31 October, 2007

Domestic Happenings, Episode 1: Scene From City Life

Scene 1:

A: morning...
D: w38*^%9uh#$&*^klj!)#*(df&$#^%&*!@n...

Scene 2: 

(At rise: D thoughtfully, and with intensity, searches the internet...)

A: Hello... (A looks on with an expectant smile and figety demeanor. Pause.)
D: ...Hello.

(A makes a few feeble attempts to garner praise and attention. 'Why must the internet be so INTERESTING?!' she thinks. More is required... how will she scheme...? 'Ah...' she thinks, 'the attention DANCE!' Slowly, and with a certain joi de vivre, she begins...[INSERT ATTENTION DANCE HERE]...)

D: uh... huh. Um... do you want some attention...?
A: (breathless, attention dance ceases)  Um... well... yes please.
D: Pfft... (head collapses in simultaneous frustration and delight)

Scene 3:

A: Do you think I deserve a bath?
D: I will not answer in words, but in actions. 

(Bath run, with candles... yum.)

Scene 4:

(At rise: D & A approach the pizza shop 'Pizza, on Demand!'...)

D/A: We DEMAND PIZZA! (both struggle to smother fits of laughter...)

(The Pizza Man is deadpan. He either speaks little English, or is utterly unamused. If The Pizza Man does speak English, he is thinking two things at this outrageous display: 1. 'These two people are making fun of the name of my store.' 2. 'This is simply not funny.' If he does not speak English, he is probably thinking something along the lines of 'What?!')

Pizza Man: Yeah. So... what kind of pizza...? 

Scene 5:

D: (shoving several Caramel Hobb Nobbs in his mouth...) These cookies are terrible...
A: Really?
D: (mouth full) ... uh... yeth...

Happy Halloween

In celebration of this ghoulish day, I decided to have some festive fun. First, I bought some pumpkins. Then, I played around with a past life website. Random, yes. Fun, also yes.
My results:

You were male in your last earthly incarnation.You were born somewhere in the territory of modern South China around the year 1075. Your profession was that of a digger or undertaker.

Psychologically you were a revolutionary type. You inspired changes in any sphere - politics, business, religion, housekeeping. You could have been a leader.

The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation: You are bound to solve problems of pollution of environment, recycling, misuse of raw materials, elimination of radioactivity by all means including psychological methods.

Do you remember now?

I am sorry to say that I do not, in fact, remember my glorious days as local revolutionary Chinese undertaker; but you all know how I love the earth! And anyway it is worth a whirl...

Perhaps you desire the pleasure of remembering your own "past?" Find out who you might have been here.

Happy Halloween.

23 October, 2007

Feelin' Blue?

You feeling blue, a little heartbroken, a touch rejected, or perhaps just flat out grumpy?
In need of a perky pick-me-up, a touch of inspiration?

Well. Look no further.

Put down your tissues my agitated friend!
Turn off Bridge Over Troubled Water!
Pack up your sorrows, lift your weary head and just think!


There! Doesn't that feel better?!

18 October, 2007

Yogurt. Covered. Things

Almonds... Oh the wonder...
Brazil nuts.
The savoury and sweet sensation of the yogurt covered cashew.
Your average raisin variety.
The slightly more exotic pineapple or apricot.

What can I say?

My love for them is deep
... and it is real.

15 October, 2007

Nick Bantock Workshop

...images that feel like a magic carpet ride...
In need of adventure. In need of creative energy. In need of inspiration...

So I have this list of people.
People I would love to meet, talk with, be in the presence of, etc.
Some I wish I could resurrect from the dead (a long Salinas Valley drive with John Steinbeck, or afternoon tea with E.M Forster would, for example, be faiiiiiiirly thrilling).
Some I would simply like to meet ever-so-briefly before I die... or before they die. Or both.

Danny Kaye. Bill Murray. Ages DeMille. Houdini. John Steinbeck. Gogol. Chekhov. Mark Rylance. Rasputin. Howard Barker. (I've actually already encountered a few people from the Living List-- Judy Collins, Sheldon Harnick to name two... not bad odds really...) And Nick Bantock (artist, author, 'imaginator'). He is, in fact, at the very top of the Living List. 

Look at my list of "Books." Go ahead, take a peek there on the right hand sidebar. Yep. They are peppered with Bantock's work. The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy, The Forgetting Room, Capolan, The Museum at Purgatory. I almost hate to sort of admit this, but I do suppose I collect his work ...No I really mean it, I am making this discovery rightthissecond. I am currently in the middle of realising that I go onto eBay and actively look for the rarer gems amoung his work and purchase it, even if it is simply for the joy of basking further into the intrigue and mystery and flat-out beauty of his books, his art, his postcards, and his address books as if they were remnants of some sort of ancient shipwreck or mythic treasure hunt.

It is difficult to articulate. Perhaps I even sound slightly unctuous and over-reaching. But in truth there have been very few experiences in my admittedly brief lifetime in which a person's work anonymously reached out from beyond the page, canvas, footlights, etc., and greeted me in such a disarming manner. Not simply because of it's content per se, but because of the effect the content had upon me.

Within the pages of the prose and gravity of the images, (and, truly, I dare not even assume such a grandiosity), I feel I recognise the person behind it all somehow. I am not saying that I know him, or even that I feel that I do on some secret level, that would be far too glib a thing to say (read: also far too teenaged and/or far too Sleepless in Seattle). No, it is recognition. That, even if it be a small similarity, in some key, important way a like-ness just may exist. It makes me feel sort of hopeful. [She pauses, aware that this all sounds odd but frankly doesn't really care]. Who knows. It is just an instinct, but I think the reason NB occupies this slot at the top of my Living List is because I would love to know if that instinct is accurate; and, indeed, if any of it is real. (And why not drink wine and make collages in Malaga while I'm at in, no?) This is not a high-stakes desire. It is calm. Certain almost. Just a curiosity. There and real and possible.

One might say that to have the opportunity to actually meet him, shake his hand, to have him possibly sign my copy of The Museum at Purgatory? That would be more than adequate for a lifetime, but the chance to work with him for a week in idyllic Spain? It seems beyond anything I could dream up...

Look what a casual internet search can do:

with Nick Bantock

‘Delivered by Accident in Twilight—The Art of Collage’
28 April to 6 May 2008

This is no ordinary workshop—we promise!
Set amongst the sweeping olive grove hills of Southern Spain, midway between Granada and Malaga this soiree is held at the beautiful restored mill, ‘El Molino’ and is, in truth, an excuse to relax, eat, drink and learn about the essence of creativity.
Hosted by Mike and Hillary Powell, “Delivered by Accident…” highlights both Nick’s mischievous creativity and Mike’s culinary genius.
The daily sessions focus on making two and three-dimensional collages from found materials as well as Nick’s usual mix of stamps, maps, documents, paint, and other ephemera. Participants don’t need to have a high level of artistic skill, though creative experience won’t hinder.
In addition to the art, the swimming pool, the magnificent Mediterranean cuisine, the unlimited supply of wine, and Nick’s bedtime readings, we’ll also be taking excursions to the Alhambra and Ronda.

"From collage to assemblage and from the accidental mark to storytelling, creativity is no more than invention and a permission to play. Whether artistically experienced or a curious beginner this course is designed to help you expand your vision. In books like Griffin and Sabine and The Forgetting Room I married art and narrative and in Urgent 2nd Class and The Museum at Purgatory I teased and toyed with part-found objects, I learned a lot. I learned that there is a trick to seeing out of the corner of your eye and making art from accident. If I can, I hope to teach you how to sneak up in twilight—surprising yourself into creating a different art, something half you and half Andalusia." -- Nick Bantock

Bantock: here comes Silber.

More on Nick Bantock:

12 October, 2007

Today I am...

Who am I today?
Or rather what label, what category, is preferable?

"The actor" is very in at the moment.
"The American" is all the rage!
Or how about "The one who is never on time"?
the female?
the liberal?
the realist?
the aquarium hater?
the one who with the "crackerjack" vocabulary?

I'm asking: what does any of that mean?

I have unpicked my brains for this.
I have glided along the thoroughfares of spiritual banality, the cobblestone alleys of indifference an arrived Nowhere: a town like any other.

But once, way back, I tasted the flavor of a star spangled sky; brief and fleeting, and not to be found in any store claiming thirty-onederful flavors; only in a country momentarily brought to its knees by darkness. Oh pure and unassuming sky, better than any carb-free sandwich, you allow us to fathom a night without power; terribly alone with only our inflexible and intolerant personalities for company.

'Little Word, Little White Bird' by Carl Sandburg

by Carl Sandburg
an excerpt

(for dad... today. to remember the day this was read with such sorrow; and to rejoice that feeling "washed clean and strong inside and out" is nearer every day...)

And it won't change anything
it won't wipe away what has been
or alter what is to be
if you hear me saying
Love is a little white bird
and the flight of it so fast
you can't see it
and you know it's there
only by the faint whirr of its wings
and the hush song coming so low to your ears
you fear it might be silence
and you listen keen
and you listen long
and you know it's more than silence
for you get the hush song so lovely
it hurts and cuts into your heart

and what you want
is to give more than you can get
and you'd like to write it
but it can't be written
and you'd like to sing it
but you don't dare try
because the little white bird sings it better than you can

so you listen
and while you listen you pray
and one day it's as though
a great slow wind had washed you clean and strong
inside and out

and the little white bird's hush song
is telling you nothing can harm you,
the days to come can weave in and weave out
and spin their fabrics and designs for you
and nothing can harm you
unless you change yourself in to a thing of harm
nothing can harm you.

I give you the little white bird
and my thanks for your hearing me,
and my prayers for you
my deep and silent prayers.


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