Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nearer, up close

Verde, que te quiero verde
– Federico García Lorca
My smooth approach
did not help –
again, again
its green smoothness eluded me

I approached harshly
this time,
and its smooth greenness
shrank away

Again, again –
do not approach me smoothly

Who are you
to sneak like this?

I knew about you,
from the start, your steps
make my quartz structure

Again, again
my green

Approach me
with me in mind

Approach me green,
you’ll be inside,
you will be smoothly

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2008)

Written in response to today’s prompt at Three Word Wednesday, which was to write using these three words: approach, bottle, smooth. In García Lorca’s poem the wind is green ... here it’s a prosaic bottle. Or is it?

Just noticed that I did not use bottle! Well, since it's all about one, do I need to name it?

What the horoscope said vs. what really happened

The horoscope delivered this morning by the e-mailman sounded quite nice:
Today you might feel like relaxing and being lazy. Working tends to be your addiction, so it can be hard for you to rest. Try not to do chores. In fact, if you can get away with it, don't force yourself to do anything! Give yourself permission to goof off. Allow the dust to pile up another day. It will still be waiting for you tomorrow. Allow your spirits to be recharged before you venture out into the world again.
So how did that compare with today's reality?
  • Negative on the relaxing, laziness, no chores, no nothing front. Work is not really my addiction (more going on creative tangents), but I went in anyway and did what there was to do. Maybe a little more slowly than at other times.
  • Positive on letting the dust pile up. This is something I'm really good at in general. I let the dust pile up at home while I was at work. And, lo and behold, it was still there when I got home a while ago.
  • Recharging the spirit... Well, there was some of that at work since it was Luca's birthday, and just about everybody showed up in his office because he's a swell guy ... all the Italians, of course, but also the Spaniards, the French, the Russians, the Australian, one Brit and yours truly. Eyed Francesca occasionally, who is beauty in the eye of any beholder, but talked mostly to Clara, who is from sherry country, about such coherent things as yoga, García Lorca's "Bodas de sangre," his poetry and the folk songs he put to music, plus similarities between certain cooking habits in Clara's village and in Morocco. Now and then I busied myself with pouring champagne and serving carrot birthday cake. That made me feel useful.
And now I will recharge some more ... with some food and possibly the movie The Big Hit (Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christina Applegate) recommended by my son the other night as something outrageously funny. Let's see!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The miscellaneous fib

you non-
ally, in that mis-
cellaneous but loving way.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2008)

Written in response to the current Sunday Scribblings prompt:

#95 - miscellaneous

Because it is a delicious word with unlimited possibilities, the prompt this week is: miscellaneous.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sung by Joy

आनन्दमयि चैतन्यमयि सत्यमयि परमे
– Sri Aurobindo

These (om anandamayi chaitanyamayi satyamai parame) are the words of the first song on a wonderful CD I've had for years –
Hymns and Songs in Sanskrit, sung by Joy Chowdhury of Auroville, South India.

I briefly met Joy Chowdhury at a friend's house in Auroville late in 2004 and remember – and this is a memory that's stuck in my mind for incomprehensible reasons – seeing her vanish behind a curve of an Auroville dirt road on her scooter, with her daughter riding behind her.

– Leonard Blumfeld

The musicians are:

Joy Chowdhury - Vocals
Holger Jetter - Keyboards & arrangements
Bryce Grinlington - Flute
Krishna Both - Tabla
Nadaka - Tambura and additional vocal

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Leaving the comfort zone

This week's Inspire me Thursday task is to go beyond the comfort zone (the week before it was to define the comfort zone, in which I did not participate – did not feel comfortable with that one, I guess).

What came to my mind for this one was a quote from a postcard received from a close friend:
So you're a winner ...
You work, and it's rewarding & fun. You share your life with a marvelous woman, who complements you and moves you much as you move her. You bless the world & the world's blessing shines on you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Yeh Raatein Yeh Mausam

Here's a picturization of one of the most famous romantic duets of popular Hindi cinema – it also was sort of the theme song of the happiest times of my marriage...

The song is from Dilli Ka Thug (1958). It stars Nutan, one of the most beautiful and charming actresses of the time, and Kishore Kumar, who is better known as a playback singer than an actor. Here he does playback singing for himself, while Asha Bhosle is the singing voice of Nutan.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Limited outside sections

The new office has five windows, of which 3 are obscured by shutters this morning to prevent glare whenever the sun chooses to poke out for a sec.

No. 4 shows part of an apartment building, built ca. 1920, when they still had a taste for nooks and crannies (this one has many of those). It's pale orange, with the entrance in pale pink and the hinged shutters in pale green. The most conspicuous contemporary feature is a clump of red and zinc satellite dishes on the red tile roof.

No. 5, at an angle of only 8 degrees from no. 4, shows an entirely different period in the back - a recent high-rise apartment building, all boxy impersonal lines. Pale yellow and concrete grey. Another apartment block, straight, 1960s, boring, transverse. Partially covered up by deep-green spruce trees. A beech in front. Still hanging on to last year's brown leaves.

Somehow a dismal morning. Discernable drops of rain coming down out there. Any sound from outside covered up by the humming and occasional ghostly activity of the huge HP printers stationed further back in the room.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Stainsby Girls

In 1990, I bought Chris Rea's album "Shamrock Diaries," which contains some of the best songs he ever wrote. I particularly loved "Stainsby Girls" and was planning on writing a novella based on the theme suggested - that of two wild, unconventional sisters, who, as Chris Rea says, could not only steal a heart, but break it in two.

I'd even decided on my names for the sisters – Charlotte and Vivian. Charlotte, I was definitely sure, was the proper name for my Rolling Stones loving heroine. She would be the one to break my hero's heart in two.

Alas, I never even wrote a single line of the novella. But the idea has lingered in my head for over 15 years and is revived each time I listen to the song. Which still happens now and then...

The lyrics follow below the video. Watch out for Chris' slide guitar solo!

Stainsby Girls

Some girls used to kiss and run
Never knew what they had done
Some girls always wasted time
Keep you hanging on the line
Some loved horses and always stayed at home
But the Stainsby girls loved the Rolling Stones

Now some had games that you had to play
Making rules along the way
Strange attractions newly found
Pride and passion kicked around
Some girls stole your heart
Like most girls do
But a Stainsby girl could break it in two

And I fell in love, I fell in love
I fell in love with a Stainsby girl

Deepest water Stainsby blue
Running straight, running true
Names and faces fade away
Memories here to stay

And I fell in love, I fell in love
I fell in love with a Stainsby girl

– Chris Rea (from Shamrock Diaries, 1985)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Give my love to Rose - Bruce Springsteen

This post is for my friend Chris from New Jersey, who is married to Rose. The other day he told me about a song he'd written for her, and that reminded me of the Johnny Cash song "Give my love to Rose," of which I recited part of the lyrics to him. He thought it was unbelievably corny. But then he doesn't like country music in general. However, then I discovered that his fellow New Jersean and hero Bruce Springsteen performed the song on some occasion. So here it is - Springsteen-style...

When the horoscope is right on...

Occasionally, the daily horoscope I get by e-mail is right on target, as it was today:
Your usual determination has gone out of town and left no forwarding address. Of course, like any self-respecting Capricorn, you continue to accomplish what's demanded of you. But you sense something missing in relation to your motivations. Those around you notice it as well, so expect to have to justify or explain your occasional lack of pep...
Please get me back my forwarding address! And, preferably, back into town!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Prior to dive-in fib

of life looked
so cold today! I
feared for kidneys, liver and heart.
But some vigorous
strokes in its
cold did

– Leonard “The Diver” Blumfeld (© 2008)

Here we are – it’s the 4th morning in 2008, and a fib – in the shape of a diamond no less – served as a warm-up exercise for a day begun with reluctance. If we are to trust Richard Leider and other commonsense gurus, it is essential to have a reason for getting up in the morning. Each and every morning. Let’s just say that some mornings are easier than others.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The best was what hurt most

of two
thousand and
seven sadly was
what also hurt most: to dissolve
a marriage begun
in May with

– L.B.

Written in response to Inspire Me Thursday's suggestion "The Best of 2007". It is unfortunately all true.