‘Doors Of The Tomb’
…what went long ago, under lock and key…
‘Doors Of The Tomb’
…what went long ago, under lock and key…
‘The Dead Don’t Dream’
This post is inspired by the title of the latest album by Finnish jazz trumpeter Verneri Pohjola,‘The Dead Don’t Dream’.
I have come across Pohjola’s amazing modern music quite recently and have been mightily impressed by what I have heard.
The musician was talking about the making of the album (dreaming it into existence as he termed it) and remarked that “it’s about embracing life in all of its complex emotions, while we still have it … after all, the dead don’t dream”.
He nailed it for me with that statement.
To live is to truly engage, and to dream. You may as well be dead otherwise.
You can listen to the tune behind the thoughts below (via YouTube):
‘Buried Amongst The Shells And Leaves’
‘R.I.P “Brown Dog” ‘
Pictured, a cross on a tree, beside a country road I walked along in the Hokianga this week.
Who, or what, “Brown Dog” was, I do not know.
But he, she, or it is remembered, and missed.
The identity of the one who is gone has been bugging me.
In posting this, I may not be rid of the uncertainty, but I may just get some peace…
‘Get Put In Your Place, Die There’
The inscription on the tall memorial stone reads “in loving memory”.
But those who loved, and held those memories, have passed into memory too.
It’s an endless elegy we all recite.
‘This Side Of The Grave (Gothic View)’
‘This Side Of The Grave’
‘Green Guitar’ – R.I.P Peter Green, 1946 – 2020.
Peter Green, an original member of Fleetwood Mac and legendary blues/rock guitarist, passed away yesterday.
He was an understated stylist possessed of one of the purest, most emotive guitar timbres in the business ,even if he led a life at times troubled by mental illness.
B.B King said of his playing, “he has the sweetest tone I ever heard. He was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.”
YouTube link to one of his best loved tracks, appropriate in remembrance, ‘In The Skies’ is below:
‘Fleurs-de-Lys: Patron Saints & Guardian Angels’
What if you were caught up in something that threatened your very being? And didn’t have the means or motivation to conquer it by yourself?
A fellow blogger (very talented!),whom I only know by her blog name, Beadberry, told of her escape from New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Katrina. See the previous post Five Iron Fleurs-de-Lys
The fleurs-de-lys motifs reminded her of symbols of the French-influenced Crescent City (the Saints football team amongst other things )and, in turn, those memories of fleeing the town before catastrophe struck. Someone she knew had pushed her into getting the hell out of there.
I too had a narrow escape from tragedy a couple of years ago, avoiding death only because someone passing by raised the alarm for emergency assistance as I lay prone on a sidewalk.
I still don’t know who that person was, but I consider him or her as a guardian angel.
There really are saints and angels, human, or otherwise maybe, who look out for us, I reckon. You don’t easily forget a brush with tragedy or death; you count yourself lucky for those who actually gave a shit about you in those times.
And symbols bring those memories back home to us, just when we might forget.
Auckland’s a ghost town in lockdown.
Spookily quiet, with the threat of disease and death the back drop to every muted scene.
The hanging aerial roots of a coastal pohutukawa tree add to the spectral vibe…
In the previous post Boxed In ,I touched on the boxes that we end up in.
In my recent travels in Scotland, I came across this ancient stone version in a cemetery at St. Andrews. Pretty impressive; nicely ergonomically tapered and contoured to fit the deceased’s head. Top design marks.
I suspect it was for someone of some importance. You wouldn’t go to all that bother for a regular dude or dudess.
Important person or not, as the pop-punk bard Wreckless Eric once said,” there’s only one destination in the final taxi”.
And on that cheery note, I too shall depart…
A staring skull, a pair of bull horns and an accordion player.
Yes, it’s art.
But logical too.
Logical, that is if you happened to die whilst riding a bull, which also died, and they played bouncing polka and mariachi songs at your funeral…
I took a few shots of a street mural down the way from my home in Auckland a couple of days ago, and now present a portion of it detailing a world globe.
Very cool… I love maps and globes of all sorts and will give the artist some leeway in the geographical accuracy stakes!
Anyway, I post this as I am off to the other side of the world, Europe, on Sunday, for the first time in thirty years. Just a tad excited, and like all tourists, I have been busy plotting and planning the places I most want to visit in the pretty limited amount of time I have.
Which brings this visitor-in-waiting to the below words from a favourite poet,which certainly give food for thought:
” When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
– Mary Oliver, excerpt from “When Death Comes”
One of those cool multi-faced clocks that tells the time in different places around the world. The clock is in Singapore but this dial gives Vancouver time.
Love the concept of world time zones – while I am posting on my blog you may be asleep, and vice versa!
Or, on the longer time scale – some are living life to the full, while others are about to pass away.
I was driving around town yesterday and a song popped up on my Ipod’ s random play.
“Hands Of Time” by the criminally underrated Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith . Great, gorgeous and wise song and rendition , but not sure that he actually wrote it.
Some reflective lyrics from it:
” From the moment we are born
We’re in the hands of time
As drunk on life as death is sober
When we say goodbye
Though it hurts to lose a friend
May it help remembering
For every door that closes in
One’ll open to the other side
Opened by the hands of time “
Those words speak deeply to me of time, the ultimate healer and changer.
Okay, time to go…
“Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose we come from the woods originally. But in some of nature’s forests, the adventurous traveler seems a feeble, unwelcome creature; wild beasts and the weather trying to kill him, the rank, tangled vegetation, armed with spears and stinging nettles, barring his way and making life a hard struggle.”
– John Muir (Scottish-American naturalist and writer)
Nowadays , when we are encouraged to find our “wild side”, we don’t really mean anything that would instill fear in us, or cause us pain.
It’s more like an extravagant extra, something different that takes us out of our humdrum existence.
A bungy jump; a raging party; acquiring some “edgy” art or clothes ; or a trip to somewhere off the usual “tourist trail”. Preferably something that can be posted on social media after the event…
But definitely not something we have to endure, or survive.
My own experience with hellish life events outside my control that took me to dark and wild places (nowhere I would choose), was exactly those two things. You too may have gone unwillingly into your own wild woods…
The words of Muir resonate with me as I think about those times: I knew with absolute certainty that everything could hurt me, anything could have my number.
The feeling of being utterly lost, blocked at every turn, and with each moment fraught with pain and danger, will stay with me always. It has changed my outlook on life, changed me.
The true wild transforms you.
If you survive it that is…
A plaque commemorates historical New Zealand events of the mid-19th century that were either righteous protest or causing insurrection, depending on your viewpoint.
A Maori leader, Hone Heke, and his followers ,repeatedly chopped down flagpoles flying the British flag.
And so the story is preserved.
But not celebrated necessarily – ill-feeling can still be stirred up by the story.
I recently had the privilege to draw up a will for a woman who adamantly wanted her funeral to be “a happy party.” That got written in, as she wished.
Which made me wonder, when it is our own turn to go ,will be our lives be celebrated or merely commemorated?
“All at once, summer collapsed into fall” – Oscar Wilde
Easter approaches – almost on cue summer disappears speedily, and the first autumn chills arrive.
Leaves start to fall; beautiful golden, reddish debris will soon cover the ground.
In the Southern Hemisphere ,Easter sits seemingly opposed to the new season, with its imagery of eggs ,new life and rebirth more redolent of spring.
But not really, as for every birth there needs to be the death of something ; there is no beginning without a prior ending….I know myself what it is like to have collapsed, fallen and then started afresh in life.
(PS: Grateful for the end of humidity, hot sleep-disturbed nights and mosquitoes!)