A thank-you tome
Since somebody's said this log was a place she liked to visit over a cup of tea to peruse whatever I felt like musing on before music became the focus, it's best to warn for that this particular read she and other eclectics might need a whole pot of the stuff.
It's a ramble to put it mildly, passing through all kinds of places before a fantasy sign-on of the old style.
We all have gruesome spells but I am not hypochondriac, merely "superstitious" as stated, though even that's inaccurate when I'm just very well acquainted with "Sod's law".
Did I dream it?
I'm sure what my last pre-waking dream was exactly -- an extensive, convoluted and bizarre variation on that "missed train and connections" theme beloved of people who say they know what dreams mean.
If it "meant" anything, you'll never understand how I got from dealing with it to thinking "Maybe it is a 'Whack Apple very hard!' week" so I won't detail the usual A via Z to B of that...; just to say that a while after I woke up feeling still very fragile, I remembered the call.
It was real; somebody actually read my whinging and 'phoned for an hour, which is the nicest thing anybody's done since I got an unsolicited, silent birthday present in deed alone from a woman that was the best I've had in years.
That this happened and boosted my morale has been confirmed by two music posts (after I messed it up with ghost posts). Obviously I didn't imagine it. Hooray! So never mind what "ungodily" hour it is, I shall do nothing for at least a day and a half.
Or what I shall do is none of your business.
Now here's another of my weird habits: it drives others mad, but I really don't like necessarily rushing to open presents or cards. If I feel they are really kind or nice, I quite enjoy keeping them until I feel rotten. The Kid -- really being one when she was -- used to get maddest: "If you don't open it, Dad, I will 'cos I want to know what's in it!"
So I'd let her, on condition if it was something she knew I'd like, she wouldn't tell me what it was so I could find out a day I needed that kind of boost. If it was crap, like pink socks disguised as a great CD, she could say so straight away to avoid disappointment later. We see eye-to-eye on such things.
The phone call from a long way away did three amazing things: it brought out the sun for a little while, bright sunshine (before it began pissing down again) just like I'd noticed through Sunday's pain daze.
It also confirmed you can be sure somebody is music by little more than intuition and a very few clues such as a passing acquaintance with voice, what they do and what you know for sure of the way they look.
The third thing was encouragement not to give up on a "To-Do list", after last month the biggest to-do I made was an accidental one about my sell-by date, when I tried to convince you I'd reached it just when I was feeling ready to come off the scrap heap.
So I did a "To-Do list" I can now largely ignore, after hours spent backing up everything I'd been too idle or exhausted to take this essential precaution with on the Mac and elsewhere for a little too long.
I didn't log the first "To-Do list".
All it said was: "Tomorrow, write a To-Do list. Don't forget."
I banged my head on Sod's Law.
Everyone knows how incompetent I can be with money, making no secret of it because it's such a "blind spot" I could end up in total disaster. In recent weeks, having confided all my stupidities in friends far more trustworthy than the damned bank, I did what was asked of me. Having owned up to why I've been an idiot with money once I knew why, it was common sense to agree: "Income is this and necessary expenditure is that. There are debts to be paid, but spending and earning must match.
"Do the sums."
I did. Once the case had been firmly established that music -- within limits -- was agreed on as "necessary expenditure".
And now what?
I find Sod's Law has transfigured both the original and first backup of the up-to-date balance sheet of the lot into irrecoverable garbage!
I spent hours trying to unravel it. I couldn't and so it's on my "to do list", to be done all over again. It's as if my deep but unrealistic dislike of valuing anything much in cash terms and my conviction money is a necessary evil since we can't directly give and receive and share in our society without the bloody stuff, turn against me; maybe it makes me do something wrong when I'm using the finance software. Normally it works, when the bank and me end up agreeing we've got the same horrible sums.
Horrible for me, not for them.
As has been pointed out to me wisely, "Idiots like you are their favourite clients! Every unkind letter they send you costs you a fortune, that's how it works."
Well, I've known that for ages.
What means more to me is people -- for such are rare -- who simply said: "Look, if your paperwork is in order and everything is filed where it should be, we can sit down and sort it all out."
Everything is filed where it should be, has been since July when I chucked out all that stuff I no longer wanted. Sometimes I look at the rest, apart from the music, my bed, my Mac, and my most treasured books, and think: "Now what can I sell? The Internet has put paid to my huge encyclopaedia. It damned near killed me when that shelf fell on my head!
"But I like the encylopaedia. Then who would give me more than two euros for what used to be worth many thousands of francs, until something falls on the head of the Internet?"
Seeking to escape such circular thoughts, I've looked back even. I wanted to know what it is some of you lot want me logging again, the old nonsense.
At least I know why I usually won't. It's because I've looked back. Do you really want month after month of lurid smut, very strange notions and 1001 x 1001 digressions? I did take a look, only out of the corner of an eye: some of it's really wacky, wild and funny.
But I'm no longer cut out for a solitary life, doing that. Being as I said no hypochondriac, whatever some people think, it's unimaginable to me, consciously or unconsciously, to wish to be as sick as I was at the weekend to have anyone make the kind of phone call that set me on the rails again.
And I opened a card! I mean, it went unopened for only four weeks. I'd already said "Thank you" as well since I knew whose handwriting it was. I'm one of those people who -- when I remember, which isn't often -- am extremely careful about cards. I hate sending banal ones and dislike receiving thoughtless ones with stupid pictures so much they go straight in the bin.
Well, it was worth the wait, don't you think? And I can even say "Thank you" again. The picture's by Tom Mackie and it's called 'Divi Divi Tree, Aruba'. I don't know what such a tree is and Aruba's not where I thought it was.
Even the CIA knows this, though I assure you (just from the Africa bits) there are so many mistakes in their 'World Factbook' it's scarcely surprising US foreign policy can be so scary for nearly all of us.
The story of a certain fairly recent Secretary of State who didn't know where Addis Ababa was until he was on on the plane is, by all accounts given to me, true. Along with the twerp, not quite so high-powered, who used his academic thesis -- the top bit of Africa is green and the bottom black -- apparently as his basis for "pertinent decisions".
I forget where -- maybe by now even they've noticed -- but for a long time, the CIA's online government list was not only long out of date; it had one right government in completely the wrong country. I never bothered to tell them. Would you? I didn't want to feel responsible if they sent somebody to check and make a bloody mess of the place.
So Aruba, a place in the Caribbean that apparently "belongs" to the Netherlands, looks just where I'd like to be. What the card also said is that my father's key advice to younger people, which is "Never get old!", makes sense except in this: if you're lucky and get to my age but still feeling you're young except when yucky, all the friends you find you've got left are people with taste, worth having.
Families we're stuck with, obviously. I like some of mine and not others, as we do. But I've not had one duff card or present this year from anybody; not a one! I've still had more than one of each. That's what I'd call an extremely harmonious thought on which to embark on a new month.
It underlines what musicians and friends alike have taught me: honesty truly does pay. It can be bloody painful to be honest, but it's worth it. I won't embarrass the caller by naming her but the way she shows her own creativity is "honest music". With such people, musicians or not, more concerned with whatever their "truths" are than popularity, the honesty that seems to have become a quality I remark on in all those I write up, means that if you meet them, they don't want bullshit.
It's for about six months I've focussed on women singers. Some I've talked to or swapped mail with enjoy and interact with their "fan clubs" more than others, who confess they find adulation overwhelming. Sometimes I guess they'd rather be on Aruba as well -- with or without me. But none yet has turned down an unexpected or "good question", when you'd think they'd have had enough of being asked anything!
The caller asked: "Are you always so hard on yourself?"
"Yes," I said. "Are you?"
That pays off too. It opens the way for the fun, no messing about "rude questions" or "bad language". Though anonymous, this musical person set me a "To-Do" list that was such an entertaining prospect I shall log it.
Duly thanked, if sceptical, because we Brits aren't very good at gushing with gratitude or anything else and that makes it hard for people to know how we feel, for what was said, I suggested that if present in person, since she's an attractive woman, there'd be a number of things she might do for me in half an hour to cheer me even more.
"Half an hour?" she asked. "Just half an hour?"
I need to think. Perhaps it wasn't quite long enough. I mean, if I were silly and put "You could give the cat a bath" at the top of the list, there'd be no time for much else ... and she might never ask again!
Being a woman who seems somehow to know the kind of person I am, she said "You'll find every excuse you can think of not to do my 'To-do' list, though it would be fun."
Don't count on it, baby!
I've logged it.
It's a new month. This calls for reflection. You -- oh, caller -- did even worse than this, by the way. Migraine is atrocious. Combined with nausea, it's about the worst kind of nastiness I know, apart perhaps from broken bones that insist on screaming to your brain they are bust so violently the pain also turns your stomach yet you can't say, "I've got the message, so shut up!"
I took one look at the Mac desktop landscape picture I'd liked in the summer and told myself, "You idiot! People are asking you to do stuff like this, no walls, but you're so used to a cliff-face on your computer, you don't see it any more."
I shan't be keeping this one either; it's just somebody's idea of a pro-Apple and "Think different" picture. She's kind of sexy, but things I like tasteful with simplicity include, if you need to know, undergarments. Mine and hers.
That may seem irrelevant and you to inform me age is no excuse for being unwilling to waste time messing with lots of buttons and hooks, knots, ties and thongs, clasps and straps, bits of string, elastic, pins, wires, ropes and hawsers and all the other booby-traps women call clothes.
But it's required information, to be added to my growing "What's she bound to be like when I meet her?" list.
I said "bound", not "bound up". Worse even than steel bands of a non-Caribbean kind around the cranium and feeling on the edge of throwing up all the time was what I feared forever lost until the caller asked:
"What are you wearing?"
She did! Just like that.
I promise, my word as an English wotsit. Are you surprised you can't have her name? But it came as a most mighty relief and was really music to my ears: "So they still care?"
What do you suppose I asked back?
You're right and guess what -- she said she was blushing, which for sheer obfuscation and an odd one-way street with the truth in a woman is one of their most adorable qualities!
Now I'm not seriously into telephone sex, except under forcibly separated circumstances, but know people who are and note merely on the strength of one experience I wish to forget, this can be a recipe for horrendous disaster!
Take heed. I know and so does the Kid who took ages just to forgive me and learned from it to meet all her fellows off-line. If a certain somebody ever reads this, then she knows what briefly came of it was far more my fault than hers.
All she did was well ... "cheat" a bit when it came to swapping pictures.
I know at least two good songs about just this sort of thing by women. It's not their turn yet, it's just that I've begun to wonder whether if I did listen to everything on the big iPod as I could, for nearly 26 days non-stop, I'd still be able to think of a love and sex-related subject, however ordinary or strange, a woman hasn't yet written a great song about.
If I couldn't hear how most of these are drawn from experience, one way or another, as well as songs about doing the ironing or disinfecting the toilet, I'd suspect some of these women of taking the virtual equivalent of a hairpin to one of the references in the orchard, such as 'The Philosophy of Sexuality' (or what's familiarly meant in the same place's glossary as "fuckinfilosofy") or even the 'Encylopaedia of Sex', and going "Piddly-pong - Ping! That's what I'll sing!"
No. They just do it all. It's like they've already sussed out what I logged -- sorry, by "they" I don't mean the cat's mothers, I mean lovely women -- about how we men are redundant. Doomed, as some scientists have it, to end up as pets. Or cat food.
You think I'm kidding, don't you? You're not sure because I'm a perfidious Brit? You think I'm reviving the Quiet Revolution as a traitor to my own less than half of the species, having realised which way the wind's blowing? You think I really don't like Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Joe Cocker, Nick Cave and that lot?
Well, I've got more and worse news for you.
I told you truthfully, August 2004. Bump in the mailbox. 'Science & Vie', a publication that's well-researched and very clear, an example of what most 'Anglo-Saxon' science magazines could be if they were better. Cover story then? Sex. 'We had it all wrong. Now we know a bit better. Go away and try for yourselves.'
August 2005. Cover story? 'Why God won't go away, we've got a molecule of faith.'
September 2005. Cover story? A reprieve for boggled brains and nervous neurons: Merely 'The new miracles of surgery. Paraplegics can walk.' That's manageable.
October 2005. Cover story? 'Does the Earth really exist? Most physicists don't think so. What if it were all a hallucination?'
Last week, thump! November 2005, until they change it, the Science & Vie web site settles for hallucination but not the new issue. 'We've got a second brain!'
Yes. Two. Two brains. You. Me. Everyone. "And this find looks set to upset everything," they warn.
"Why weren't we told before?" I wanted to know, so I peeked, also thinking selfishly, "Which of my brains gets the bloody migraines? And where's the other one. I've been told most men think with their dicks, but presumably that's not what you've actually discovered? If so, yikes, what do women cogitate with?"
"No, it isn't," they cringe. "We're awfully sorry. It's just that there are these bits that join up the other bits, the neurons. We didn't know what they did." You don't want to go there, not unless you're like me. It's about "innocent" back-ups called "astrocytes" (star-shaped cells at PubMed).
I can hardly wait for December.
Scientific wrap-up 2005:
"Mulder was right. The truth was out there. It's invaded. We've only just realised. We're dual-brained, God-fearing mutants luxuriating in a collective hallucination of a world where 11-dimensional bankers from hell want us to feel rich, fulfilled and happy so they can screw us in four dimensions, drug us in three, drain our nervous energy as their power supply in two and get me the scientific community to tell great whoppers in another. Trust no-one!
"What about their 11th dimension?"
"Look under the bed on Christmas Eve, not up the chimney."
Now, I really won't tell you who cheered me up.
"I'm worried about you," she said in a disconcerting reminder of how other women said the same thing and then ran for cover, since the sensible ones knew what I needed but also knew they weren't it! Don't get me wrong.
She's just among the very first to jump to no such conclusions about me or herself, muddle things up even more than I can, and simply give a massive "musical boost" to a log about songs, women and musical people and a kind one to me, unsullied and unqualified by messes made in the past!
This is an open "Thank you" letter to somebody I'm not even very likely to meet, though nothing's predictable, not in a world where I've "reverted to type" just enough perhaps to remind you that scientists and the CIA share with us a world where if I were to log much of what they say any more, it might entertain and divert you, but maybe you're better off, on the whole, with what I've become.
For where I was and how lonely I felt, it was a life-saver phone call! I was headed for a bad bout of the blues and I give Ms Anonymous so much space with great appreciation because she "knew". To tell you she's very stubborn gives nothing away! Name me one woman I love and have as a friend who isn't -- nobody knows all the others, but they're as pig-headed as me.
Ursula would know how to say the next part without sounding a bit like a preacher since she'd make it one of her short stories, but that's a little too long even for me now. I too make calls like that sometimes. So do others I know. Most people don't. Ever. I've learned this.
But I've never learned, apart from the selfishness and thoughtlessness we all have, what stops them! It's not meanness or "human nature". There's no more foolish a cynic than one blinded to the pain, hurt and disillusion that makes them that way, since the biggest cynics I know all started out as the wildest of romantics and idealists.
Cynicism is a drug like alcohol. I know, because I've been there, you can't heal an alcoholic who doesn't want to stop. I don't believe you can restore faith to a cynic who's locked up their heart, not any more. I wrote in August, some weeks after the 'Night of Unknowing', I have no more to say about "good" and "evil". I'm surer of this than ever. I never shall.
Any thought of changing a word I wrote then has long since gone, but I don't recall linking to the entry before from here. I'd want nobody ever to push themselves that hard, to reach that point to begin to "know" a thing or two; we're not made for it, most of us, without training.
I link to it today, in saying "Thank you", because my intuitions have evolved since. The caller played surprised I was so little surprised it was her but we both knew better. What holds others back most from making such calls is not thoughtlessness or a lack of caring. It's the opposite.
Music teaches me this since it's the only art that can sweep through all the barriers we put up in our heads, including the ones where we say: "I would, but I shan't. I don't want to interfere, it's none of my business." That's a big wall in a world the Seraphim knows to be 'Wrong Side Up'.
And it's wrong.
All of us have taken terrible injuries to the soul and souls are outside time, which is not of their nature: they have a way of mending themselves, but they they need help. I'm not telling you what "souls" are, where they come from or go when we die, because I don't have a clue and never shall!
I'm just pursuing a reflection in the previous entry, inspired by singers who got there because somebody's soul heard mine, as "naturally" happens -- it just seems supernatural, but you don't want 'Science & Vie' poured over you, do you? -- when people are tuned in.
You know what she did? It's pretty easy if you've a head for music and get a knack for it. She listened to two things. One was me. The other was what I'll tirelessly suggest everyone listen to because we're all so damned bad at it! Her intuition.
I gave you two well-bred singers in a badly brought up world where in some cultures, like ours, one of the first "lessons" inflicted on too many people is to crack down on "It's just a feeling!" and "Look, it's odd, but I want to..." Others laugh, make us feel stupid, irrational -- as if "pure reason" and logic ever solved anything really worth knowing.
We live in a science-based culture that's been like that for more than a century. Look where it's got the scientists! The poor devils, who probably quite like it really, are having the "common sense" thrashed out of them with virtually every new big find.
They've known since Einstein they're "part of the experiment" and thus can affect its outcome: now they're scratching their pates and thinking, "Heck! Where do energy, matter and, heaven help us, mind meet?" Oh, I know it's not "received wisdom" yet, not if you start asking silly questions. There are huge debates among people obsessed with stupid questions on both sides.
The rest of us, some with interest like me following all that claptrap along with the sense in it where there is any, and others not caring a hoot, must all learn to tell those who say our intuitions are "silly old nonsense" to "Shut up please!" You know why? Because when we do, not in 50 years has anyone ever come to me and said, "I followed my intuitions and gut instincts and they were wrong!"
But I must have heard the opposite a thousand times. "If only I'd done what I felt to be right, not what they said!" I purposely use the word "felt", rather than saying "thought", because I know what I'm talking about and so do you, my listener, if you know how to listen to yourself.
If you don't, there are easier ways of learning than being as fantastically stupid as me! That's what I don't recommend. Here are Taliesin's Three Laws of Analysis:
- if you've had it, don't inflict it on anybody else who doesn't need it: that's reckless disregard and wanton cruelty;
- if you're having it and it's not working, which only you can know, not the analyst, pack it in: to do otherwise is wasting your money, time and energy to do something creative;
- if you've not had it and don't want it, feeling harmonious as you are, don't go near it: if you're being honest with yourself, you don't need it, and if you're kidding yourself, chances are you don't need it either, you merely need to wonder why other human beings react to you just the way animals smell out, for instance, fear.
Now I really do want to go to Aruba!
Because of that wretched woman, I've logged for a chunk of a day and a whole night. But I'm not going there by myself. And the woman isn't "wretched" at all! She's a star for spending an hour setting me straight.
It's not much, is it? One hour. Do you see now, if you didn't, why I love Ursula, who's known how to do much the same for lots of us all our lives? Why listening is so important? But not just to others, because if you do only that, never quietening to listen to yourself, then I could write you hundreds of thousands more words of "old blog" about all the horrible things that will happen to you, same as they did to me and do everybody else!
You've got my archives. You've got a blogosphere of a million, at least, other sites of people's disasters to pick from and learn as little from as I did. You've got scientists you can put all your faith in until it dawns on you they're almost as clueless as you are and won't come up with the answers in your lifetime or mine -- if ever.
They're human like the rest of us. They've only got the same clues. It's knowledge all right, but not of a kind that will do very much to satisfy your human hunger for the Unknowable under everyone's nose.>
Here are a few proverbs from a healthy society I find very musical:
"More than is needed is life."
"To be single-minded is to be unmindful. Mindfulness is keeping many things in mind and observing their relations and proportions.
"To conquer is to be careless. Carefulness is holding oneself and one's acts in appropriate relation and proportion to the many other beings and intentions.
"To take is to be joyless. Joyfulness is accepting the given, which cannot be earned by mindfulness nor deserved by carefulness."
"Cats may be green somewhere else, but the cats here don't care." (Did I hear a purr of assent from the furball on the bed or was it a fax machine with the Aruba reservations?)
"Is that one of your orientals, Nick?"
No, they come from Ursula's world again. One of her many in fiction, those of a singer in prose who sets our world 'Right Side Up', and now I'm near the end of 'Always Coming Home' and its imaginary Kesh people, in a time when I know afresh what the book's title means, since I always have been myself.
I can't give you more of what I used to; it has to end somewhere, I needed to find focus, I've been given it and first told you so in the closing lines on the 'Night of Unknowing':
"I didn't know until recently that Ursula grew up on Lao Tzu's knee and he was the man I knew could suddenly help me once I got back. Ursula eventually came to write this of the 'Tao Te Ching':
'It is the most loveable of all the great religious texts, funny, keen, kind, modest, indestructibly outrageous, and inexhaustibly refreshing. Of all the deep springs, this is the purest water. To me, it is also the deepest spring.'
To me, it is a very deep spring along with a few other books I too find inexhaustible.
But there's the other. It's a river, many rivers, streams, oceans. This log has stayed afloat on these.
Music has saved me from myself and the world where no words could.
That's the story now."
But it's a mystery story.
It has to be! I suspect I shall log little more this week off. Even Alison Goldfrapp's very long overdue write-up for 'Supernature' as experienced in the recluse she shares with her feller and then bestowed on us will have to wait! About it, what I'd say would be a further extension of a theme common now to half a dozen new albums in waiting, including Fiona Apple's 'Extraordinary Machine'.
It is indeed! From Fiona, you could expect, I thought, anything, but to hear the lass apparently go to the crazy Berlin of the 1930s and come back from those cabarets to give us one all of her own, suited to 2005 NYC, well I didn't anticipate that!
That's no summary of the album, there's far more too it, as with everybody else who has come out with it this year: "You may be the same, but we are not and here's singing it to you."
I'm delighted -- others apparently less so -- they've pulled it off! Every one of them, with flying colours. On discovering 'Supernature' I'm not surprised those two were miffed by an otherwise fairly attentive Frenchman who said: "You put the best of the two previous albums together."
Oh no, they didn't. He must have had earache, the poor man. Yes of course there's a natural flow, musical ideas from the past trickle into it, but this CD is new unto itself and different.
And sexy! Yet again. Now if all these women and their various mates did dish out nothing but sex and love songs, then the log would indeed be ridiculously one-tracked and your interest would wane very fast. But I said music, that of these people, is my "deep spring ... inexhaustible", which meant they touch on every facet of our lives, thus you're ill-fated and assured the "old me" in a way, since how can they do this, going everywhere, without me following suit?
But I have iPods to fix, important mails to write and indeed lines briefly to drop still once I've archived who's already here to tell them they are, since while some contact me to say they've found themselves and even confirm I'm wasting nobody's time with a "Can I put a bit of you on my own site for promotional purposes?", it needs to clear that my licence means what it says. If they hear themselves in what I tell you, of course they can take just what they want.
I'd have thought that was self-evident, but never mind.
You know what the mystery is. It's a quest.
Contrary to what some people say and now I need no longer fear my balls shrivelled up and I lost my ticket on October 2 on account of a self-imposed deadline, most bits of my thinking apparatus, both brains I mean, are above my belt and not below it.
What's very intriguing to me -- but I'll leave it out mostly -- is very "sinful". I'll confess: she deserves to blush again for what she went and did. I've noted cold weather and revoltingly dark clothes coming out makes it a wee bit harder to spot them instantly. The ones who are music. But they're still visible. I saw one yesterday. It was a coincidence of circumstance that someone seen, music in ears and a very musically familiar voice still in mind did what they did to my blood. If you're reading this, love, be of good cheer, the surge was not all aimed your way, although to say none of it was would be a lie to you, me and a lost reader who doesn't know who you are.
It wasn't sinful really, but the mystery deepens. It's November, the month I most hate until February reminds me it's worse still. In "normal times" -- i.e., if this was previous years -- there shouldn't be such a surge urge! I was so perplexed I checked out where the moon was, now I've become too stable to be 100 percent sure without looking! I give it little thought any more. When I did, my suspicion was confirmed. It is a "new moon" right now. That also doesn't fit previous urge tidal surges: I ought to be on best, calmest behaviour.
But I'm not. It wasn't just the blues that lifted after the weekend. I know whom I blame: the singer-songwriters. It's the constant, desired exposure. It's altering my biorhythms! Those voices are messing with my body-clock. The more I listen, the more I want it. And the in-tunefulness I didn't feel one bit at the weekend is back, doing a synchronicity thing with NY C for New York chicks and blooming 'West Side Story'!
"Something's Coming," I can feel it and it's not across the Pond with Fiona, and all the other NY nymphs jostling for a turn under my my iPod scroll-wheel finger. It's here in Paris, but this is no place to recall an even temporary New Yorker whose life I only a few months ago stopped making hell.
I can't figure it out, thus I shan't try: it's too strange a very strong combination of the unforeseeable -- everything we have to learn never to expect in or project on to a partner when it's really our fiction about them -- with the sureness that, in a few respects, there's no other way she can be. Weirdest of all, the more listening I do, the closer I come to a kind of knowing how she'll be in those few but important ways.
I don't mean I know while I'm listening, though I still enjoy doing so and simply flirting in eye language with women who are music but not the one I'm waiting for; that's just good fun and must be for them, otherwise they wouldn't play.
No, it's more like a somebody I don't know yet who's ... not like a ghost, the first image that came to mind, far too incarnate for that. She's like a woman seen either in shadowed dark or its opposite, she's light, like the mirage one reader might tell me off for if she misunderstands me. Have you ever been in a desert where somebody distant is a sun-blurred haze, you can make out shape, form and sound but no detail of features?
She's like that.
She's not "just in my head". When we meet -- it's that strong now, whenever I'm feeling well and "together", not if -- it'll be ever so odd because this time, I've got no notions about her to drench her in ahead of time. I wouldn't want any: you do learn from your mistakes. So I've already logged pretty much what she is that I know, along with a few jokes somebody nice teased out of me. The essence is she'll know it too, neither of us will want a 'West Side Story' Shakespearean end, she'll be music, drop-dead lovely, very self-assured and independent and perhaps a musician.
Now that's been enough for a good while: I thought the mystery would end there when we meet. This log would go on, a lifelong tribute to those who help me "hear" these strange things. And so on. But now that feels wrong, as the intuition grows. It won't be like that. She may well not want to work on this, adding a woman's perspective to my own -- but our creativity will interact. I don't know how. I do know it will deepen the mysteries here, making them not obscure but more resonant.
That's all I can say.
And you may say: "Bollocks! What a load of romantic, fantasising, illusory, self-deceptive codswallop waffle. I don't believe one word of it, come back down from outer space and do phone sex with E.T. instead, tell him you're 'always coming home!'"
As is your right, but of course. You make sense. I don't. But you won't shake my faith in her being there, wondering who she is, what she looks like, how she is and what she's doing this minute. Like I do sometimes in the morning waking up slowly, when she just might have been in one of my dreams.
This adds something to my "To-Do list". When I'm in the right and receptive mood to ask. I don't mean check out my stars. I think that works for a few, like my friend Sylvie: she who told me I wasn't far off the mark the day I said, "I don't believe the stars, as such, have very much to do with what you can do. They're just your symbols for it!"
She was mostly amused it took me so long to figure that out.
I've my own tried and trusted source of decades' study. For I last consulted the 'I Ching' and logged it, to take on faith in August last year; this time, I'll do just the same. No doubt, like the last, I won't understand half of what it says when it does so.
Then you can again enjoy the spectacle of me writing what I wanted it to be telling me, while imperturbably the probability theory it actually said in so many words works its own way through, since I'll try as usual to follow the advice, only to realise once the cycle is coming to an end, what it said could happen did. All that got amply logged.
I didn't mind looking stupid by failing to get the real message. For me, it remains extraordinary that astounding ancient text works at all; and I've given up, as with many things, trying further to relate the wisdom people had then to the space-time physics we've got now.
Doing that will keep them busy at CERN if they turn their minds to it; my question's more simple. It'll be something like: "Once the 'wise man' knows what she is, what's his best course of action to meet her and start to learn who she is."
If you don't believe me, you'll see. The 'I Ching' "knows" exactly how to deal with questions like that. Half the art in it, apart from understanding its own language of symbols, is knowing what to ask to be clear and unambiguous. I did pretty well last time, I just didn't like the answer straight off.
You know what really complicates our lives? It isn't time-honoured and treasured ancient wisdoms whose relevance to our half-crazed modern world has come to some of elude us. It's precisely the mess we make of them, when we think we've outgrown them, know better and dismiss them.
They all point us the same ways, to harmony, being in touch and in tune, with one another, the world we live in and even the dimensions elsewhere we can now have "super-string theory" and other ideas about without a clue as to where that leaves us.
So without music and the women...
Oh my golly gosh!
What can I say? I was so busy scribbling I didn't even notice, thought it must have been the cat going out shopping, banging the door coming back.
She's saying "Shhh! Don't tell 'em!"
"But after all they've just gone through?"
"You've had your hair undone, you know what turns me on, don't you? Oh goodness, they're green eyes, they're so deep -- and where's that corset thing gone? -- it's your eyes, I'm falling in, same as always!"
"Nitwit, you'll blow it."
"Oooooh, now that is just the right place. Oh heavens, no, no! Just leave that right where it is for now please, because otherwise--"
"Be quiet and enjoy it. Otherwise I shan't give you the tickets."
"Oh, oh dear, you are -- this is all a tiny bit un-us-ual." I mean, you'd be astounded too. She doesn't hang around, this one, I'd scarcely got myself back in one bit after the whole of the front of that pinched dressing gown fell open (I never looked so good in it myself) and now it's on the floor!
"Now when was the last time --" she pauses to let me gasp, feeling all these chakras bubbling with rising sap, while she [deleted] "-- you ever [deleted!]?"
"I never did. Even my imagination -- ahhh! oooh! -- was ... obviously not ... quite up to ... [deleted!!]"
But my imagination is now. She's taken 80 years off me! And -- excuse me.
I'm sorry, that's your lot.
She's quite right. This is our affair, not yours! Otherwise I won't get the Aruba tickets and you'll never know what a dilly-dally tree is. Yes, I know I'm confused. But when was the last time a desktop pic in black and white came into your life and proved to be full in colour and -- ouch! -- almost everything else? Excuse me again a moment ("No, that's a very kind thought, but it's neither a 'magician's staff nor Yggdrasil', the tree at the heart of the woo.......orld! It's only ah! my poor [deleted!!!]").
She's said I can finish, she won't even sing yet. All I wished to say was that if still you don't believe a word, then more fool you for being here. If you think I'm hallucinating you can read October's copy of Science & Vie while we are gone.
No, I mean "Yes". Yes, I mean "No, it's not her." But -- virtually speaking -- she'll have to do. I'll see you when I see you. We may be gone quite some time. Yes, very gone indeed. Until whenever, just pull a veil over this ... fine, a blanket will do ... OK, it's curtains!
Somebody, please do the decent thing and put on some music. This calls for a musical interlude.
Thank you, whoever you were, Caribbean hot Heather Nova will do nicely. Just don't expect me to come back and write about 'Oyster', that's all. 'Redbird,' yes, but do show some sensitivity please!
From now on, I am sticking to music.