Saturday, May 31, 2008

Phantasm: A Saturday Poem


I walked across a field last night
And though you were not there…
The scented, memory-laden
Mists of you were in the air.

And these were scattered by a breeze
Whose message was the same…
For distantly were whisp’ring
Aspen leaves that knew your name.

And even when the gathering winds
Surrounded like a fire…
The gusty tongues could only carry
Thoughts of you still higher.

Where up above, and far apart
Two lonely stars were gleaming…
They followed me across the field
Last night as I lay dreaming.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Splash du Jour: Friday

Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy

Be heaped like mine, and that thy skill be more
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath

This neighbor air, and let rich music’s tongue

Unfold the imagined happiness that both
Receive in either by this dear encounter.


Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,

Brags of his substance, not of ornament.
They are but beggars that can count their worth;

But my true love is grown to such excess

I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Listen up, people!
Fast-food lovers everywhere… REJOICE!
Starbucks is selling wicked good-looking breakfast sandwiches!
I knew this day would come!
Is it not prophesied in The Book of Revelations or something?
God, I love Starbucks!
I want to almost live there!
So now they’ve got all kinds of McMuffin-y things, I just saw them today after work for the first time! I almost passed out.
So what if it’s 7 p.m.! I want one of these!

It may have been to avoid any more of my drool-slobber getting all over the display case, but the barista guy, my buddy Damien, asked me if I wanted a FREE breakfast sandwich of my choice.
I said, “Is the Pope Catholic?”
So he grabbed one of these beauties, heated it up in the Starbucks Hell-Oven© and I’m telling you… I committed Eight Entirely New Sins eating that thing!
Then I re-loaded my Starbucks card, got a half-pound of Italian Extra-Bold coffee, ground to a Turkish pulp… ahh… life is good.

“I’ve got one spare artery unclogged, give me another McStarMuffin, Damien!”

Splash du Jour: Thursday

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of the those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences. No excuses. No negativity. No psychic pollution. Keep your inner space clear. Die to the past every moment. You don't need it. Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present. Feel the power of this moment and the fullness of Being. Feel your presence.
-- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now. p.82, and 84 –

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth. This we know. The earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself. One thing we know, our God is also your God. The earth is precious to Him. And to harm earth is to heap contempt on its creator.
-- Chief Seattle –

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Splash du Jour: Monday

Some people spend their entire lives reading but never get beyond reading the words on the page, they don't understand that the words are merely stepping stones placed across a fast-flowing river, and the reason they're there is so that we can reach the farther shore, it's the other side that matters.
-- Jose Saramago –

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Saramago Watches Blindness

Those of you familiar with my blog will know that one of my favorite authors, perhaps my #1 favorite living author, is Jose Saramago. Recently, someone named “Bruno” sent me a link in the comments section of a past blog.
Thank you Bruno, whoever you are.
The link brought me to a youtube clip that shows the great author’s reaction to [presumably] his first viewing of the movie Blindness, which was based on his 1995 novel of the same name.
To Saramago’s right is his wife, Pilar del Rio, and to his left, [the man who kisses him on the forehead] is director Fernando Meirelles.
Even though I am of the opinion that this clip is somewhat of a gross violation of a very private moment that essentially should not have been caught on film, yet even so, I cannot resist the urge to place it here on Bookpuddle.
It is profoundly moving. Please forgive me, Mr. Saramago.
There is a special place in my heart for Jose Saramago.
I believe him to be one of the most relevant writers in the world today, and if he is gone before me, I will intensely grieve that loss. I am honored to have met him, if ever so briefly, one evening in June of 2005.
And I cherish my own signed copy of Blindness.

To view a trailer of the movie, click HERE.
Saramago has even inspired my own poetic endeavors...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Upon Graduating: A Saturday Poem

Upon Graduating

I hope for you a considered life
In increasing measure.
I hope for you joy in vocation. Calling.
I hope for you, perhaps above all things,
I hope for you, prosperity.
The kind that does not trust in money.
I hope for you peace.
The kind that does not depend upon anything
Outside your body. What they call “inner”.
I wish you affluence, based on influence.
I hope for you a life of self-actualization.
I hope that you learn truth as a process.
Your knowledge tentative, capable of displacement.
May regret be the last “r” word in your vocabulary.
I wish you to never harm anyone else.
I wish you recovery, from harm that comes to you.
Joy from a kiss.
Joy from pushing a child on a swing, or throwing
Water balloons.
I wish you a rumpled collar, from time to time.
Bleary, teary eyes, and work.
I hope you no laziness.
I wish you bills that are paid in full.
And a funeral well-attended.
A kitten in hand, kissed.
And a life well-done.
A considered one.
Life considered, I hope for you.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Three Questions

I am sitting at Starbucks and just randomly thinking, as I sometimes do.
I am still slogging through a couple of non-fiction books, and just took a break from that to read a bit of the Nick Adams stories by Ernest Hemingway.
Just chillin’ out after a long day at work.
In this lull of a moment, while getting another coffee, three horrendously deep philosophically challenging scenarios have sprung unbidden into my mind, and I pose them to you…

You are wandering around in a blind fog and you are starving to death. Literally, you could almost die. Then the fog lifts, to reveal the following three equi-distant buildings. To which of these would you mostly likely drag yourself?

a) McDonalds.
b) Pizza Hut.
c) Kentucky Fried Chicken.
d) None. I would keep starving.

You have been awarded your choice of the following all-expenses paid vacations/excursions. Which do you choose?

a) $4,000 shopping-spree in San Francisco.
b) A week-long archaeological tour of the Great Pyramids in Egypt.
c) A journey into outer space [and return] on the Space Shuttle.
d) I don’t like adventure. I will stay at the local Starbucks.

While waiting in the airport for your plane to begin boarding, an announcement comes over the PA system. There is going to be a 2… no, 3-hour delay. Given that you have no schedule to meet regarding your destination, which of these things are you most likely to do?

a) Kill yourself or someone else. In other words, be extremely angry.
b) Immediately look for somewhere to shop, within the terminal.
c) Seek out the nearest bar, and get sloshed.
d) Relax, and sink further into the book you were already reading anyway.

Think about these things, and respond in the comments, if you like.
To view my own profound-as-hell responses to these issues, click HERE

Splash du Jour: Friday

I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split.
-- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. –

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Honesty is the key. One can praise a book because one likes it, but one can not dispraise it because one dislikes it -- still less if, merely, one dislikes its author -- unless one gives reasons, and makes a case for saying it is bad.... From all points of view a book does best to get mixed reviews, for then the reviews do not stand in any reader's way.
-- A.C. Grayling –

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Well, today was back to reality.
I had six days off, and that is a rare thing for me… workaholic that I am!
My next vacation is in August.
That's like an ETERNITY away!
Must make little stones out of real big stones, until then!
I spent those six days of vacation with my best friend, and one of the things we managed to accomplish was the complete restoration of over 3,000 songs on my iTunes Library.
I lost all of them earlier this year in the Great Hard-Drive Crash of 2008!
Remember that? Remember my anguish?
Restoration was a lot of work, but fun, and worth it all.
I am addicted to iTunes on my Mac. Best invention since..... HAMBURGER!
By the way, all of it is now BACKED UP on four DVD discs, this is the way to do it!

So, one other thing we did was we purchased a ton of music at the iTunes Store.
If you are not familiar with the concept of iTunes, let me give you an example of just how cool it is.
One of my favorite bands of all time is… The B-52’s.
Quit laughing!
One of the reasons I like them is because their stuff is so HAPPY!
They have a new CD out, called Funplex, the first release from them in over 16 years!
So, naturally I have shopped for it, in stores. The cheapest I could find it anywhere [Future Shop] was $21.99.
You know how much BEER I could buy with that much moolah?
At the iTunes Store? You can download the whole CD for $10.00.
Ten clams!
Ten [rock] lobsters! Or whatever other crustacean you may want to pay with!

Do the algebra!
Whichever way you slice it… iTunes seems to me to be the way to go!

Check out how “fun” the title track is HERE.
And the thing about iTunes is you can pick and choose.
iTunes is for the discriminating music-shopper.
For instance, I only wanted two songs off the new Airborne album. So, I bought these. For $2.00.
I selectively topped up my Sade collection. [ Click on that link, if none other. That's music, folks!]
I am in love with Anastacia.
And as Holden Caulfield might say... "Who isn't?"
So I got a wheelbarrow full of Anastacia. Mmmmm.....
I purchased one of my favorite songs of all time, REM’s The One I Love, without having to buy the whole album.
I purchased Metallica’s Enter Sandman and I don’t WANT the rest of the album. See?

iTunes rocks!

If any of you have been feeling at all depressed lately, I highly recommend The B-52’s new one… Funplex.
Don’t think.
Just buy it.

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

A sign of the times!
Have a great, fueled-up, Tuesday!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Extra Ones: A Saturday Poem

The Extra Ones

We are told that he chose five smooth stones.
Young, and ruddy faced, in 1 Samuel 17:40.
I would have imagined jagged ones to cause
Greater cranial damage, but who am I?
This sling was not even the type you draw back on.
It was the kind you whirl about your head.
I know, because there was an artist’s rendition
In the book my mother read, as my eyes fell shut.

So an army cowers, as the boy runs forward,
Taunting this oaf! “This day the Lord will hand you
Over to me.” He kicks the dirt and spits, “And I’ll
Strike you down and cut off your head.” Shaking,
He shouts at a helmet that weighs more than him,
“The birds shall eat you,” placing a stone in the pouch.
Philistine laughter shakes the very rainclouds
Loose over the heads of Israel, as the air sings.

And what I love most is not the part where he cuts
Off the head. Nor even the part where Saul asks,
“Whose son are you, young man?”
I love the fact that David took four extra stones.
Ones he did not know he did not need.
The scene that is not illustrated in any bedtime book,
And the sound, ping-ping-ping-ping, on that helmet,
As the Philistines run for the hills.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

In Need of Opinion

Think of the following as an assessment of my artistic sanity!
Or lack, thereof!
Recently, I bought a big huge painting, thing. For my main wall!
The old Van Gogh print [Starry Night] just was not cutting it anymore, for me.
So, I shopped around. Yes, I did.
And I got the painting that you see above.
It’s called “Prelude” and it is by Canadian artist [one of the infamous Group of Seven] A.J. Casson.
I love the thing.
From the moment I saw it, among others of his work… I loved it.
And I am not sure why!
It is wonderfully framed [in my opinion]… a real cherrywood look to the frame… plus my favorite color is navy blue [which is prominent in the thunderous sky of Prelude]…… but, can I be honest?
What I loved most was that guy walking down the boardwalk thing. The guy in the foreground. I don’t know. I just identified.
The salesperson told me the history of the painting… how that Casson was attempting to portray the plight of the miners somewhere or other [I forget] but I loved the angles… I loved the coloration… I loved the scene.
After I got the thing, I realized that from either the extreme left or the extreme right, as you look at the picture, that man in the foreground, and his entire boardwalk, is coming towards you! Even if you are totally sober! Now that in itself has got be worth a few bucks, no?
I loved the detail of the house in the foreground set against the abstractity of the houses in the middle-ground…. I don’t know. It just [of a piece] resonated with me and I shelled out many hundreds of slave-earned dollars for it.

One person looked at it, in my apartment, and condemned it.
Said it was not worthy of “the garage”!
Did that phaze me?
I still loved the thing.
Yet the comment, and the surety with which it was delivered, startled me.

So here is what I want to know. It is very simple.
Would you, yourself, have such a painting in your house?
Would you?
And furthermore… select among the following options, regarding your opinion of my devotion to such a piece:
A) I love it, too. Would hang it!
B) I don’t like it. But do not think you are retarded.
C) I don’t like it. And I think you are retarded.
D) You wasted your money. Should have stuck with the Van Gogh.

No need to elaborate. A simple letter will do, one of the four.
Thank you, dear readers.

Splash du Jour: Friday

It’s not funny!
This actually happened to me, yesterday!
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Late Nights On Air

Let’s face it. Few things in [Canadian] life possess the sheer, unmitigated potential of being more innately boring than CBC Radio, anywhere.
So. How about tuning in to CBC Radio….. in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories! In the year 1975! Exactly.
The mere thought of it is enough to send a muskox into premature hibernation.
But enter the literary genius of Elizabeth Hay, for the above-mentioned is the exact setting of Late Nights On Air, a novel that is never for a moment, boring.

She peoples her book with fascinating, somewhat eccentric yet believable, transients.
Harry Boyd is a castaway from the Toronto television scene, now working the late shift at CBC Yellowknife and obscurely living out his banishment in the far north. One night he falls in love with the “low-pitched sexiness” and “elusive accent” of a new voice on the airwaves.
The voice belongs to Dido Paris, a novice, literally “hired off the street.”
Harry begins immediate flirtations with her, and is immediately rebuffed.
Dido comes from who knows where and is as mythical as both her names. An ethereal, commanding presence throughout the book, even though in the last half of it, she is largely absent, having run off with the technician, Eddy Fitzgerald.
She seems to be the benchmark against which other female characters in the book assess themselves, one being Gwen Symons, another novice broadcaster.
Gwen does not have the natural skills that Dido enjoys. In fact, Gwen needs a lot of patience and understanding, and the new interim manager [Harry Boyd] is able to nurture and encourage her toward a realization of her own skill and proficiency.

The novel gravitates toward the discovered mutual interests of four co-workers at the radio station, these being Harry Boyd, Gwen Symons, Eleanor Dew, and Ralph Cody. Together they embark on an arduous six-week canoe journey through the Arctic wilderness known as the Barrens.
None of them could have prepared adequately for how arduous it would indeed, prove to be. All are changed, marked for life, and for death, through the experience. Loves are gained, and [tragically] lost.
I would describe the author’s attention to landscape as being downright Urquhartian. You sense the rippling waters and crackling ice, hear the tinkle of Northern Lights, and slap yourself for mosquitoes, as you read.

Elizabeth Hay, receiving the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

I found the book evocative of a bittersweet play between disclosure and reticence. Between characters being drawn and attracted to each other but for diverse and understandable reasons, unable to acknowledge it in time.
Harry’s feelings for Dido are denied, withheld, temporarily assuaged, and then returned to a state of numbing unrequitedness. Dido herself suffers the pain of unrequited love, while maintaining a sort of second-best relationship with Eddy Fitzgerald. Similar frustrations occur in several pairings of relationships, culminating in the heartrending shattered dreams of Ralph and Eleanor.
The last few pages offer the reader a beautiful redemptive reversal to this trend.

Hay, herself an intrepid canoeist, former Yellowknifer, and radio broadcaster, is obviously in her element here in Late Nights. And not on these levels alone, but also on yet another, very important one superb novelist.
I look forward to reading more of her work.

To read an excerpt CLICK
To purchase CLICK

Splash du Jour: Thursday

There is a place for mind and mind knowledge. It is in the practical realm of day-to-day living. However, when it takes over all aspects of your life, including your relationships with other human beings and with nature, it becomes a monstrous parasite that, unchecked, may well end up killing all life on the planet and finally itself by killing its host.
-- from The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle --

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.
-- D.H. Lawrence –
Have a great Wednesday!
[I’m on vacation. Living it “hot” right now!]

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

Keep on rockin’ in the SPIDER world!
Did you hear?
Veteran rock and roller Neil Young got a new species of spider named after him.
Seriously now, I read about this in the lunch room yesterday. An East Carolina University biologist discovered a new species of trapdoor spider and named it Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi.
You can read about it HERE.

I was immediately fascinated with the entire concept!
Does this mean that if I can just come up with, for instance, a new breed of cat… like say I open the screen door and let Jack “mingle” with some of the balcony riff-raff that is strutting around out there, that I can have the honor of naming the resulting hybrid after my own favorite rock star?
Is the free world ready for such a mutant beast as the dreaded Pigeoncattus ericclaptoni?

Have a great Tuesday!
And, “keep on rockin’ in the free world!”


Monday, May 12, 2008

Splash du Jour: Monday

← “When the views advanced by me in this volume… or when analogous views on the origin of species are generally admitted, we can dimly foresee that there will be a considerable revolution in natural history…
When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has had a history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, nearly in the same way as we look at any great mechanical invention as the summing up of the labour, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting, I speak from experience, will the study of natural history become!”
-- Charles Darwin –

Referring to the above quotation, Kenneth R. Miller, in Finding Darwin’s God says:
Well, the views contained within The Origin have now been “generally admitted,” and the study of natural history has indeed become, as Darwin understated it, “far more interesting.” Together with the other makers of modern scientific reality, Darwin lifted the curtain that allowed us to see the world as it really is. And to any person of faith, this should mean that Charles Darwin ultimately brought us closer to an understanding of God.

Amen! I so totally agree!
Have a great Monday!


Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Rare Thing: A Saturday Poem

A Rare Thing

On a park bench it happened.
And telling you now seems an injustice.
Yet I must tell it.
Please, it is not at all you, or me, but words
That fail us both.

I was so down, so down.
You know when your eyes are so closed
That you forget your own name?
And then realize that no one is asking
For it?

Feeling a presence, I opened one.
And there it was, a sparrow.
This is not yet the rare thing.

The bird stayed.
Walked to and fro, and chirped once.
To offer my silly hand would be foolish
But I did.

None of this is yet the rare thing, but
Into it, my hand, the sparrow hopped.
And as I encircled its life, closing my fist
It stayed. It…

As I watched, closed its eyes.
It is the one thing birds do not do.
And in shame, I closed mine again.

I knew then that my sorrow had vanished.
Taken wing. But for confirmation,
I raised that sparrow up to my ear.

Will I tell you that it spoke to me?
No, for it did not. But even if the bird had
Counseled me, that would not have been as
Rare as what happened next.

I opened my hand, and it stayed there,
Soon hopping back to its little perch.
Refusing to leave,
Until I did.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

A "funny little book."

What John Steinbeck does so well, time and again, is show us real people, living real life. Nothing really fantastical, yet just a bit out of the ordinary. But real as dirt.
Reading him makes me wish I did not have to use the past tense when speaking of how he writes.
I just finished his 1945 novel, Cannery Row.
I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The book is not so much about plot, as it is an evocation of time and place. Almost, at times, a panoply of connected vignettes.
Short, economic chapters; never a suffocating moment.
The “cannery” district of Monterey California comes alive, as we meet people like Lee Chong, the shrewd, yet good-hearted general store owner.
From aspirin to zippers, if Lee Chong ain’t got it, you ain’t need it!
Then there's Mack, the self-appointed ringleader of a veritable posse of down-and-outers. These guys don’t work. [I envied them all the way through…] They just sit around all day and cause unintentional mayhem for the whole town, the main victim being Cannery Row’s one seeming intellectual, the marine biologist known as “Doc.”
The central thrust of Steinbeck’s novel is that Mack and his boys want to throw Doc a party. Doc is such a “nice guy” and he is always out there helping others, Mack figures it’s time to repay him with a bit of a shindig.
Amazing how such good intentions can go awry!
The first attempt at a party is a complete disaster. The second attempt, this time the event being Doc’s alleged birthday, is not much better, but by now Doc has taken precautions. Getting wind of his own party plans, he himself does most of the organizing, and feigns surprise when people start arriving.
But what’s the use?
At the end of this second party, his front door is again knocked off its hinges, and by now even the police have given up on arresting these well-intentioned hooligans!
It’s a terrific little novel [almost a novella] in which my lasting impression shall be the fact that all friendships, indeed, all human relationships, must be willing to embrace imperfection. Not just in the other person, but also in our own self.
In a subtle way, Doc learns through his bumbling friends, that he is not an island. In fact, he may even need these guys, from time to time.
Even he, self-sufficient Doc, may be in need of someone!

I often look into Steinbeck’s Letters [a book] to get a better appreciation for the time frame of some of his writings. Of Cannery Row, he said, back in 1943, to a friend… “I’m working on a funny little book and it is pretty nice.”
I concur.
It is funny. It is nice.

The character of “Doc” was based on Steinbeck’s real-life friendship with a man by the name of Ed Ricketts.
I read Cannery Row in preparation to reading a new book I recently picked up, entitled Beyond The Outer Shores: The Untold Story of Ed Ricketts, The Pioneering Ecologist Who Inspired John Steinbeck and Joseph Campbell.
It’s by Eric Enno Tamm, and I look forward to beginning it, next week.

I highly recommend Cannery Row, to all and sundry.
It’s not East of Eden.
It’s not Grapes of Wrath.
But it’s definitely Cannery Row!


Splash du Jour: Friday

"It has always seemed strange to me," said Doc. "The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second."
-- Doc, in John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row

Have a great Thursday!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Splash du Jour: Thursday

My cat, Jack
When God made the world, He chose to put animals in it, and decided to give each whatever it wanted. All the animals formed a long line before His throne, and the cat quietly went to the end of the line.
To the elephant and the bear He gave strength; to the rabbit and the deer, swiftness; to the owl, the ability to see at night; to the birds and the butterflies, great beauty; to the fox, cunning; to the monkey, intelligence; to the dog, loyalty; to the lion, courage; to the otter, playfulness.
And all these were things the animals begged of God. At last he came to the end of the line, and there sat the little cat, waiting patiently.

“What will YOU have?” God asked the cat.

The cat shrugged modestly. “Oh, whatever scraps you have left over. I don’t mind.”

“But I’m God. I have everything left over.”

“Then I’ll have a little of everything, please.”

And God gave a great shout of laughter at the cleverness of this small animal, and gave the cat everything she asked for, adding grace and elegance and, only for her, a gentle purr that would always attract humans and assure her a warm and comfortable home.

But he took away her false modesty.

-- From The Cat’s Pajamas, by Lenore Fleisher –

Have a great Thursday!


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Early morning is a time of magic in Cannery Row. In the gray time after the light has come and before the sun has risen, the Row seems to hang suspended out of time in silvery light. The street lights go out, and the weeds are brilliant green. The corrugated iron of the canneries glows with the pearly lucence of platinum or old pewter. No automobiles are running then. The street is silent of progress and business. And the rush and drag of the waves can be heard as they splash in among the piles of the canneries. It is a time of great peace, a deserted time, a little era of rest.
-- John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row

The above passage makes me want to stay home from work today….

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Splash du Jour: Monday

When the 13th century mystic, Meister Eckhart was asked, How then should I love God? he replied:
You should love God non-mentally, that is to say the soul should become non-mental and stripped of her mental nature. For as long as your soul is mental, she will possess images. As long as she has images, she will possess intermediaries, and as long as she has intermediaries, she will not have unity or simplicity. As long as she lacks simplicity, she does not truly love God, for true love depends upon simplicity.

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Power of Now

This will be a first for me.
Asking the opinion of other readers BEFORE I read a certain book. A while ago, a friend sent me a Youtube videoclip of Eckhart Tolle, being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. I was immediately interested in a lot of things that Mr. Tolle had to say.
The next day at the book store I flipped around in this book, shown here.
The Power of Now.
I then responded to my friend by saying, “Let’s read something by him. Let’s see what this guy is all about.”
Since then, another friend has been added to our discussion group and in about ten days from now, the three of us will be going through the book.
I now have the book with me…. we all do.
And now, flipping through it more casually, I find that it seems to be even more “radical” [if that is the word] than I first thought it to be.
And I do not use the term "radical" in a negative connotation, per se, only in the sense that some of Eckhart Tolle's ideas seem.... quite unique!
My question is this:
Have any of you read this, or any other book, by Eckhart Tolle?
If so, what is your general impression of his ideas?

Here is the videoclip I mention above CLICK!


Saturday, May 03, 2008

W and H: A Saturday Poem

W & H

I think the sign, on the way in
Said Mello.
Either someone here has the surname
Or a “w” fell off last rainstorm.
Dishwater coffee, chipped ashtray,
And three a.m.
Whatever the case, I feel the latter thing
Mellow, just as a young whore looks my
Way. Maybe she isn’t one, and again
What’s with the “w”?
It’s not needed.
Why doesn’t it start with “h” and for
That matter why does “why” got one right
In the middle of it? My God. Here she is.

Perfume intoxicating, “I don’t, no…”
I mean, “Know the city,” I stammer.
“I do,” she says. Then, “Heloise.”
I shake her hand. “William,” I tap my ashes.
No silence was ever so quiet.
But oh, the things we exchanged, as I asked
“Here,” she smiled, her eyebrows pointing
To a staircase.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008

He is Marquez!

Just recently, I finished a terrific book.
Marquez’s Love In The Time of Cholera.
Really, does one need to even say his first two names?
He is Marquez!
We all know who he is.
But truly, this is a book that one wishes, upon setting it down, that it had more pages. And not because it is inconclusive, [even though it is, in many ways inconclusive] but moreso, you want more pages because you want the two characters at the end to sort of fall through the rabbit hole, be reborn or something… see life over again. Have another try at the novel’s final word, “Forever.”

It is set in some nameless Caribbean seaport city, human topography being more important to Marquez, in this novel, than geography.
Takes place between 1830 and 1930.
This is how I am going to do this… this is how I am going to begin to speak of an impossible to summarize, sprawling epic.
I will speak of the three main characters:

Florentino Ariza:
As a young telegraph officer, delivering a message to the Daza household, he observes the precociously beautiful Fermina Daza. He obsessively [to put it mildly] falls in love with her, at first sight.
Complications arise [ no pun intended]… Fermina’s father forbids any sort of relationship, and so the two [Fermina is, for the time being, equally enamored] communicate by way of clandestine letters.
Fermina is banished to a foreign land, and in this meantime, Florentino develops into an increasingly [physically] unappealing young man.

Fermina Daza:
Partially described above.
But this is because she can only be partially described, by anyone. She is the "crowned goddess."
She is everything as beautiful as poor Florentino is forced to only imagine!
A Caribbean Juliet, about to meet her Romeo.
Ahhh.... but it shall not be Florentino, after all!
When she returns from her banishment, she still feels that she loves her young suitor.
That is, until she meets him one day in a crowded street, and, upon seeing him, she instantly feels that it was “all an illusion.” She is no longer in love.
Florentino is understandably devastated. [Romeo to the core! Would gladly stab himself if he could find a sharp enough dagger...]
And things are about to get worse for him, because soon, due to a sickness, Fermina meets….

Dr. Juvenal Urbino:
Dr. Juvenal is easy on the eyes! He is everything Florentino is not. Striking, handsome, debonair, and RICH! He too, falls for Fermina’s charms, and she, for his. They marry. Florentino, now wishing himself dead, imposes a self-banishment upon his own life, in an attempt to forget his love for Fermina. Distance from her [as is all distance from true love] is futile. So, he opts for displacement! Since he cannot have her, perhaps he should sleep with half of the entire female world, instead.
He attempts to do just this…. sustaining 622 illicit affairs, until…. until… an aged Dr. Juvenal tries to rescue his errant parrot from a tree…. and…
It is too good of a story for me to say anything else about it.
If you have not yet read Love In The Time Of Cholera, I urge you to do so.
Get a copy!
The only other Marquez I have read is One Hundred Years of Solitude.
I declare this book [Cholera] as being much better!
He is Marquez!

Oh, and one more thing.
As I said of the movie version of Ian McEwan’s Atonement, I say the same for Marquez’s Cholera…. The movie is FABULOUS!
Really, amazingly, close to the book.
A wonderfully accomplished movie.
Read the book.
Watch the movie.
[In that order]!
And that’s an order.

He is Marquez!


Splash du Jour: Friday

Well, well, perhaps I am a bit of a talker. A popular fellow such as I am -- my friends get round me -- we chaff, we sparkle, we tell witty stories -- and somehow my tongue gets wagging. I have the gift of conversation. I've been told I ought to have a salon, whatever that may be.
-- Toad, in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind In The Willows

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Splash du Jour: Thursday

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
-- e.e. cummings –
Wrong image!

Have a great Thursday!