Saturday 31 January 2009


So, well, there are all sorts of issues right now - computer issues, camera issues, work issues - which are not conducive to blogging. In particular, I've taken on a substantial translation project which is going to keep me very busy, outside the very busy day job, for the next three months or so. A good thing, I think. Stretching my mind in an area where it's competent is a positive feeling I don't often get. So this space is probably going to be silent for quite a while, but something else will no doubt issue forth in due course.

On Thursday I saw the Byzantium exhibition, and today the Rothko. The ultimate in bright, shiny, intricate, infinitely various complexity and the ultimate in subtle simplicity. And the opposites, of course, meet and meld. No simplicity more complex than Rothko's.

That the Rothko has been on since September and ends tomorrow well indicates the level of energy I've been mustering in recent months beyond what's required to do the essential, hold together something that looks like a functioning person. I wish I'd gone earlier, because I took such comfort in his canvases, especially the Black-Form paintings.

Reducing Rothko to a single narrative or metaphor would be a sorry and impoverished view. I didn't, don't. Every moment they are something else. But still, hard not to see the black paintings, especially, as depicting sadness or depression; such a beautiful and heartening depiction, since they are as full of movement, complexity and life as his reds and oranges, a powerful reassurance that the dark too is life, not static, not nothing. This is meditation on pain: the more you look right into it, the more it moves and ebbs and flows and suddenly, momentarily, lets in light.

canal-side statues at King's Place

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Time for a blog break. I have no juice.

Happy Inauguration Day!

Friday 16 January 2009

Wednesday 7 January 2009

Sunlight's dance

When you sit and sit, breathe out, let go and sit for days and sit, breathe out, let go the flat greyness in your heart, let go the flat greyness of the fields and of the sky and sit and breathe, let go, let go, and at noon on the fourth day, the fourth dull day of breathing greyly here amid the landscape drained of all warmth and colour, you start seeing sparks through your lowered eyelids and on the millionth out-breath warmth pours over your shoulders and the sun dances in your lap, you know you didn't do it, that this is not what is meant by dependent origination, and you've been reading Fritjof Capra and thinking yes, he makes sense, there is no fundamental equation, only infinitely complex and surprising patterns, only Shiva's dance, still it feels as though on the millionth out-breath you let go of grey and let the sunlight in. You are absurd, and glad of it. And then the sunlight dances across the floor and is gone, grey, grey again.

Monday 5 January 2009

Postal poem

I have been here while I was gone (but did not know till I got back).

Happy New Year! Currently so bitterly cold in London, I don't think even a Bach cello suite would make me linger anywhere outside.