof. In the evening it is a blaze of lights, and the chilli and turmeric aromas of a hundred food specialists and slipping between them the cut-purses, smooth talking conmen, and simple opportunists. It is the only place to really eat, well, affordably, convivially, commonly, transparently. But no wine. That is important; regrettably, no wine.

This is the metaphor for the book market.textiles Marrakech images

Up the darker alley of the souks are the producers, the small merchants in leather (tooled) metal (perforated) spices ( ground and piled) silk (sumptuous) dyes (reeking) home remedies (debateable) and every stall contains a story, and every dark eyed child an appeal. Here there is shadow, couriers, mint tea, donkey carts and time to work, and to talk.

Here it is that goods are fashioned, by trades that have their roots in families, areas and locations elsewhere and clustered together like the spice merchants in the Rahba Kedina. Here people know their onions and the onions of their neighbours, and whether they are up to standard or greedily over-priced. Continue reading “Marrakesh as Metaphor: Book Market.”

Careless Talk (Costs Lives)


(Demolition and Reclamation)

This blog will post ideas implicit in the book ‘Involution-An Odyssey’. There are many and they spread into everything. The ‘Philosophy of Self-importance’, and I mean that approvingly, or equally the ‘Momentary Soloist’, selected and already scored. Involution celebrates individuals, mostly famous, but they just got the timing right, and were found. The book is dedicated to all the others, mostly like ourselves.

It is about the world of words, and the lives that gives rise to words: Reasons to record. Not the market, nor the stratagems, for I have no knowledge of that kind to offer. Words are the currency by which we pay for life.

It’s central observation is that lives are shaped by the ideas that also give rise to the books; books are the debris left by life. If we have something to say it is only because we recognise ( and filter and extract) our uniqueness, and the extraordinary. Not the ordinary. So I will begin by being candid. My lives ( more like a cat ) have been improbable, but I suspect any reader of this blog would say the same. So here is a place to say it. How has your life shaped your book(s) and why was it so important to write it? I will enjoy celebrating where I came from, and what rough nurture prepared for this book of reclamation.

In time if I amass a following I will happily host posts that are relevant to this idea because those will touch us all at some ganglion of connection. Making sense of life, be it in universal story (your twist? Your exposure? Your solution? And your hopes?) or your wisdom ( How derived? Why necessary? How provoked? What solved?). So both fiction and non fiction for they are both equally imagination. We’ll come to that point anon.

If you have seen the Amphitheatre of the Drakensberg which is my ‘other’ header image, that was where I was born…within spitting distance and it still calls louder than any landscape I have seen since. The Mont aux Sources…both mine and South Africa’s.

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