Thursday, April 2, 2009

Love

Following on from the last self-indulgent piece with me venting my spleen about my father, Susana said the most extraordinary thing in the comments. She put me and the word 'love' in the same sentence. When I read it, my eyebrows went up and I froze in disbelief. But only for a second. Then I tilted my head back and laughed.

Truth be known, I have no idea what love means. You don't need to take my word for it. You need merely search this site for the word 'love'. Whilst I couldn't be fagged doing it myself, I'm prepared to bet that it will only appear in the phrase 'peace, love, and understanding' which I use not so much as a banner to rally around, but rather as a cudgel to beat things with.

The word, in and of itself, as a stand-alone description, I, um... 'dismiss'. Which is to say, I dismiss it from my vocabulary. Honestly, what the hell does it mean?

Never mind love, here I'm far more interested in lies and lying. Actually the word 'lie' is just as fraught as 'love' and I tend to avoid it as well. Let's just say that I ponder the nature of misrepresentation. But regardless, if we were to take every lie ever uttered and analysed them to see which one predominated, I'd bet money that the phrase 'I love you' would win hands down.

And go figure that more than a few women have made it clear to me that, but for the want of me saying it, they'd have slept with me. I'm a strange cove, sure, but women who do this always fall in my estimation.

---

A while back in Shanghai, there was a woman I fancied. I was directing and she was my producer. She was smart, funny, and sexy. And she told me of her travails with her laowai boyfriend who came to Shanghai every couple of months for business. In between times he lived in Belgium with his wife and kids (Urgh! No one here I hope!). And once or twice a day he would send her an SMS saying some variation of 'I love you'. This made her all gooey. Me, I shook my head. Between words and actions, words are cheap. Hell! He sent these words by SMS, the cheapest means there is.


Me to her - "If I said you were just something to occupy his time when he's here in China and all it cost him was an SMS every day, would I be wrong? Forget his words, what does he do? What is there to say that this guy isn't just some bullshit artist? Men lie you know. Forget his words. What are his actions?"

Anyway, she threw him over. For me, ha ha! Well that was the theory anyway. What with assorted cultural confusions and a plot straight out of a bedroom farce, we didn't sleep with each other. But that was cool, she was going to come to Sydney for Chinese New Year and stay with me. After that I was going to go back to Shanghai and become an in-house director. Sounded good to me. But! - it all went to hell. For reasons that weren't clear she didn't come to Sydney and when I flew back to start up with the directing gig, it was if we were complete strangers.

I had failed apparently. Specifically I had failed to send her an SMS every day telling her that I loved her. God help me! What with her last boyfriend using this precise process to lie his way into her bed, here she was angry with me for not having done the same thing. I shook my head and wondered if she and her Belgian didn't deserve each other. But truth be known, my part in a mad farce aside, I was pleased. If she was that undiscerning, that incapable of distinguishing between words and actions, then she wasn't the chick for me. I never saw her again and packed in the directing caper shortly thereafter. And a good thing too.

---

The above was but a single 'I love you' anecdote from dozens. And I don't doubt that you'd all have your own. Truthfully, there are more stories of lies and lying with 'I love you' at the centre of them than there are stars wheeling in the sky. For mine, the phrase is so utterly devalued that it's worthless. There's a lot to be said for saying nothing.

Like the Japanese! The Japanese are their own variety of laconic. They are not a gushy people. Whilst the younger generation, deeply steeped in Hollywood, are changing now, the older generation do not prate on with heartfelt drivel. If you want to see a perfect example of what I'm talking about, go see 'Hana-Bi' by Beat Takeshi. He's a legendary director and Hana-Bi is arguably his masterpiece. And sure it's dotted with action and violence, but mostly it's a 'love' story. Everything that takes place in the film is an act of devotion by our hero for his dying wife. Astoundingly almost nothing is said. No speeches, no declarations. Actions are all. And the actions are unambiguous. The truth lays in what is done, not in what is said.


And if anyone does watch this film on my say-so and wonders, "What sort of a crummy 'love story' was that? No one even kissed anyone!", you'll actually be making my point for me. Your dissatisfaction will say far more about you as a Westerner than it will about the Japanese.

---

And then there's the Maori and the Hawaiian people. Culturally, since they're both Polynesian, their cultures are as close as could be. Curiously they seem not to know very much about each other. In conversations I've had with Maori about Hawaiians, and vice versa, no one seemed to know anything. But whatever, they have many many things in common. As a complete dilettante I'm pretty sure I won't get in trouble for saying that the concept of 'breath as life' is central to their shared culture. In Hawaii, this breath/life is the 'ha' in 'aloha'. (It's also the 'ha' in 'haole', their word for white person. There's a fabulous story in that, but I'll sling it in the comments.)


The Maori likewise acknowledge the importance of breath in their custom of touching noses. This functions for Maori like the handshake does for white people. The handshake is an expression of 'peace' insofar as it's a demonstration that one isn't carrying a weapon. Three cheers for white people. Compare that to the Maori, who touch noses so that they might exchange the breath of life. But here's the crucial thing - the breath is always from the nose, not from the mouth. This is not because the nose is special but because the mouth is considered 'corrupt', or perhaps more correctly 'corrupting'. The stink of food is part of this but that's actually the least of it. Breath from the mouth is spurned because what comes from a person's mouth, words sure enough, cannot be trusted. In words lay falsity.

---

And then there's that Brazilian chick. This is a looong story, but there I was in her marvellous ramshackle house smack dab in the middle of a picturesqe but down-at-the-heels town two hours from Sao Paolo. She was a Rudolph Steiner devotee and was in the arduous process of setting up a Rudolph Steiner school cum arts-and-craft co-op. And I was going to join her. My head was there. But that too came a cropper. Story of my life. If anyone out there is familiar with the Tora San movies (uber-famous in Japan), that's me. I never get the girl.


Whilst the whole thing was complicated with family and a boyfriend etc. a key moment came in a discussion about 'love'. She looked me in the eye, grasped my hand and told me of the most important thing there is. That being love, sure enough. She even quoted the Beatles to me. And hats off to the Beatles, but between them and my continuum (at the top of this page) with selflessness as the only thing counting, I was, ahem, dismissive. I tried to explain the distinction but got nowhere. It didn't help of course that I didn't speak Portuguese, her English left a lot to be desired, and the Japanese which we both spoke (she being sansei Japanese) was ill-suited to philosophy. But the language didn't matter. She said love and I shook my head. "No, you don't understand," I said. Yeah yeah nobody, just face it - you blew it. Time to do that Tora San thing and smile, wave, and hit the road.

---

Bloody Hell! Do I have a point or am I just blathering? Both, ha ha! The point is that for me, words are worthless, with 'love' at the top of the list. And yep, I just used a thousand words to say that. The irony runs rampant.

Never mind me as cleverpants wordsmith - a blog, an audience, and a huge pile of words being put in some kind of order. Bully for that. But back at the house of geriatric indulgence, with me and the old man, it's positively Japanese. Every day is like a scene from Hana-Bi.

Perhaps I brought it with me from the temple - "shiraberi wa dame" - chit-chat is bad. And there, there was a lot to talk about. Here at home there is nothing to talk about beyond Fox Sports and doctors. And I haven't much time for either beyond needing to know what channel to change to and when the appointments are.

Here there is no love. Or certainly no declarations of it. The only thing that counts is 'doing'. For me (or perhaps for an ideal me) all my actions should be an embodiment of selflessness. And I ain't in that picture. And nor are such messy things as emotions. Like 'love' etc. If I was to start in on that, the whole thing would fall in a screaming heap. It would turn the picture into one that was about me. And if it was about me, it wouldn't be about me because I'd be gone.


But here's a picture of me. Or me as played by Vincent Cassel in the movie of my life, that is. Nothing in his head. Nothing in his heart. No thoughts, no love, no nothing - just emptiness. Dig it, it's like Camus' Stranger albeit with a happy disposition and no Arab monkey business. And when Cassel wants to know what his motivation is, he'll be told he hasn't one. "Just go through the motions. Attempt to embody selflessness. Don't ask us what that would look like since no one bloody knows. Just do your best." Says our Vincent - "But why am I happy?". Sorry Vince, no answer to that one neither. You just are.

Truth is, living with my father has been a brilliant experience. The only way anyone could cope with the old man's utter self-obsession is to let go of one's own desires. I'll admit that there's a certain 'reactionary' aspect to this. And I know that no one likes that word - to say, 'I am not that' is full of negative connotation, a thing to be avoided. But if one is seeking selflessness it's no such thing. Everything I wish to shed is here precisely depicted in the closest genetic template imaginable. It is what I am leaving behind.

And Susana, apologies for using you as a prop, ha ha. It's not you, it's just my brain turning a word around. And what a word! A word so fraught, so plugged into insecurities and self-worth, replete with uncountable meanings, stories, variations, and use and misuse, I reckon we're better off without it.

Do or don't do. Actions over words. That's where the truth lays.

32 comments:

the Silverfish said...

No comment. At least not for now.

Anonymous said...

Don't believe a word of it.
As you say the proof is in the puddin'. Mate.
Tony

susana said...

Dear Apology,
Have you noticed how many times you have apololgised to me in our short time of communicating.
No need.
My partner and I have been together for 18 years, not once have I said I loved him. Not even when he has said it to me.
It is just something I can't do.
As you say it is the most vacuous of words. It is in the same league as god.
When I said you were pure love it was simply by deed of your actions.
Your siblings aren't taking care of your father you are - in other words I equate love with action, never with sentiment or hallmark gestures.
And love has nothing to do with being worthy or nice or any of that polaric shit. To be pure love is surrendering your desires, doing what you don't want to do.
Which is exactly where you are.

Pleased to get a laugh out of you and a piece.

Anonymous said...

Love.
Mmmm.
I tell my children I don't like them but I love them. Understandable?
My wife who lived apart from me for 25 years (we were together for 15). I loved her. We seldom saw each other but neither of us found anyone else in that time (not that we were looking).
My sister has completely different values and understanding to me and is really my cousin. Again love but is annoying.
Same for my 'brother' he's just a silly nasty bastard. Still?
Loved mum- she was my best friend.
My few friends - who knows? Yes I suppose so.
I love dogs.
As for female company in my youth; love didn’t come into it- lust maybe but my belief was that ‘love’ and its ‘consummation’ was for my life’s partner.

There are different types of 'love' aren't there Nobs.
And love is as love does.

So you can blame your 'love' or ‘non-love’ or failure to admit ‘loving’ on anything else you like but I don't believe you!!

Oh! and Visible- I love the concept of him (to me Les is a modern day prophet in the true biblical sense).
Tony

Frank said...

Noble thoughts, nobody!

It reminded me something a stoic once explained to me, at great length, and I can't remember most of it for shit tonight. Brain-mush disease in full bloom here.

But in part he told me that the root of our modern word APATHY was considered a GOOD THING to the ancient stoics. It meant DO WHAT YOU'RE HERE TO DO but don't be a fukking HYSTERIC, CRYBABY, MARTYR or A-HOLE about it.

It sounded good at the time. But I forget the time, and most of what it was. But you knew that.

nobody said...

Thanks folks.

Silv, teasing again? May I declare you the Grand Prix Teaser? Ha ha ha. Multiple winky smiley things.

And Susana, apologies for all those apologies. This endless apologising has actually been sussed out by anthropologists (seriously) as a marker of middle class Australian males of my generation. When I read that I was horrified. Guilty as charged, m'lud.

But now that I think about it, Englishmen do it too. I remember an Englishman in Beijing who used to drive me berserk. He made Hugh Grant look like Clint Eastwood.

Good God. I hope I'm not as bad as him! Um, would it help if I said I didn't mean a word of it? Ha ha ha ha. Sorry!

Oh, bloody marvellous. The beauty of disappearing up your own clacker is that it can go on forever...

And thanks Frank and Tony. Not forgetting of course that it was as much a discussion of the word as the thing. But the thing without the word is what? I wave my hands in the air with a funny expression on my face. It's a game of charades. Hmm... seems like this argument is about to disappear up its own clacker too.

Thanks folks, off to make trouble at Craig Murray's.

Miraculix (Doug) said...

Rampant irony, indeed.

I feel much the same about words and the smithing thereof -- and I too find the process and the use of words a massively, rampantly ironic activity for exactly the reasons you state. At once, it is all we have -- beyond certain intimate rituals reserved for friends and family members -- to interact with other humans, and then only if we happen to speak the same language or a similar enough dialect.

On the flip side, we also discover it is to express this feeling of "love" in very direct and intimate ways involving only eyes and hands and hearts -- without uttering a single word -- and this with our clothing intact and not a single bodily fluid exchanged.

Personally, I too am a staunch advocate of the "action before words" school, yet I've also been gifted/stuck with these smithig faculties that earned me the title "gifted" when I was still a young pup floating lost on a vast sea of others' hopelessly mixed-up ideas.

As for the application of the actual "L-word", I struck a compromise with myself long ago as to it's usage: I use it only when I truly feel it, and therefore mean it. In other words, I do my best to rescue the poor sentiment from it's exile to platitude status with each and every utterance. My own miniscule effort to reintegrate word with meaning, if you will.

I do this both to protect my fragile hold on the ability to work "word magic" that I was borh with AND because I have experienced genuine love of the emotional sort, which is why I am married and living in rural Germany and not holed up in a cabin high among the foothills of my native Cascades.

And that's just it. Words, like people, possess gradient levels of good and evil and how they are used is just as important as when and who and all the rest. Without them, would we have more "truth" in the world?

Perhaps, but near as I can tell the act of prevarication transcends the spoken and written forms just as easily as anything we might refer to as truth. I have known people who could mislead quite well with only a glance.

In the end, it all comes down to intent, the crafting and direction of intention being no less than what we think of as magic, from sparkling white to deepest bible black. Which is why the Hollyweird scene wields such incredible formative power while supposedly just "entertaining" us. Sneaky motherfu**ers.

But then most individuals eyes glaze over when I attempt the above conversation, which is precisely why they are so easily steered by those who wield the power of the word and image with even unconsciously malicious intent. Another huge dose of irony there.

Conclusion: "love" and it's equivalents in every language are very powerful, magical words that can make, break or reinforce social and personal bonds like very few others. As Mr. N so rightly states, it has been rendered almost passe through overuse. Consider, just as a song overplayed on the radio can lose its punch after too many listens in too short a time, the beauty contained in the melody or the harmonies remains when you revisit the song years later. In other words, like the notes, the words are not at fault here. They are merely the tool in hand, icons stacked in patterns to the sky, signifying everything and yet consisting of nothing but air.

Sounds like magic to me.

Penny said...

nobody, nobody.

love, I have issues with the word love and it's overuse.

doncha just love that ___? (actor actress, singer whatever)

but you don't.

then there are the people who say they love you but they don't , they just tell everyone that. It is like saying hello or goodbye to them, more a greeting then an emotional feeling.

To be honest I had the most f'd up of upbringings. I can not even say, I love my parents. I acknowledge them as such, and accept them as such, am somewhat dutiful, but haven't concluded decisively if I love them. I have great affection, especially for my mom.

But there are two people I love and I tell them both that everyday, and I KNOW in my heart and in my soul , in the fibre of my being (does that make sense)? That I do indeed love these two people unquestionably.(hubby and kid)

It is all these things that occur when they are around and when they are not, that are the signs. It would just take forever to list them all so I won't. Then, they wouldn't make any sense to anyone else but me.

To say I love you to them, is not saying empty words,it is speaking truth and sharing emotion. It is our bond. When I say these words to the people I do truly love, it brings me joy.

Anonymous said...

geez, if I ever feel like drinking heavily and maybe blowing my head off, I'll read that again---just kidding--sorta
"love" is overused and therefore useless--it's like enlightenment--WTF?--either you know it or you don't and you only know it if you're not thinking about it-- we're always trying to live up to some "standard" set by someone, somewhere-primarily designed by writers of romance novels and fairy tales--
I used to say was "in like" when it came to girls i dated--actually, I didn't formally date much--kinda partying and boinking--it worked out great until that "word" crept in--I knew the invite to dinner with the folks was next on the list--her list, not mine--if you turned your head real fast, you may have seen the last flash of my ass running out the door--
It's like the terms marriage, husband, father--they mean nothing--funny, that it's all about relationships and we get so caught up on trying to use words where they should not be welcome, and only subtract--we should just keep our mouths closed and laugh and smile more---
gotta go grab a beer and clean my guns now---

Jj

nobody said...

Bingo!

As often as not, I write a thing and deliberately omit something that frankly ought not to be left out. There's various reasons for this - like keeping the thing within a certain length or not wishing to muddy the point. I'm guilty enough as is, never mind making things worse.

So what I do is leave a thing out and see if anyone brings it up in the comments. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. With this piece today, the folks in the comments came through with flying colours. You nailed everything I skipped and then some. Bravo all.

Specifically I'll thank Mir. For mine, the obvious hole in this piece was that actions can lie. Good liars will lie in deed and even put their money where their mouth is (keeping in mind that their mouth is utterly corrupt). But mostly, what with words being cheap and actions requiring physical exertion, it pays to go with the latter.

slozo said...

Well, at first, I agreed with you . . . thinking that "I love you" might be the most overused lie used . . . but then I decided no. How about these ones:
"No problem"
"just a minute"
"I'll try"
"buddy"
"it's the truth" (my personal fave, especially when 'God's honest' is inserted)
"I know" (this is probably the true winner)
etc, you get the idea

See, the phrase I love you, although you may think it's overused, isn't really used that often at all, I find, especially when compared to the aforementioned list. It's certainly not used in day to day work activities, save for the occasional "I love you man!" when over-complimenting or perhaps if you work with your squeeze. But really, that's not a lie at all, just a different meaning of the phrase. Just like when I tell my mom I love her, it's real love; and my wife, and my little girl, and even my dad who I'm not really talking to right now. Those are real, truthful statements, all of them. The fact that I may or may not have the opportunity to always cement those statements as truth with action, doesn't make them any less or more true.

I wish for you to find a soulmate some day, Nobody; you deserve it.

I use the phrase "I love you" quite often, and I am not ashamed of it at all. Sometimes it is very heartfelt; more often it is a more casual assurrance of fact. But it is never a lie . . . if I don't feel it is the truth, I don't speak it. Well, that's the way it's been for me for a long time now, anyways.

I love your blog posts, and love your writing.
Peace, Love, and understanding, dude. ;)

nobody said...

Speaking of people filling in the gaps that I left - Hey Slozo! It's a pleasure to have you disagree with me mate. I will gladly admit the validity of everything you say. Truth be known, this piece says more about me than anything else. Well they all do really... nature of any medium, I reckon.

As for soulmate, you never know. Maybe one day I won't blow it. Mind you, the aforementioned Tora San series consisted of 48 movies and only ended with the star's death. And he NEVER got the girl, ha ha.

Anonymous said...

I thought I’d let you know this because of our high regard for each other.
The kafuffle re my behaviour towards a flight attendant; it was a body double Mister Nobody, honestly.
I had to apologise for him because everyone thought it was me making the trouble. I would never do a thing like that.
Your Prime Minister (of Australia)
The Honourable Kevin Michael Rudd, BA – Asian Studies (Hons),
Dux of Nambour State High School
陸克文 (the Chinese love me).

nobody said...

No need to apologise to anyone PM. May I just say that I've been there myself? When I was a director I was surprised to find that people would perpetually be trying to crawl up my arse. Admittedly I was a penny ante director and not one for very long neither. Which is to say, I never got over the weirdness of it.

But imagine being PM! You clearly have gotten over the weirdness of it and have arrived at that marvellous place wherein if your every whim isn't fulfilled you crack the shits. And quite right too.

Just as you know your place when in more exalted company, is it too much to ask that this woman be as servile to you, as you are to the bankers? Of course not. And given that were you (in some fit of madness perhaps) to fail your masters, you'd be whacked, why should it be any different for this woman? With you leading by example it's only fitting and proper that people should know fear. Otherwise what's the point?

My advice to you is not to apologise to the media or anyone else. Just take a leaf out of Dick Cheney's book and fix them with a murderous glare and tell them to go fuck themselves.

Anonymous said...

Mister Nobody
I knew you'd understand and yes 'whacked' is exactly the word.
I couldn't be as audacious as Mister Chaney, the opportunity doesn’t arise as I never get to go duck hunting, Therese won't allow it.
Although sometimes I feel like Robin Hood, you know a true man of the people.
That Malcolm Turnbull's a drongo isn't he?
Your PM KMR

nobody said...

Turnbull? A git. Does he have your bland panache? Your cake-of-soap savoire faire? No he doesn't.

(As you can see I've been boning up on your speaking style. I dips me lid.)

As for Robert McLelland telling us we've never had it so good, may I suggest my a line to feed the chooks with?

"We're pumping so much money into the economy Australians will soon need wheelbarrows to take it all home!" The punters will love it.

Not bad eh?

Anonymous said...

PS Mister Nobody
Did you see me sucking up to Her Majesty the other day - she loved it.
I shook her tiny pasty pink chubby little hand and bowed appropriately. Wonderful. And gave her one of my creepy smiles too. She soaked it all up I tell you.
Your PM

Anonymous said...

May I suggest installing an Australian English to American English translator software on the blog--i can pick up on some of it, but not all--
lol

Jj

the Silverfish said...

Love is simple, it's watching the Eagles return and that they started to do yesterday. Yesterday I counted 64 Golden Eagles flying past my office window.
Oh yeah love is walking up to a so called wild deer and saying "Hey gurrrrl, how the hell Yeh doing?" and not being killed for picking up it's faun.

It's the look in my dogs eye's when they come back from patrol and they let me know that they have missed me.

Love is having a chipmunk scampering up your legs to get some peanuts and then the look in the eyes, no not in the chipmunks eyes. He or she is just there for the nutz but rather the look in my eyes, to know that he or she trusts me enough to get that close.

Love is many things, most of them are pretty simple, but if you or anyone else haven't gotten that by now, you proably never will and thats kind of sad.

oh yeah and sometimes love hurts like a bitch, but like my Granddad used to say" Yuh got to take the shit with the sugar cuz thats just the way life is".

nobody said...

And Silv fills in yet more gaps. Bravo. Sure enough I spend most of my time on the balcony talking to birds. Round here avifauna is all the fauna we got. This is mostly limited to magpies (not the Northern hemisphere Pica pica. This is the Australian Cracticus tibicen), and butcherbirds. They will never alight on your hand. Far too fierce and independent for that. But it doesn't matter, I am filled with wonder regardless.

And Jj! Nice of you to pop in. Mate, you'll be pleased to know that this need has been catered to. (Sometimes I get it right don't I?). On the front page under 'nobodies' you'll see 'lexicon of nobody'. This used to be a separate blog but it made no sense what with only ever having a single page. So I folded it back into the church. The link will take you to the appropriate page. Mind you, I've used a couple of new phrases here lately, so I'll run over and update it right now.

PS I mentioned over at the cinema blog that I finally found an angle for the dreaded Matrix. Little did I know.

Perhaps the best thing about writing is that it forces you to order your thoughts. And in doing so you realise it's necessary to throw half of them out. Maybe all of them. So I'd write and throw it out, write and throw it out, until finally I thought, 'Fuck it, why don't I just watch them all again?' And in doing so I realised I'd had no idea what I'd been watching the other 7-8-9-10 times I'd seen it. I think now that I do. Anyway, I'm starting from scratch again but the thing is in train and when it's up at the cinema I'll announce it here directly.

Yoroshiku

And thanks PM. No lizard of Oz, you!

kikz said...

y'all got my brain churnin' this mornin.

as of late, i've been quite mute in print. guess that sort of extends to other areas also.

maybe more later....

expectations.

where and how they are formed in degree....how they change over time - and are met or not by ourselves and others - as applied to the concept of 'love'.

maybe that falls as under the category of selfishness as a subcategory... but selfishness is one of the main themes of this life...

maybe more later.....

Anonymous said...

Cool point--I have had the "feeling" when writing, of what it must have been like when it was the only form of communication between distances--a letter on a ship, sailing across the oceans, then by horseback, perhaps finding it's intended recipient, perhaps not as it would take months--
What changed in that time--did someone give up on hearing from their lover--did they find someone else--did circumstances force them to move--how carefully the words were chosen due to the cost of mailings--what was kept out of the letters--what was put in--
Just something about it that's magical--of course now, I can send words to the far corners of the earth in a matter of a second or two--does it carry the same weight? Is it too fast, or is it just what it is?
Our boys have cell phones and usually don't talk on them--it's texting--same notes to girlfriends--silly stuff to others--find others in a city in minutes-- much to0 fast? It's their norm, in an instant--
When I was growing up, we had a big black, heavy, rotary dial phone in the living room--want to call someone? The whole family could listen in--If we weren't home, there was no message machine to leave words on--and we all seemed to get along just fine that way--looking for your friends--go walk or ride your bike through the neighborhood--we would play baseball in the street from sunrise to sunset some days--most families only had one car that dad took to work, so we rarely had to move for anything--kings of all we surveyed--
Maybe go up to the woods that no longer exist--adventure was what we made it--not a knock on kids today, it is what it is--but it seems as the years go by that amazement is lost--I remember sitting in class watching a guy step foot on the moon and didn't think much of it--even then, I had the feeling that it was all done in a TV studio--a born skeptic I suppose--
That there was someone, and there was always someone, lost in their own home, or neighborhood, workplace, or whatever, knowing what most of us on the blogs know, and feeling so alone that no one "got" what they knew in their heart--no books at the library, magazines to subscribe to--it was so controlled--then again, look at all that is out there if you look, and still, such a small percentage are awake--
I have empathy for homosexuals who took a chance trying to find a partner--just looking for some companionship, having to hide a part of who you were, maybe getting beat up, or worse--knowing that wherever you went, you were out of place, an outsider--the net sure has allowed us wackos to not feel alone, to feel strength from words printed every day--The growth in the quality of the writings is staggering--so many gifted people gaining a sort of momentum--the continuation of a thought that we share--pretty cool--

Jj

Caryl said...

Thank you for this piece. I was particularly interested in what you had to say about "self-emptying." There is a term for it in biblical
theology, kenosis (See: Phil.2:5-8) I once published a "utopian" novel about the end of the Age of Oil, called After the Crash, in which I
imagined the advent of a new kind of man. I called these individuals "Silencers" -- "in essence the Silencers were men (and it is true, only members of the male sex could be Silencers) who had developed a kind of empathic self-emptying to such a high degree that they could render audible what had previously been only interior."
Perhaps, dear Nobody, you are something like this! I would be glad to send you a copy of my novel if you will write and let me have your mailing address.

Penny said...

silverfish:

I like that, take the shit with the sugar.

to the point!

Miraculix (Doug) said...

You'll never guess what I spotted -- and picked up -- at the library this week in anticipation of a low-key cinema Sunday at home with the wife. Indeed. All three.

Take your time. This ought to be fun...

nobody said...

Who knew? When I wrote this thing I wondered if it wasn't crap. All I knew for sure was that it had occupied my brain for days and that maybe tapping it into words might get me somewhere. I'm not sure that it did or not. But regardless, it's made for the most fascinating comments.

Jj... yes, all of that. I've had very similar thoughts. Remember getting an airmail letter? It was so special. You'd read it over and over, hang off every word. There's no such thing anymore. Now it's all emails and we merely skim. And don't start me on SMS's. Whenever I get one, I instantly call whomever it is because I detest the whole process. But like you said, both sides of a thing are possessed of something. For everything that's shit about modern communications there's something marvellous and life changing.

Thanks for the thought Caryl. As for me as 'silencer' or some other clever thing... absolutely! I am Monkey, great sage and equal of heaven. Ha! But seriously, if you met me you wouldn't even blink. Unless you had dust in your eye or something...

And Kikz, you have been quiet mate. I hope you're well etc. And your daughter.

And Mir, feel free to watch it without paying sharp attention. There's the precise specifics of a film and then there's the overall impression it leaves. I think the latter is more important. Either way, I'm on it.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly Monkey got into all sorts of strife.
As an early TV show Monkey is up there with The Vikings. Great.
I loved both those shows.
Tony

Skye said...

Ah Nobody, I have to agree with Silv on this one.

Love is certainly what one makes of it, and as Silv mentioned, you can't help but feel love when a wild critter trusts you as much as they trust him!

Love is an amazing thing, that is true, yes the "I love you" is overdone to a sickening level. Take my family for example, they seem to have come up with this thing that they can't hang up the phone till you've told them how much you love them. Well dammit, I can't stand any one of them, so I just hang up during that pregnant pause while they're waiting for me to tell them how much I love them. I don't understand why none of them call me anymore ;)

When questioned about my hanging up, I just say, "Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies." They ask more questions, and I just say "Take it as you will!"

Hell my mother even told me once "Just say it even if it's a lie" to which I replied "Nope, sick of lies and hypocrisy, won't put up with it from anyone and won't dish it up." Needless to say, I don't have much to do with any of them anymore, aside from Grams.

kikz said...

y, noby...

family all well... :)

thx.

skinnylegsandall said...

Many many women have I loved.All were first born children like me.Two I married.One had my children.They are grown now.I love both children.The oldest my daughter,oh how I adore her.I believe only a Daddy can adore his daughter this way.
In college the religion classes set my heart on fire.Toward graduation I took a high level Yeats class.Among children talks of many things.Yeats longed to see a young Maud Gonne,the love of his life in child like form.She wasn't as good for Yeats in any form as late life wife Miss George Hyde-Less.No writer ever spoke to me like Yeats.I loved and still love his poetry.My children and their mother,our house and dogs,I loved that life.That life was relentless, ongoing,textured,rich,memoried.After the children went to college we got divorced.A number of years now.
During those college years I read a Eza Pound translation.I'm pretty sure I have never been loved like this.
The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter
by Ezra Pound

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.

At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the look out?

At sixteen you departed,
You went into far Ku-to-yen, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

You dragged your feet when you went out.
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Cho-fu-Sa.

Rihaku By

nobody said...

Hey Skinny, what are you doing all the way back here? Actually don't answer that question because your comment was perfectly marvellous. And I do love that poem. Actually you filled me with curiosity and I went and had a bit of a search and found this. The best bit comes half way down when two Chinese chaps compare the various translations.

Otherwise I can only say that not only have I never loved like that but I've never had kids nor even been married. It's the best I can do to read poems like the above and imagine. Sigh

Thanks Skinny and do pop in again.

P2P said...

I have spent quite some time thinking about what love is, because I know from experience that it is something. and as with everything I know, I can only speak from experience when trying to give my view on a given thing.

I know it to be possible to experience love at first sight for having experienced it myself, twice. first time I was sixteen and fell in an instant for an alcoholic anarchist who was going through his quarter-life crisis. second time I was twenty and fell in an instant for a homeless italian smoker.

I've been socially surrounded by so called eligible bachelors for years, and have even tried to fall for them in the course of relationships ranging in length from a couple of months to over a year. those guys have had all I've consciously wished from men. so no wonder I've been baffled for years whether I have some weird self-destructive tendency or at least some serious cognitive dissonance going on in regards to my affective capacities.

a couple of years back I found a good enough analysis on love by ayn rand. I know she didn't, apparently, quite live up to her own high moral standards, but still I saw some truth in her view about love at first glance being possible because one is able to see from the eyes and the overall presence of an another being that "that stranger has the same sense of life as I do."

so I came to understand that the men I've fallen crazily for have been reflections of my own deepest being, in a given time and space. which is not very flattering actually. the reason why this doesn't happen to everyone, or dare I say for most people, is because I think they are not brave enough, and not honest enough for themselves. the biggest lie I've told to myself has been that I have a future with some of the 'eligible' twats I've even lived with. in truth I seem to belong among them crazy outcasts.

I don't know if it is a selfish kind of love when it stems from an experience of mirroring oneself (the 'soulmate' bull). in the past I've had to forget myself in a sense when being with someone who isn't equivalent for my deepest sense of being, which in the end has been very painful. maybe selfless love is an impossibility as romantic love directed to an another individual.

in the last year or so, when living on other sides of europe with the latter sight, I have learned something about selflessness as an experience that goes hand in hand with the experience of being in love. it is a big internal battle aiming at accepting the inevitable separation and lack of communication. I'm not mastering it yet, but have come to understand that wanting is a truly destructive process stemming from the ego, while there is a quiet intangible selfless whole in a continuous state of amazement and joy for knowing there to exist one being in the same time though distant space who I cannot but love.