Can we?

scrabble sculpture (03 Dec 2011)

scrabble sculpture (03 Dec 2011)

Can we? — quickly now!
— Can we just keep pretending
that nothing happened?

(07 May 2016)

The text here is something plucked indiscriminately, unresisted, out of my subconscious. “Reality is … a sum of all texts in various media, including action and thought” (Annette Lavers. 1982. Roland Barthes : Structuralism and After. London: Methuen & Co. [p171].

Telling stories

beginning middle end (18 July 2013)

beginning middle and end (18 July 2013)

The first day of December, the first Sunday in Advent, the first day of our southern hemisphere summer. And the first day after the end of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

My participation in NaNoWriMo had me commit to writing – during the month of November – 50,000 words towards my new novel, the working title of which is “You Wouldn’t Dare!”

The truth is that I wrote about half of what I’d committed to. And about half of what I wrote might ultimately find itself inside the novel.

To me, the three big benefits of being involved were: 1/ the discipline of writing every day, 2/ training myself to write down anything and everything that came to mind, and 3/ I discovered things I wanted to write but didn’t dare write.

It was the middle of winter when the Sky Rialto poster (above) was pasted on the building next to where I live. I have now gained a new layer of understanding of those words. The sequence in which a story is told need not conform to any chronology. The sequence in which the story was written will certainly not do so.

Rosa Parks: the mother of the freedom movement

Rosa Parks in 1955, with Martin Luther King, Jr in the background

Rosa Parks in 1955, with Martin Luther King, Jr in the background





People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in. (Rosa Parks

“Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the US Congress called ‘the first lady of civil rights’, and ‘the mother of the freedom movement’.” (Wikipedia)

“[In Rosa Parks: My Story,] Parks tells about her vital role in the struggle for equality. In detail this book explains how the civil rights movements started. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus, beginning the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott.

“This became one of the boldest acts of defiance during this time. Yet, she didn’t stop there. There is much more to her journey. This book illustrates her life like none other from the beginning to the end.” (user review, on Google Books)


Parks, Rosa, with James Haskins. 1992. Rosa Parks: My Story. New York: Dial Books. [p116]

Seeing the perfection

When you have an unconditional love of Life, then you love Life just the way it is showing up, right here, right now. This is only possible when you are “seeing the perfection.” (Neale Donald Walsch)

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as WE are.” (see Note 1 below regarding attribution)

Things in the world show up based on the way we look at them. The more we look at the imperfections of the world, the more imperfections we see. The more we see things as perfect, the more the world shows us its state of perfection. (Blog: Conscious Bridge : Evolving to Oneness)

There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic. (Anaïs Nin, Fall 1943 – see Note 2 below)

In creation alone there is the possibility of perfection. (Anaïs Nin, May 11, 1935 – see Note 2 below)


Note 1: Allen Frances, writing for New Scientist, suggests that “This simple Talmudic saying summarises the essence of epistemology” – the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. The aphorism is also to be found in Intuition by David Myers, who attributes the quote to the Talmud, although it is more usually attributed to Anaïs Nin. Both attributions are disputed.

Note 2: Citations dated Fall 1943 and May 11, 1935 from the diary of Anaïs Nin. The latter was published in Fire : From “A Journal of Love” : the Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1934-1937 (1995)

What I want to write

More often that not, these days, I sit down to write … and slam into a massive brick wall. No matter how much I write, how long I write for, how well I write, it won’t end up being what I want to write.

Please notice: I didn’t say “it won’t end up being what I wanted to write.” We always end up writing what we wanted to write.

Sometimes, as I’m reading a book, I realise it’s a book I wanted to have written. But I’m hardly likely to find a book I want to write – those books remain unwritten, until I have written them.

The books I wish I’d written evince from me a sort of admiration, or possibly envy. The books I want to write are still only vaguely envisioned, imprecisely defined, insufficiently formulated … or is it simply that I don’t have the courage / temerity / balls to write them?

Hard choices?

Step into your choices and stop telling yourself that you can’t, when what you really mean is that you don’t want other people to feel the way you think [they’re] going to feel when they see you making the choices you really want to make. Got it? (Neale Donald Walsch)

You used to compose music

“You used to compose music,” a friend said to me a few days ago, going on to reminisce about his years as an art teacher – which freed me from the need to respond.

Later that day, I did formulate something I might have said: “My head is still full of music. I just don’t bother writing it down.”

amateurs t-shirt

amateurs t-shirt

Eventually, we recognise that we’re not going to be discovered, not going to be stars, not destined to rise to meteoric fame, not headed for international careers … lucrative commissions … world-wide recognition …

Does that mean our creative impulses are destined to shrivel and die?

Several of my friends are painters. None of them are household names. But they all love to paint. It’s the love that makes us amateurs.


PS: I’ve unpacked the music manuscript box.  

To create one’s world

To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage. (Georgia O’Keeffe)

In “An Invitation to Happiness” (13 June 2011), Touch2Touch posted a striking red and green image — poppies in a wheat field in France — together with a quote from Karl Duffy: “… I am given opportunities each day to collect moments of colour, little miracles of light, that give me courage to go on and renew my joy. They invite me to not just live life, but to celebrate it.”

A couple of days later, Touch2Touch posted poppies again — this time, one of the poppy paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe. I began exploring the connections between those “moments of colour, [those] little miracles of light” and Georgia O’Keeffe’s “courage to create”.

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way — things I had no words for. (Georgia O’Keeffe)