[…] I often have to remind myself that infinity has only ever occurred once; when the night is really wide, a gaping maw mouthing at my thoughts […]
“In relation to Pain, that empty word, Infinity, comes near to having a meaning. This is not the case with Pleasure; for Pleasure is strictly finite and any attempt to extend its boundaries results in its transformation into Pain. For this reason, the infliction of Pleasure can never be so delightful to the aspiring Mind as the infliction of Pain. To give a finite quantity of Pleasure is a merely human act; the infliction of the Infinity we call Pain is truly god-like and divine.”
— Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer, highlighted passage
I shall concern myself anew about the boundary
Between the love-deed-Yes and the power-deed-No
And pressing forward honor reality.
We cannot avoid
Cannot escape the compulsion
To afflict the world,
So let us, cautious in diction
And mighty in contradiction,
— “Power and Love” (1926)
He is life’s liberating force.
He is release of limbs and communion through dance.
He is laughter, and music in flutes.
He is repose from all cares — he is sleep!
When his blood bursts from the grape
and flows across tables laid in his honor
to fuse with our blood,
he gently, gradually, wraps us in shadows
of ivy-cool sleep.
— Euripides, The Bacchae
I’ve always wondered what it’s like to have one half of your brain removed.
If you had your left hemisphere removed, then you would become severely anomic (have difficulty recalling words and names), dyslexic, not be able to sound out non-words (made up words like FINT) and you’d have a very limited amount of vocabulary. You would still be able to swear which I imagine would come in handy for patients that have had their left hemisphere removed because things can get frustrating.
If you had your right hemisphere removed, you still retain all your normal speech and reading skills however your spatial abilities would be severely affected and probably impact on your daily living skills. You wouldn’t be able to drive, dress yourself or clean yourself.
So if somebody held a gun to your head and told you the only way for you to live was to have one hemisphere of your brain removed, which would it be?
Left hemisphere. It would suck to lose words though.
absence / absence
But isn’t desire always the same, whether the object is present or absent? Isn’t the object always absent? —This isn’t the same languor: there are two words: Pothos, desire for the absent being, and Himéros, the more burning desire for the present being.
— Roland Barthes, The Absent One from A Lover’s Discourse, translation by Richard Howard
A little further on the track left the beach and Te Wherowhero and Manukorihi mounted to the level ground above. It was here that they came upon Mama who had been wounded earlier by a shot from one of the garrison in Okoki Pa. He had lost a lot of blood and it was plain that he had only a short while to live. Mama, who was a man of herculean stature, was the leading Maniapoto warrior of his time and he had been the hero of many a hotly contested duel.
Manukorihi was very closely related to the dying warrior and he wept unrestrainedly. As Mama breathed his last Te Wherowhero settled down by his side and lifted his head on to his lap. Putting aside his ko (a wooden digging implement) and turning his face to his birthplace in the north he pronounced a dirge to his departed comrade. Manukorihi sat motionless by his side.
It was on this pathetic group that the flushed Taranaki gazed as they came over the ridge. “Ko Te Wherowhero, ko te ano o te tangata!” (‘Tis Te Wherowhero, the sepulchre of man!) a Taranaki musketeer cried as he threw himself on the ground and prepared to shoot. He was determined to rid his people of a much-feared and hated foe. It was a tense moment.
Met up with Sam (I call him ‘Cory’s Sam’ to distinguish him from the Sam that lives with me, or ‘my Sam’) today. I hadn’t been to that wonderful Turkish place in a while and it was a sunny day so I decided to meet him there for some tea outside. As I was walking into town I bumped into a guy I’d met a couple of times at Hare Krishna and we chatted and walked into town together.
I had my tarot cards with me so I could give Sam a reading. This guy was really sceptical and wanted evidence and I was like, ‘Well, you can’t really test something like that experimentally but if, say, your problem is romantic and you get, say, The Lovers and Love out of 78 cards then that’s pretty convincing…’
When we got into town he asked where I was going and I described the Turkish place and he’s like, ‘Hey! I work there!’ To which I replied, ‘Can you get us free tea?’ So he joined us for tea and shisha and I ended up giving him a reading. Of course, he got The Lovers and Love (what the Thoth deck calls Two of Cups).
“Māui did the last of his tricks on her, attempting to make mankind immortal by trying to crawl through her body, entering in her vagina and leaving by her mouth while she slept, to reverse the path of birth. But one of his bird friends, the fantail, laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation, seeing Māui turned into a worm squirming to enter the goddess, and woke her. To punish the demi-god, she crushed him with the obsidian teeth in her vagina; Māui was the first man to die.”
— The original myth that the kids picture book I’m studying is based on is dark.
Fishing for thoughts in cups of coffee,
Yours white, mine black: yin and yang
But all-reversed, because I (bright yang)
Am manic and speak too much
And smile at things I don’t understand,
And you (dark yin) — you
Have too much poetry
To let words escape
Which don’t make sense.
So I sit, and watch you gape for speech
Like grounded fish gasp for air,
And feel, in that pregnant silence
A million unsaid concepts
Conceived by despair, dying in utero.
“Those who know don’t talk;
Those who talk don’t know.”