Sunday, November 24, 2013

2013.11.24 A Death Bed and Death Becomes a Fushigi

I wrote a poem last week! And as I am struggling to make time to do that which I love to do, which is blog, I am using that as an excuse to do an actual blog. I have re-resolved to keep my blog posts simple, right now. So, what could be simpler than posting a poem. One that I actually wrote.

And, even better, a poem that generated with its genesis a small death fushigi.

It was prompted by the WSS's 188th Weekly Poetry Stuffage thread writing prompt An Old Bridge :
A Death Bed Rev1

I am alive in my death bed.
An odd place to be, I confess to having thought.

I sip fluids, not just water,
through a straw stuck in a spill-proof cup,
that is held by hands that are not my own,
that never seem to touch me, even accidentally,
masked as they are beneath medicine's need for rubberized sterility.

I move my eyes to see the source of kindness,
even if paid for and indifferent,
but I am unable to see who has come,
who quietly helps keep me alive.

Death watches me.
Sexless and hard, death stands weightless at my feet,
without expression or expectation. **
I didn't think Death would be this,
a visceral two-footed ghost
standing between the me I am
and the me
I am afraid
I will no longer

I don't know why, but I thought Death would be a woman.
And odd that Death would be more and less than her touch,
not la petite mort as I might have imagined in my bad poetry days.
My salad daze.
But then women were never what I thought they would be.
My sexual haze.

Ignorance. Billy boy claimed that vanity is all.
I thought I used to agree with him, but he was wrong!
So wrong. I know now that
ignorance trumps that wanton's mirror,
and vanity is merely its plaything.

I sip the fluids with which I am anonymously infused,
the liquid bridge between a diminishing old age
and the potential of nothingness laying in weightlessness.
I am alive in my death bed.
Rubber hands handle me
and all the while Death stands without waiting.
** Fushigi alert: As I was writing this stanza, in a random play on my iTunes, the Mumford and Sons' song Timshel came into my ears. The lyrics caught my ear:

And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance

And it is done.

2014.08.30 Addendum
It took only nine months, but A Death Bed has been read 50+ times on Readwave. Yes, a whole fifty-plus times, which brought a smile to my face.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013.09.02 — Scratch the Uncertainty Witch Haiku fushigi

Well, this is now getting just too silly, but M.L. von Franz's book Animus and Anima in Fairy Tales cannot seem to stop generating small and odd fushigis.

Yesterday, after I had finished posting the blog late at night, I picked up my current book read to read a few pages before going to sleep. So I resumed reading Animus and Anima and no sooner had I begun to read than I read the following:
The Baba Yaga has a very long nose with which she scratches around in the stove. Witches often have a certain phallic aspect, a huge thumb or toe or nose, as here. That is why the Baba Yaga is dangerous — she is everything, father and mother, male and female, symbols of totality and thus of the Self. But they represent a preconscious totality, the Uroborous, from which the male has to break free in order to live his authentic life (p99).
This is amusing because I wrote a Tanka-like poem for the WSS Haiku thread, in response to one written by M in which he included the name Sabrina, which brought to mind the teenage witch.

So I wrote:
an itch for witch scotch

From scratch he drank scotch
To scratch his itch for more scratch.
Till he met Old Scratch
he found peace watching his watch
wishing Sabrina was there.
I didn't think this worthy of blogging until I read a few pages later (p102) about uncertainty and Wolfgang Pauli because of course, I had 15 minutes earlier finished blogging a post within which I include Pauli and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Here's what I read:
Spinning [referring to Baba Yaga's house that constantly spins on legs] certainly has to do with the movement of the unconscious psyche in general, and with the autonomous activities of the complexes in particular. We always try to interpret a dream as a compensation of the conscious situation. But besides this, it seems as if the unconscious is a living system which can move by itself. This is very difficult to prove, because one can always say that such and such has been called forth by the conscious ego. But we know from mythology that we must always reckon with arbitrary, autonomous events.

There is a parallel situation in modern physics, where we know now that there is a spontaneous, arbitrary movement in matter, movement which does not obey the law of causality and which cannot always be predicted. For example, you cannot predict when a particular uranium atom will fall apart. We do know the exact, definite number of years for uranium to become lead — that is, its 'half-life,' … But we still cannot answer the question, 'How does each atom know when it is its turn?' Physicists can't predict just which atom will disintegrate (fn) (p102).

fn: "The physical phenomenon of radioactivity consists in the transition of the atomic nucleus of the active substance from an unstable
early state to its final state (in one or several steps), in the course of which the radioactivity finally stops. Similarly, synchronistic phenomenon, on an archetypal foundation, accompanies the transition from an unstable state of consciousness into a new stable position …. The moments in time when the individual atoms disintegrate are in no way determined by the laws of nature." (Letter 37, Pauli to Jung, in Wolfgang Pauli and C.G. Jung, Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958, p.41
And since Animus and Anima seems to be a fushigi magnet, here is an old one I'd noted last year but didn't blog at the time. It began with a muscorn post in the WSS I wrote and posted on 2012.10.15:
PANDORA: I wasn't busy, when I was in the trade, like I am now that I am in a place of meditation and prayer.
GUY: [Laughs] That must mean you weren't popular when you were hooking!
PANDORA: [Laughs] Funny, I never thought of that. No, oddly enough, it seems to me that, ultimately, attractiveness isn't as important to men as women think it is [fushigi addendum see CW below].
GUY: That doesn't make sense!
PANDORA: Really? When men buy 'girlie' magazines, how much time do you think they look at the woman's eyes or face?
GUY: [Pauses, face a little red] But that is just plain sad! And now I'm embarrassed to be a member of that sex!
PANDORA: [Laughs] Well, don't be. It would seem that what men generally find the most attractive is a ratio of waist to hips which just happens to be associated with the highest rates of fertility. Men's 'desire' is linked to a ratio regardless of actual weight or shape, and the face and eyes are not the dominant factor.
GUY: But then you are saying that we are just reacting to biological imperatives! I don't believe that, especially coming from you, here!
PANDORA: [Smiles] To deny the physical roots of your existence is to deny who you are. Impulse and action are not the same. Nothing stops the conscious mind from embracing urge and desire as both natural and necessary. But in the end, both are only a possible expression out of the 10,000 acts available to the conscious mind.
GUY: But you make that sound simple! That's not fair!
PANDORA: Fair? Fair is simply the colour of hair, and as ephemeral. [Laughs. Pandora's exercise to not laugh having yet again gone astray. And as she laughed, she wondered: is my laughter instinctual? And laughed even louder.]
Well, on the 17th I read the following:
In our story the mountain opens like a cup and the girl is caught in it, showing that the feminine aspect is trapped in matter. But the mountain is of glass, and it is not dark. … In the glass prison one can look out, one has a complete view, but one is still cut off. Glass is also an insulating material, so here the glass mountain alludes to being cut off from the emotional, feeling life. Glassy people are stiff — you can make contact intellectually, but there is no heart in them, no feeling contact.

Thus the king [in imprisoning his daughter] is trying to cut off the feeling contact between the princess and her suitor. He wants to stop life, so that there will be no future king to replace him. Every ruling system has the tendency to resist and petrify the flow of new life.

The many instinctive patterns which higher animals have get into conflict [with the instincts]. Man is the only being on this planet who can rule his instincts. That is what consciousness was given to him for. Think of the lemmings in Norway who migrate in huge numbers, probably so that by changing places they will not destroy the land completely and will continue to have food. But if they are headed towards the sea, they cannot change their route but continue until they are drowned in following the driving instinct. This is a destructive aspect of instinctive nature, and only consciousness can achieve control over such a mechanism (16-7).
[CW fushigi Addendum - 2013.09.05]
I have been editing and finishing this blog, and yes, it was supposed to be short. Well, the fushigis keep on happening. This morning I talked with a co-worker. She told me that while staying at a hotel, she went to the car to get water. And she was asked by a man in his fifties 'How much do you charge?' She explained to me that she was wearing sweats, had been driving for three days, hair was a mess, and wasn't wearing make-up. I didn't see the association this morning, but only as I was re-reading this before posting it. Here's how she amusingly chatted it in FB:

CW: Anyway, his question. He got so red in the face. First off this guy looked like he was someone like [Jimmy Stewart], quiet and inward, doesn't like socializing.
He asked me how much I charged.
ME: LOL! No way?!
CW: WTH is it with me attracting old weird men.
I'm serious!
ME: So, did you ask him how much he would pay?!
At least he was the right sex! [I was referring to a man trying to pick me up a few weeks ago.]
CW: headdesk
ME: And you were scared of the truckers! LOL!
So, what did you say?
CW: I told him to fuck off of course.
ME: :-(
CW: What? What would you have me do?
ME: Thank him, but that he couldn't afford you.
CW: I did tell him he couldn't afford me.
Then told him to fuck off.
Well, I began this blog post on Sept 2nd. I returned to work on the 3rd, and smiled when, at about 6:10am, while driving to work, I heard the following lyric:

Come Northern nights from Norway
Come sunrise from the East
Come Wicked Witches in the West, we're South-bound with the beat
And all the lions, prides and preachers come down into the street
It turned out the song is called Brighter than Gold by The Cat Empire.

LOL! I was getting reading to shut down my ramble by finding the cover for the album for Brighter than Gold from The Cat Empire web-page when I came across an interestingly titled song:
Protons, Neutrons, Electrons.
Here's the lyrics, which also align with the theme of this fushigi:
I've done too much of some things
And not enough of others
Just like all life lovers
I've changed and changed,
And changed and changed
From one thing to another.
I've had complicated dealings
With complicated feelings
And I've cut and bruised and torn.
I made blinds on the windows of my mind
with the time that my back once wore.
I'm a single person in this universe,
And I am here to say to you:
On the day that I die
I'll just give a smile
And fly into the blue!

Cause we're all just-
Protons, Neutrons, Electrons
That rest on a Sunday
Work on a Monday and someday soon
We'll be singing the old tunes
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Zip-a-dee-doo
I'll be sitting on the porch with you
Then I'll die and I'll
Fly off into the blue!

Some night I see the world with its winds and its whirls,
And I feel undefeated
But every day I see the girl with the strawberry curl,
And I'm too shy to meet her.
Some nights I go to bed,
There's a ghost in the air above my head,
And I tremble.
Sometimes I eat KFC
Other times I give up meat
And I just eat lentils.
I'm a singe soul on this big blue ball,
And I am here to sing a song
About the day that I was born
Till the day that I'll be gone
And the song won't last for long,
Cause we're all just


And enemy is a remedy to a malady in your melody
If you're strong not brittle.
And a friend is a friend
Is a friend to the end and it's AH so simple
A man is a man and a woman is a woman
But the times we are living in demand
That a man can change from a man to a woman
And a woman can demand to be a man.
We're just flesh with socks and locks and frocks,
And I am here to say to you!
On the day that I die I'll just give a smile and fly into the blue...

Cause we're all just

Well, that's it. An odd fushigi blog.

Or at least I hope that it is done! Sheesh!

Addendum 2013.09.5 10pm
Sigh. It will never end. I forgot that last night, before going to bed, I picked up a recent book. No real plan to read it, but was curious, so thought I'd take a look. The book is The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul's Conquest of Evil. Here is what I read in the intro:
The method — or, rather, habit — of reducing the unfamiliar to the well-known is an old, old way to intellectual frustration. Sterilizing dogmatism is the result, tightly enwrapped in a mental self-satisfaction, a secure conviction of superiority. Whenever we refuse to be knocked off our feet (either violently or gently) by some telling new conception precipitated from the depths of our imagination by the impact of an ageless symbol, we are cheating ourselves of the fruit of an encounter with the wisdom of the millenniums. …

It is because they are alive, potent to revive themselves, and capable of an ever-renewed, unpredictable yet self-consistent effectiveness in the range of human destiny, that the images of folklore and myth defy every attempt we make at systematization. They are not corpselike, but imp like. With a sudden laugh and quick shift o place they mock the specialist who imagines he has got them [and life, Newton-like,] pinned to his chart. What they demand of us is not the monologue of a coroner's report, but the dialogue of a living conversation. And just as the hero of the key story of the following series … is brought to a heightened consciousness of himself through his humiliating exchange of words and rescued from a disgraceful, completely odious death, so too may we be instructed, rescued perhaps, and even spiritually transformed, if we will be humble ourselves enough to converse on equal terms with the apparently moribund divinities and folf-figures that are hanging, multitudinous, from the prodigious tree of the past (pp3-4).
Now is that it?

NOTE: Baba Yaga Image is the creation of Scott Brundage. Please visit his blog to see more of his illustrations: Scott Brundage Illustration

Monday, September 2, 2013

2013.09.01 — Joyce Murray and Stephen Lewis fushigi* or 'just' coincidence?

My friend SD, his daughter SD2 and I went to see the Bard on the Beach production of Hamlet. This is my second time to it. (Quick review included — gratis, below.)

This was the first time I met SD2, of whom SD has spoken frequently and with great love and admiration. The time spent driving and waiting for the show was filled with interesting conversation. SD2 mentioned that she was going to see a Stephen Lewis talk: African Grandmothers Tribunal: Seeking justice at the front lines of the AIDS crisis (Sept 7, 2013).

Our conversation meandered, and at some point I mentioned to her that I presented a paper — On the Self-Corrupting Nature of Electioneering - And an Alternative — at the BC Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. I mentioned that BC MLA Joyce Murray was present in the audience when I presented my paper.

A little later on I told SD2 about my interest in fushigis. In a fairly typical fashion, she lumped them in with coincidences. Further discussion, including quantum physics and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and the connection between Jung and Quantum Mechanics via Wolfgang Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in Physics. In the end I concluded, rather lamely, that the connection between fushigi events is energy.

Now things get weird. At the beginning of the show, the announcer thanks the sponsors, tells us to shut off our phones, and put away cameras, etc. The usual stuff. And then something new, the presence in the audience of a BC MLA. To the best of memory of going to the Bard since 1998(?), in excess of 120 seen performances, I have never heard announced the presence of a politician. And the politician present was none other than Joyce Murray. So SD2 commented 'Is that a fushigi?' 'Yes, a small one.'

Small enough to find amusing, but not blog, probably. So why the blog? Well, at the end of the show, one of the actors interrupted the standing ovation to tell us they were collecting money for HIV/AIDS support, with the money going to among other groups, The Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Okay, a quick review of the 2013 Bard on the Beach production of Hamlet. (Adapted from a comment in the WSS Group's Introduction Thread.)

Hmmm. Thank you for asking, Lilian.

I'll start with the set. This theatre keeps the sets simple. The stage is open at the back in such a way that the audience has a view of English Bay and the city's West End and also of the North Shore Mountains. For this set the back opening was 'closed' with 25' high glass doors that slid open. These windows separated the inside and outside of the castle very effectively, with the stage most of the inside of the castle, but the outside when required with the ghost in the beginning and the gravediggers scene.

The living area was very modern in appearance, with white modern couches and chairs. On one side, there was a large flat screen TV/monitor that displayed security cameras images, but which was used as a TV broadcasting news, as well.

Hamlet carried a remote control with him, and he turned off and on music that fit his mood. Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. It was very effective.

The king and queen had security guards with sunglasses, and everyone carried around iPads like they were papers and that were also used for controlling lighting and sound.
Of course, everyone was in modern dress. The costumes were excellent. (The bard's costumes have been amazing, year in and year out.) When Ophelia lost it — and she was very well portrayed by Rachel Cairns — she was wandering around in bra and panties with one of Hamlet's shirts unbuttoned. Sounds corny, maybe, but it added a poignancy to the scene that was startling.

This production was very creative with the play within the play. They used a laptop and a tiny camera to shoot a tiny mock stage with stick puppets. The image of the camera was projected onto a sheet hung at the back of the theatre. VERY EFFECTIVE!

Polonius is shot by Hamlet in error, not stabbed.

The sword fight at the end was the same of course.

The modern setting was seamless. The music choices were nearly perfect. I loved that they they used Gorecki Symphony #3 to count down to Hamlet's death.

The actors and director all met the challenge of the play superbly. This was a memorable and an amazing production. The made very clear that this play is primarily about failures of perception, of basic misunderstanding between everyone. (I was disappointed that the director cut from the performance Hamlet's initial questioning of the wisdom of trusting a ghost to be truthful, but it seems every performance I have seen cuts that bit.) However, little was cut in the 3+ hour performance.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

2013.08.31 — Some Salty Fushigis* and a Poem

Hello. I have been disappointed in my self for not keeping up with my blog work. I love doing my blogs, and yet find myself doing other stuff first.

Anyway, I am struggling to keep my entries short. And, as I have mentioned before, since I do a lot of writing outside of the blog, I have decided to start including some of my creative writing here, too.

First up, a fushigi or two. They are small ones.

On 2013.08.09 I stopped in to buy spices from our local Galloway's, one of the greatest smelling stores on the planet because it is filled with exotic spices and dried fruits, chocolate and candies. Heavenly! Well, I was there to buy my usual stuff, and saw on the counter a small pouch of Smoked Himalayan Salt. So, as was intended by its placement I made it a 'spur-of-the-moment' purchase. No, I've not bought it before.

Later that day I resumed reading Animus and Anima in Fairy Tales by M.L. von Franz. Here is what I read:
Salt has a double aspect. In alchemy, salt is the symbol of wisdom, but it also has a stinging quality of bitterness — the bitterness of the sea comes front the salt in it. Wisdom, wit, bitterness and Eros — all that is associated with salt. Jung says this has to do with a specific feminine feeling of love: wen a woman is disappointed in love, she becomes either bitter or wise, developing a sense of humour or a certain wit. Eros is always combined with disappointment — anon who really loves must risk disappointment; the wisdom of love comes in accepting the disappointment without bitterness (37).

August 18-9
And since my 'short' blog has exploded out of control, I'll note an earlier food fushigi. A few weeks previously my wife heard on TV (Dr. Oz I think) about the health benefits of agave. (This echoed something Suzanne Somer's said about agave a couple of years earlier on an Anderson Cooper show.) Well, on the 18th, at the request of my wife, I went looking for Maple Water and Coconut Water, also because of more recent Dr. Oz show (Wednesday the 14th, maybe). Well, the person I asked to help me find that stuff took me to the area they would be in and asked me why I was looking for them. I explained about helping with blood sugar. She pointed out that the Agave Syrup on the shelf, which her parents use to help reduce the sugar in their diet because it is so sweet. Well, the next day, the 19th at 9:15am I accidentally found myself watching Bobby Flay barbecuing on a show called BBQ Addiction. The particular recipe he made for a drink included agave syrup. Until the 18th I didn't even know agave syrup existed.

August 28th
Here is an interesting fushigi addendum — I talked with AF this morning before lunch. During our conversation she commented that she was a perfectionist. I related to her the story about how the Pueblo Indians leave a gap in the line on their pottery so as to not 'perfect' the circle by closing it. Only the gods are allowed to be perfect and a human striving for perfection will invite their wrath. AF then added that it wasn't really her that was the perfectionist, but her inner writer/muse FP who was the real perfectionist. This completed the fushigi that began a few days earlier when I read the following from Animus and Anima in Fairy Tales by Marie-Louise von Franz:
What does it mean … to give the [woman's] shadow something to chew on? Animus possession many take the form of criticizing everybody and everything — and the damnable thing about the animus is that he is quite right, but likely to be wrong in the specific situation. A way to stop the arguing and criticizing is for the woman to say to her animus "If you are so terribly fanatical about what is wrong and what 'should' be, lets look at my shadow." Then there is an impact inside which is very helpful to the woman in sorting out what she really believes.

Women do not have such a desire as men have to be perfect. But if there is a strong animus, then there a correspondingly strong shadow, and by confronting one with the other, women have a change to become conscious. In other words, if a woman has a strong animus, and can overcome her reluctance to knowing her shadow, she can develop a degree of male objectivity about what goes on in her and thereby become conscious. She must learn to tell the difference between herself and her opinions, between her feminine ego and her masculine animus. And if she cannot, she will suffer with endless relationship problems (pg36).
Today (Aug 31) I talked with AF. She is being stressed particularly hard by life right now, and so told me she has started chewing on her tongue, lips and cheeks again. But that, for the first time, she came up with something that helped: she is chewing beef jerky. We laughed at that, at how such a simple thing helps ameliorate the problem, while providing some form of nutrition.

What makes this a funny near fushigi is that M.L. von Franz referred in the citation above to the need 'to give the shadow something to chew on'. Well, AF chewing on herself is an expression from the unconscious, her 'shadow'. Chewing on the beef jerky helps slow down her shadow from destroying her means to express herself.

Also, during my conversation with AF I mentioned how a 13 month old baby girl, who was sitting in the grocery store bask-cart, pointed at my facial hair when she noticed me. The mother explained to me that she has just recently started doing that to the men she meets who are not clean shaven like her father. AF started laughing, because she had done exactly the same thing when she was around 6 years old, pointing to men with beards.

August 28th:
At about 5:12pm I heard on the local news their announcement that the musical group The Proclaimers was playing at the PNE. I smiled at that because about 15 minutes earlier I had burnt The Proclaimers' CD Sunshine on Leith for AF. The previous night I watched for the first time in a couple of months, the dancing show So You Think You Can Dance. I used to watch this every week but this year I have been doing too much writing to allow TV to get in the way and have rarely watched it this year. I was surprised to hear for my first time a slow and odd cover of The Proclaimers' song I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) by Sleeping at Last.

Well, to top this fushigi off, I got an e.mail from SD the following day with a photo of him and his family with The Proclaimers' Charlie and Craig Reid. They had gone to their show.

A Poem! (Or maybe just a poem-like thing.)
Now for some creative writing.
to race a passed memory
from the WSS Haiku Game

The ghost car was idle.
The racer's goals had long since
become memory,
dreams of a thought of the passed
surpassed as if it stood still.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

2013.08.04 — Plumbing a 5-7-5 set that Tanka-ed and a *Fushigi re-started

So, two posts two days in a row! [Snoopy Dance! as a co-worker is want to say.]

I wrote some poetry humour today in the less then reputable 5-7-5 format. I'd call it Haiku, but that would be wrong. I'd call it Senryū, but would be wrong too. But the post will truly bottom out when it tankas. So, if you have been able to brave that onslaught, here is some 5-7-5 / 5-7-5-77 that plumbs the depths of how low verse can go. Note: I've extracted these from a continuation set that takes its inspiration from the previous entries. To see these in context, please go to Belly Petersen's brilliant post, good with the pipe in the Haiku thread in the Weekly Short Stories Contest and Company.

pizza by the peace pipe

'Where is the towel?'
I wipe tomato and grime
into my work shirt

from under the sink
I pull the once white towel
and give it to her

but she demurs for
a quick rub on her own shirt
takes from me a slice.
And, to continue the theme:
romancing the pipes

She sits down with me
to survey the sink's bottom.
She touches the new pipes.
'You are a man, after all,'
she says before I can belch.

And, yesterday I posted a small fushigi involving a company by the name of BA Blacktop. In it I stated that I'd not seen the BA Blacktop truck on my street since the day of the initial fushigi. Well, this morning, coming back from the morning's grocery shopping chores, and a few hours after posting that blog, I saw that same truck parked beside my parking garage's entrance. And I smiled.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

2013.08.03 — So Little, So Late; Reached 40k, Some Haiku, a Fushigi* and some (a)Musecorn.

Hello. I am shocked that it has been seven months since I got my blogging fix. I could say that my life has gotten busier in that time, and in a way it has. But the reality is that my writing time has been consumed with other writing, stories, poetry and something called (Interactive) Musecorn.

Musecorn is a variation of the play-like writing that has come to be called Popcorn that was initiated by Al, head moderator of the Goodreads writing group, Weekly Short Story Contests and Company. (And Al is a very fine writer. Please check out her poetry and prose in the WSS or on her blog Pens and Erasers.)

Popcorn is a way for authors to interact with his or her characters, by giving them a voice though which they can express their personality directly with their author. This has been running since January 2010. For a short and interesting and not atypical example of popcorn go to From Seagulls to Mice, Exhumed Babies to Diarrhoea.)

Musecorn is a slight refinement, in which the interacting personalities in the play-snippets are not characters created by the writer, but the writers' muse or muses. Some of the popcorn is more specifically musecorn. It sounds odd, I know, but it is a great deal of fun, challenging to write, and liberates the imagination.

A few months ago, and one of the reasons I've not been blogging as I used to, Al and I began to create Interactive Musecorn while talking via a chatterbox window. We had no idea how this would work, but to my surprise and immense pleasure, it has become as alive as anything I can imagine writing. I have, here, published an early exchange. I expect to turn some of it into a play for fringe festivals.

Interactive Musecorn
Note: In this extract, Guy's muses are the Professor (Prof), Neve, and Pandora, and coloured as shown.
Al's muse is Frank and coloured as shown.

Prof: [Speaking to no one in particular.] Al's rabbit-coitus dream has been puzzling me.
Frank: Me too. VERY puzzling.
Prof: [He pauses.] Freud would have a simple answer, I think.
Frank: Quite creepy, too. I don't like having to share her with some bunny man.
Prof: But it is about hidden wish fulfillments. At least that's Freud.
Frank: And everyone knows how much I loathe that fruity man. Oh dear Lord. And now I'm making typos! How embarrassing.
Prof: [Laughs.] What's that got to do with anything?! She gets you a lot, so you aren't a hidden wish fulfillment.
Frank: [He raises his eyebrow.] And now you're on the same list as Freud....
Al: Frank. Be nice.
Neve: Did Al have sex with a rabbit? OMG, that's gross!
Al: Not a rabbit, a man wearing a rabbit suit.
Neve: [Mutters under her breath.] How big was the rabbit?
Frank: And here I thought I was your only bunny.
Al: He was massive.
Neve: Oh! [Pauses.] But really, isn't that even, sort of, more gross?
Frank: [He wanders off.] Is Pandora here?
Neve: Well, you never know. Why?
Frank: Oh, no reason.
Al: He wants to have a "chat" with her.
Prof: That is just displacement, Frank.
Frank: Who asked you, fruitcake?
Prof: You think that if you can touch greatness, you will become a better man.
Al: Fruitcake? [Bursts into laughter]
Frank: You, clearly, have no idea what being a "better man" is all about.
Al: Frank...
Prof: [Laughs.]
Frank: [He rolls his eyes.]
Prof: Frank, you have all the behaviour of small man syndrome. And I don't mean your height, if you get my meaning.
Al: Remember your promise, darling. Don't do anything stupid....
Frank: [Ignoring her.] You insolent little man! If I wasn't being elbowed by Al, I'd strangle you!

[Continued on separate page, for those interested. Go to: Musecorn.]

End of that 'phase' of this blog.

Sigh! So much to write. Even now I have a choice between writing a story, quickly to meet today's deadline — I have a creative idea for this week's topic in the WSS Awkward — or put up this blog post so as to stop feeling guilty about my not doing it for so long. It would seem I have decided to blog and feel a little guilty about not writing a story for now. (Might get to it tonight.)

So, first ego-blog post:
My long absence from blogging, and no my doing it, is overwhelming my fingers. I want this to be a complete ego blog, to put in a bit of everything. Then, of course, no one will read it. But, I will, anyway, by cheering at my blogs having gone past 40,000 page views. This happened a little over a month ago, and I actually started toblog that astounding success, but just kept doing other writing instead.

Second ego-blog post
I also wanted to post some of my writing. I have been writing poetry and short stories. Lots of Haiku — well, more often than not Senryū, target="_blank">Tanka, or 575 or 57577 forms, in particular. I may have written a couple of good pieces in the lot. So here is some short form poetry-like verbiage. (Note, these are extracted from an interactive Haiku game thread, and these will read better within the context of the other fine works that inspired my efforts. I've attached the links to the titles. Enjoy, if you can:
the moon, he doth wax with eloquence

He waxed his belly
Until it was mistaken
For the waxing moon
On a starless cat-less night
With white wine, a dark future.

back in the tank

Drunk and far from home
Ziggy spent time in the tank
going star crazy.

to be or not to be dancing

His ghost danced lightly
with a quick and gentle step.
He kept perfect time.
When the rains came he stayed dry
and sang 'Fly Me to the Moon.'

the wind up boy

She bade susurrus,
With a siren's soft whisper,
To dance in his ear,
Bid him strip inhibitions,
Seek her umbrella.
There has been a lot more than that, but that is more than enough to give you a taste.

I was tempted to throw in a short story, but have managed to resist that.

Here are two small, somewhat recent fushigis.

On Friday, July 19th, my co-worker NR asked me to read and critique/edit a letter he was going to send to a project manager of BA Blacktop. They are doing the road re-arrangement and overpass for the Vancouver Ports. NR's letter was an apology on behalf of the logistics people in our office who had failed to get the work done on time for the project, despite NR having completed his design on time and having given the logistics people instructions on what needed to be done. Nothing special about that circumstance, anymore, as that is more-or-less the norm for the department as it suffers under the poison of severe MBA mismanagement and bureaucratic dysfunction as my employer continues its drive to eliminate its labour to an outsourced engineering department.

The following morning, @ 9:50 am, I was exiting my condo's parking garage in order to begin my Saturday morning chores. Parked across from my egress was a van with a BA Blacktop red and black logo. I have, since then, looked every day, every weekend for that van. And nothing.

Well, before I left to do my chores on that Saturday, from the TV that my wife was watching, I heard the word/phrase Doppelgänger.
She was watching the movie Doppelgänger Paul, and asked me what 'Doppelgänger' meant. I defined it for her. When I got to Safeways about thirty minutes later, I heard a young woman standing in line talking about having to keep clear of doppelgängers. I can say that I have heard that word used by people other than me perhaps less than twice in the last 15 years. It is, however, a favourite of mine.

Fushigi Addenum:
After writing the above, I went back to the top of this post to find a good extract of Musecorn to post. While looking for it, I came across a recent chatter post (google hangout), and smiled to read the following, which I'd forgotten I'd written:
Does that count as a part of the fushigi too?

Fushigi Addenum II:
Stuart McLean, on his radio show Vinyl Cafe, read the letter of an amazing fushig. So amazing, I'll blog it here. To add to the fushigi nature of the story, today was the first time I've listened to McLean in months. Zahida Murtaza, from Pakistan originally, relayed how at the age of 12 she fell in love with the writing of Stephen Leacock. I was desperate to read more stories written by this author, but I had no way of doing that. Instead, I read the story so many times that I memorized it. She had no idea of where Canada was, or even if Leacock had written anything else than the short story she read from the English Literature Anthology her class was studying. On a random drive, she and her husband, some 40 years later in Canada, stop at random at a small town in Ontario, visit the church and its graveyard, and discover the grave stone of Leacock. The short letter is a delight to read. You can read it here

Friday, January 25, 2013

2013.01.25 — Introducing the Villanaiku: a Published Poem-Like Thing

On January 9th of this year, I read Gareth Jones blog entry "The Villanelle is the Most Restrictive of Sandwich Forms". I enjoyed the short blog and the link he provided because it formally introduced me to a poetry form, the Villanelle, with which I was completely unfamiliar by name. I knew of it only by Dylan Thomas's poem
Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night. I did not know that that was a villanelle because, I didn't know that the villanelle existed. [Click Do Not Go Gentle Into the Good Night to listen to Thomas reading his villanelle.]

Well, a few days later, in the delightful Haiku thread game in the WSSC&C, Ellis wrote a delightful Haiku that inspired me to word-play off a female villain, i.e. a villainess. And with my having read a few days earlier Gareth's villanelle blog, out from my imagination popped my first ever try at a variation on villanelle, the Haiku villanelle or, as I've dubbed it, the villanaiku. To introduce it, here's the Haiku that inspired it:
Maggie, of the crew,
a fierce pirate, capable,
whiskey-smelling, foul.

Slams down a shot glass,
the man with the mom tattoo
frightened that he's next

hides in the corner,
like the rest, when she's looking
for an arm-wrestle.
I was reasonably pleased with my first effort because as it happens the villanelle is truly a difficult form, and great challenge. Here is what I created:
What a villanelle!
Of song and tough female made,
and a bagatelle.

Wicked fame can tell
who is strong and who afraid
of the villanelle.

And she can foretell
just how his cards will be played
by that bagatelle.

Now in her dark spell
and with this false maid he's made
her danse villanelle.

He's ship-bound for hell
in silk clothes strangely arrayed
as her bagatelle.

His heart hears the bell.
And dies with all his hopes flayed
by his villanelle,
her sweet bagatelle.
I think that that is okay. The purists will note that I have not just perverted the form very formally with my Haiku, but more importantly, with my poorly constructed refrains. So, truly not great, not even really good, but the lazy boring slowly and drawn out ooooookkkkkaaaaay.

But a few more Haiku-things later in the WSSC&C my curiosity got the better of me, and so I gave the villanaiku another try. And this one I liked much more, and so did Rose at The Houseboat mixed media blog. Enough to publish it on her first blog dedicated to Haiku. And since that is a form of publication, and I have decided to allow my blog to be completely self serving on published works, here is perhaps the world's first published villanaiku:
His words for the eye
flow with easy false answers
that satisfy why.

Her verbs won't stand by
as mute second rate dancers,
his words for the eye.

For what do you sigh?
Not these monstrous word cancers,
that satisfy why.

What's said at good bye
are the lost years' enhancers,
his words for the eye.

She cried 'I defy
you to escape the yes sirs,
that satisfy why!'

Her thoughts were to die
never sought by his answers
his words for the eye
that satisfy why.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013.01.08 — Shakespeare, the WSS and a Wack of fushigis.

A few days ago I began writing story for the WSS Week 150 Prompt. The prompt is a photograph by M. Flynn Ragland. On Friday, as it evolved, I wound up, with great reluctance initially, incorporating the idea of using Shakespeare's ghost. The story was due in the WSS's competition by the end of Saturday, the 5th, at the latest. Well, my choices wound up entwining me in a bizarre twist of fushigis. To get the full fushigi flavour, here's the story I wrote. The fushigis follow.
What's Set in Stone

'Is the set set?' the set manager snapped to her crew. Phoebe was tired and irritated, although not so tired that she didn't recognize that her curt questioning was her just being grumpy ironical. She could see that the set was ready, that her crew had done a good job. No, an excellent job, as usual. It was, she thought, perfect. The imagery of the scene was haunting and beautiful — it would film beautifully and that would help bring this part of the story vibrantly alive.

And yet she knew that in the end it would not. That all the work she and her people had invested in setting the scene would be lost, forever unknown, unwanted, unappreciated by anyone but her crew and herself. Phoebe had the misfortune of having worked with this particular director before. Barton was a hack. A relative of someone somewhere who had more money than brains when it came to making movies. Well, made for TV Harlequinesque romantic dreck. Hack; dreck. Despite her irritation, she found herself bemused at this curious alliteration. She'd noticed it before, that the '-ck' sounding words often had harsh meanings. Hack, dreck, black, blech, smack, quack.

'Yes, ma'am, the set's set and ready for action!' Phoebe's first assistant, Greg 'GG' Grimes called from behind the false wood panelling that would have fooled even a seasoned carpenter.

'Right!' she called back. 'Okay then!' She reached for the walkie-talkie. It squawked threateningly when she pushed the talk button. 'Set 17, romantic abandoned cabin, is ready. Over.' With her other hand she pushed from her face a lock of hair that had fallen free from the elastic that tied her hair in a pony tail.

The first assistant director's voice cackled and squawked 'Thank you, Phoebe. Over and out.'

She loathed to call what she was doing, here with Barton, making a movie. Her particular irritation, on this particular day and with this particular set came from the knowledge that dreckmeister Barton would take this beautiful set that she had conceived, designed and built only to completely ignore it. That or leave it shredded on the cutting room floor — digitally speaking, of course.

Why would he even ask for it to be built? She shook her head. Barton's delusion was that he was going to be a David Lean or Ridley Scott and that he would create 'meaningful meaning' — his words at their opening production meeting — from image. The only thing he liked to film, however, were close-ups of overly painted pouty lips and cleavage chasms embellished with carefully placed moles or tattoos. Well, that and thin blouses and taught pants stretched over tight buttocks. It was obvious to everyone that he'd spent too many years making single camera porn. Dreck!

She sighed. If things hadn't been so slow she'd have turned the offer away. She began the final walk-through, double checking to make sure the various details were just so, and that no one had left behind a tool or spent facial tissue that would ruin the shot. Well, the theoretical shot.

As Phoebe moved through the small space she could see in her mind's how Scott would move the camera through the set to set the scene. It would evoke an ambivalence between the beauty of the physical world, even in abandonment and decay, and the ugliness of the ignorance needed in the people who see despoiling it as a kind of jest against God.

'Beautiful, isn't it?' Pheobe just about jumped out of her skin at GG's baritone bringing her back to reality. 'Shame, really,' he added before she could respond.

'Yes, it is.' Phoebe watched GG raise the digital camera and move around the set. He carefully looked into the viewing pane before snapping each image. This had been their routine for years. Photographing the sets had begun as a kind of resumé, but had evolved into memory.

'We'll see you at Maguire's?' he asked without looking up at, as he turned off the camera and capped the lens before removing it from his shoulder and putting it away in its case.

'You bet.' Phoebe had felt sad before, at the ephemerality of sets. She knew that that was the nature of the business, but… But what? She rubbed the side of her nose then squeezed the lobe of her left ear, as she habitually did whenever she began seriously to think. But in the theatre your set will at least be seen because once it has opened there are no miscreant directors and editors removing, like a malevolent god, your mark from the show's arc. Good or bad, it would be ingrained and endure wind and weather. And if the play was really good — or really bad! — the scene will live on in people's memories for a long time.

''The play's the thing wherein you'll catch the conscience of the king?''Phoebe jumped. She thought she was alone. She didn't recognize the voice that had filled the space from behind her. And it had a most peculiar accent and raspy-ness. She laughed nervously as she turned to look behind her. But she didn't see anyone.

'Hello?' she asked, more than greeted. 'Hello? Who are you?'

'Nobody important,' the voice answered from, again, behind her. 'I am a writer.' Phoebe jumped again, with a flutter of genuine fear in her stomach. She noticed that with 'writer' the voice had cracked and squeaked, not unlike the anthropomorphized mice she found detestable.

'A writer, eh?' she said, also with a slight crack despite wanting to sound stern and masculine-like to convey confidence. She had learned that from an Oprah show, or something. 'A writer?' she said again, less shakily this time. 'Anything I would know?' She'd never met a writer for these kinds of shows she didn't dislike. She heard him laughing. Again, from directly behind her, but with a timbre that filled the space, despite it being a rather silly sounding laugh. It was more a giggle that felt, somehow, friendly. With that she began to relax. Practical joker, she thought.

'Well, good night, I-am-a-writer.' She turned to the studio's exit.

But before she'd taken five steps the voice reverberated 'Yes, as a matter of fact. And quite likely of far more than you are aware.' This time the voice had originated from directly in front of her. She stopped. She could see the long uncluttered path to the exit. And there was enough ambient light coming from the set to enable her to see the absence of anybody or a place to hide them self. How's he doing that? she wondered. She knew that this studio wasn't set up for elaborate sound effects. It was a simple set studio only, and any dialogue recorded in it would undoubtedly have to be looped later.

'Ha, ha,' she pretended to laugh. 'Very clever.'

'Well, not that clever. I have been cleverer, ere now.' He giggled. And again it sounded cute, and oddly endearing in an effeminate way. Phoebe hesitated between saying something clever herself, or ignoring the giggling prankster and simply leaving. Before she had decided he quipped 'Cat's got your tongue?'

'Ha, ha.' She was now feeling slightly embarrassed at how stupid she sounded. In a nervous gesture she pulled her hair free from the elastic that had tailed it, and shook it free. 'Okay,' she said. 'Okay, maybe you're not as dumb a writer as I would have expected, given the treacly crap I've seen spewing from the hack actor's mouths. But —

'You think I wrote this crap?' His laughter rattled the rafters and rang her ears. She'd never heard the like. 'Not that there is anything wrong with it. In theory, at least. My writing has been considered amoral and unsophisticated dreck at various times by various educated literati. Word snobbery is perhaps the most pedestrian of affectations.'

'But I'm not being a snob!' Phoebe spun quickly around to see if she could catch the source of the voice.

'You have beautiful hair.' She could feel herself growing afraid once again. 'Don't be frightened! It's just that in my time the casual freedom of woman's hair unbound in public was unheard of.'

''Your time?'' she asked. 'What do you mean by that? Who are you?' She heard the hint of panic in her voice.

'If I told you, you wouldn't believe me.' He sounded genuinely sad. 'Besides, it would just be a distraction. From past experience you'd either want to deride me for being a fake, or pester me with questions about how I could write what I did when I was 'obviously' too ignorant to be real.'

'Who are you? What do you want? Is that you, Barton? This isn't funny!' Pheobe turned, and began to run towards the exit. The act of running took the panic to full force in her, as if her life was being threatened.

'Wait!' The silly giggler's voice boomed like a thunder god. She stopped dead in her tracks. 'Wait,' he repeated gently. ''You and I have unfinished business.'' The voice giggled again. 'Did you get it? Did you?' Phoebe didn't answer. Her heart was racing and the adrenaline being pushed around her system was making it hard for her to understand anything. But wasn't that— 'Beatrix Kiddo!' he blurted out with glee, interrupting her response. 'From one of your favourite movies. I thought that bringing in a contemporary reference would … ' His voice faded out.

'Would what? Make us friends?' Now it was Phoebe's turn to giggle, but it had the strained cackle of her pent up nervous energy being released. A rather unpleasant part of herself castigated her that giggling like that was making herself look even sillier and girlier. She took a breath. 'I suppose that the next thing you are going to quote me is 'Those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with you'? Are you?' She paused to look around. He didn't answer. 'And how is it that you think that your being able to cite Beatrix's hacked limb joke was going to make us friends? Especially if you won't even show me your face?'

'Who said I wanted to be your friend?' The voice giggled. 'No, I am here to set the— I mean, set your record straight. To finish your unfinished business, if you will.'

Phoebe was still shaky, but instead of running she had decided to find out who was doing this. She returned to the set and began looking behind the frontage.

'That came out wrong. Sorry.' She didn't say anything, just started tapping on false walls and furnishings to see of she could decode a secret hiding spot. 'You won't find me that way,' the voice said. 'I'm not really a ghost in the machine.'

'Then what are you?' She continued her search. 'Who paid you to set this up? Barton?'

'I am the energy you have invested in setting yourself up for a fall.'

'Hah! That's just bullshit. I don't believe in that Oprah-like feel good religious mumbo-jumbo. If there is one thing I believe in, it is what my hands build. What people build. Disembodied voices are the neurological misfirings of a brain toasted on something. Or, like with me, on a lack of sleep.' She stopped. And before she could stop herself looked up at the chandelier and said ''Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.''

'Yeah, yeah, yeah. One of my better lines. Better sounding lines, anyway.' His sigh rumbled like an earthquake. 'Nothing really changes. For Scrooge it was undigested cheese. For you, spiked brownies. You don't believe in the stars, but bodily disfunction? Snap, without a second thought. Peculiar.' The disappointment was tangible. 'Fortunately for you, I am not the foreshadowing ghost of a dead partner.'

'What? So what? I am supposed to believe that you are the ghost of dead playwright instead?' Phoebe's laughter was coloured with hysteria.

'I get that a lot. I guess, with Hamlet faking madness I kind of deserve it. It was so obvious to me that he was more sane than everyone else. Think about it: it was only he who considered that talking with a ghost to be either the sign of madness or as a source of truth. Now I am one. Ghost, that is. Although, to be honest, that is a poor description.' He giggled. 'The stars, or Life if you prefer, have a very peculiar sense of humour. Of course, I could just be mad. Or maybe I am madness itself?' He giggled again.

'So, you are comparing me to Hamlet?' Her laughter was even more hysterical. He didn't say anything. After she'd recovered, she added 'And now I am to do what? Pretend to be mad? Give me a break!'

At that moment there was a very loud crack, like that of a tree being split by lightning. The set split, as if by spontaneous separation due to irreconcilable differences. The one half fell toward her with a deafening crash. The top edge of the false wall landed on the toe of her safety boot.

There was silence as the dust danced around her in its jerky helical-like path on its return to being at rest on the earth. She coughed a couple of times. Then she wiggled her boot out from under the remains of the set. The steel toe had done it's job of protecting her left foot: she could see the shine of the steel through the cleanly cut leather. She looked at the remains of what had been an embodiment of perfection, now the remains of some kind of cosmic joke.

She took a breath. Then, with calm resolve, removed her walkie-talkie and laid it on the remains. Then she removed her set pass and set it beside the old fashioned communications devices. She hesitated, but then took her smart phone from her pocket, and laid it beside it too. She took a few steps past it to leave. Then stopped, went back and picked up the phone. She unlocked it and dialled her father's number. As she left the studio she heard her phone rang itself into his voice mail.
Number 4
The fushigi event that made this bloggable began after I'd posted my story, when I began to read the other story entries. The first of them is called Because He's the DM, That's Why, a Dungeons & Dragons parody by Edward. He wrote:
…Everyone knows gnomes are almost fairies, but no one appreciates your rip off of Shakespeare.”

“At least he didn’t go with the gnome Capulet and dragonborn Montague storyline he originally came up with.”

Pock jumped half his diminutive height in the air. “Ah! A disembodied voice!”
A few paragraphs later he included text that is stricken out. Stricken out text is very rarely used in the WSS, even in editing. But here it's used in a story he preambles with I am not going to edit this; I'm just going to post it in its raw, stupid form. Here's what he struck out.
who is a prominent member of the Montague Family, whom your kin, the Capulet Family, are great rivals with. You are already smitten with her beauty –

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Sora interjected, rudely. “You are going to do the Romeo & Juliet crap? I’m not romancing that ass—“

Okay, fine I’ll change it
Number 2
So, that was the fourth step that triggered the fushigi that began with my story. The second step occurred while procuring lunch — take out from a local restaurant — after I'd completed the typical Saturday morning chores. The bar tender was a woman who I have gotten to know over the last few years. Today the place was exceptionally slow and so I asked her about the odd looking tattoo on her wrist.
"It says," she said, 'I defy you stars.' That's from Romeo and Juliet." [Act 5, Scene 1.]
We then discussed briefly her idea that life is not fated, that we make our own destinies. I asked her if she was a fan of Shakespeare. "No, not really. Just from high school." I added that the same idea crops up in Shakespeare quite often, such as in Julius Caesar. I then paraphrased/misquoted 'It's not in the stars, but in ourselves we are mere underlings and he a colossus above us.' [Act 1, Scene 2.]

Number 3
Once I'd completed the lunch and the usual other chores I resumed writing my story. In the late afternoon my wife interrupted me to tell me about the giant wine festival that will be happening next month. It turns out that it is a big fundraiser for local charities and that this year that charity will be Bard-on-the-Beach, the local and increasingly internationally known Shakespeare festival with which we've been long time members. Here's their link to the 2013 Wine Festival, which sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Here's an image from the printed article. *** INSERT SCAN OF PAPER ****

Number 5
Early in the evening, shortly after posting my story (time stamp is 8:47pm) I visited the WSS TPBM game. I am amused by the two TPBMs before me: #2663
TPBM has new boots! followed by Nope!!! TPBM wishes they had new boots.

Number 6
Later in the evening I read the interesting PM I'd received earlier (5:07pm) from M. Amongst other things, he talks about how he finds a lot of writing to be unnecessarily self-absorbed and difficult. He wonders if that is what is keeping 'normal' people from enjoying poetry. His speculation arose in part because of the reaction his published poem The Municipal Poolhas gotten in Goodreads. He commented that he'd received a PM from someone who said that he doesn't usually read poetry but found The Municipal Pool 'accessible and moving'. I have included this as a tiny or near fushigi because in my story I have Shakespeare's ghost say
Word snobbery is perhaps the most pedestrian of affectations.

Number 7
I also got an interesting PM from Al about an hour after I posted my story (9:45pm).
She wrote
Hello, Guy! I just read your story! It's brilliant. I thought it was funny you mentioned Hamlet! I was just putting Hamlet quotes in the prompt for this week after earlier today watching Mel Gibson as Hamlet!

I don't know if you've seen the new contest I posted or not, but I sat down to write a serious and thoughtful poem when suddenly my fingers started moving and I wrote this:
He unbuttoned his mouth and let out a word
that threw her far, far off guard
as he unraveled a tune and strummed it into ribbon-ish chords,
singing as if a young virile bard.
His darling, dearest, honey bloom turned to look him in the eye,
but instead of smiling playfully, her face went very wry.
She slapped his face and walked away, his words still lingering in her mind,
"Your dress, I plan to take! Yes, the one you wear right now-
This dress, yes! Your dress! Worn only to be taken-ripped clean off!"

Well, after that I went to check the writing prompt for Week 151 (January 6-13). Stories. Topic: *See quotes:. And the first in the list is from, you guessed it, Hamlet:
1.) “When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions!” -From Hamlet.

Number 8: 2013.01.07
Well, I got busy, and didn't finish writing the fushigi
blog on Sunday, the 6th. However, I opened Umberto Eco's collection of essays, On Literature, before going to sleep. I began reading the commemorative speech he gave on the graduation of James Joyce from University College, called A Portrait of the Artist as Bachelor. On the second page of the speech I was bemused to read:
Jim began his degree in 1898, studying English under the supervisor Father O'Neill, a pathetic enthusiast of the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy… (85). [This is a brilliant and fascinating essay on the tower of Babel!] Addendum 2013.01.10 The essay on James Joyce was so fascinating I decided to re-read it. And when I did, I was a little surprised to read a sort-of fushigi in the paragraph following the one cited above. It is subtle, which is why I didn't see it the first time. But I decided to add it here, anyway. In 'Drama and Life,' a lecture read on 20 January 1900 to the University College Literary and Historical Society, Joyce announced in advance the poetics of Dubliners: 'Still I think out of the dreary sameness of existence, a measure of dramatic life may be drawn. Even the most commonplace, the deadest among the living, may play a part in a great drama' (85).

Number 9: 2013.01.08
Again, I got busy, and didn't finish this blog on the 7th. At work I told my friend and co-worker BV about this weird fushigi — I've shared these with her before, since long before I blogged them, even. So as I was telling her about the story and the prompt that started the story, I had her look at it. She began to laugh.
Well, that's funny. My friend works on movie sets. And, even more bizarre, is that once a year she gets invited to the 'all orange party'. I used to go, but haven't recently. At the 'all orange party' everyone has to dress in orange, all the food has to be orange in colour, as do the drinks, etc.

And there you have it. A strange, and quite likely meaningless interleaving of life elements that by their being slightly unusual and being clumped together, have come under my rubric of experience called, by David K. Reynolds as fushigis and by C.G. Jung as synchronicities.