Friday, 12 June 2009

Banner change #2 to #3

New banner time!

Old banner (#2):



New banner (#3):




This photo was taken in Karlstad, Sweden. In the three weeks I was there during April, I experienced nearly 4 seasons: it was -2C and snowing when I arrived (which was when this photo was taken), and on the final day it was sunny, warm, and around +17C!

Katatonia: My Twin & Deliberation


Katatonia

My Twin


The neck and then the chain
The head is hung in shame
I thought that you had grown
That you would carry on
But now that I am gone
What else has been withdrawn

You used to be like my twin
And all that's been
Was it all for nothing
Are you strong when you're with him
The one that's placed you above us all

I think of love
I let it pass
It feels like fire
But it won't last

What is it coming to
I am unwilling to go on
You have lost
No one has won


--

I love this band. They've consistently grown and improved with each album. Understated with no flashy or overt technical flourishes; instead just pathos and feeling. I've always been able to very readily connect with the emotional states generated by their music.

Another one by them:


Deliberation

Visions come, visions come, in a sick room bed
There's something left to learn
Pass them on, let it show
Let the rich meet death
Confront our own concern

See us sleep behind the glass unaware of crime
Will you wake us up before it is time

Dueling circles, holds the only light
Break down my perspective
Notify everyone when the time is right
My mouth remains inactive

See us sleep behind the glass unaware of crime
Will you wake us up before it is time

So when you let me in
Let me justify
My own rewards
You put your hands on me
Now I learn the words
I didnt know before

I am ice, I am clear
Let the world be cold
Our deliberation
Pass them on, let it show
Let the words come slow
Your constant incantation

See us sleep behind the glass unaware of crime
Will you wake us up before it is time

Repeating cycle
Of light, no light
There's nothing in the air space
There's no one in the air space
Repeating cycle
Of love, no love


Who? Has it been there all along?

Apologies for the lack of any recent posts, blog readers (if there are any of you left out there given my slack attention to this blog of late!).

Life has been challenging and difficult recently - though not because of any obvious external stimuli. It has been informing, however, and as always, a learning experience. I've been reflecting on various developments - or perhaps, rather, non-developments. Life is a gradual process of coming to understand one's own psyche.

There is an illusory self-confidence - or certainly, in my case, this is how I now consider it to be - where in your young adulthood (i.e. somewhere typically 18-22) you start to believe you really "know" yourself. Yet, in my case, the last few years have seen me come to an awareness of many undercurrents and aspects of my psyche I didn't really explicitly recognise before. More pertinently, I have started to become much more aware of how it affects my interpersonal relationships, or more precisely, potential for interpersonal relationships.

I think of myself of consisting of a mixture of various splintered strands, totally different aspects, somewhat rather contradictory; the question is how do they resolve themselves into one homogenous, unitary, singular entity, an "I". Or perhaps I should simply accept the discontiguous strands; utilise them - "put on different hats"[0].

It is therefore not surprising that many great philosophers and pyschologists have strongly questioned whether a real "I" actually even exists (Kant, for example, was one who didn't).

Anyway; disappointment. That is my primary life feeling if I was to characterise this phase in my life - it is pervasive.

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Over the last couple of months I have had one wonderful development. I am extraordinarily lucky to have met an immensely skilled Tai Chi practitioner who with tremendous generosity and infinite patience is teaching me this ancient art. It is extremely difficult but I believe I am making steady progress.

Taichiquan has become a stabilising locii for me - every second learning this martial art is repaid hugely; this I already know from my limited experience with it. I know extremely little, as yet, but already feel that it is having a significant transformative effect. Mind and body, physical and mental, rationalism and intution are not artificially divided in the East as they are over here. Tai Chi is an example of this. It is a powerful system of health and wellness. It promotes flexibility. It modifies energetic and metabolic systems. It is an extremely potent martial art (when mastered). It is a meditative activity. It encompasses philosophy, especially Taoism. It is an externalisation of many internal concepts; it is an internalisation of an apparently external physical activity.

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So; more to come. I will post much more substantially when I have had more time to rationalise the set of developments over the last couple of months.

[0] A reference to some of Edward De Bono's theories on knowledge and self-management.