Friday, September 7, 2007

The Poet Speaks

After this, it starts again

after the chaos that holds each moment
that turns the days one after another
that makes the time in which I try
to uncover myself

after the fall that started my tears
that drowned a world and watered the seed
that gave a new world space to grow

after the morning that felt as though it would not come
that reshaped my fear and made it hope
that let me believe I could start anew

after your smile that shook my heart and set it still
that breaks the chain that held me fast
that tied me to my history

after the pen that shapes the words
that makes the world I write about

after this and this and all this time
that keeps replacing every thing with something new

it starts again

and after I am here
and after I am not the same
and after I continue to change

into someone
I can love again, after.

Copyright Sarah Cheverton.
Not to be reproduced without permission of the poet or her agent.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Magical Assortments

Thirty Four - Penitent Angel by ~jaxraven on deviantART

Firstly, a truly shameless plug. By serendipity (a word I love), I chanced upon jaxraven's Shadow Tarot over at, one of my fave haunts on the World Wide Wonderweb. I love the concept of the Shadow Tarot (reminds me of Jung's chat about the Shadow self), I love the designs, and out of all that I've seen, I love this card the very best. It's number 34, Penitent Angel and here's jaxraven's descriptor:

"Although it is his own choices that led to his fall from grace, and his own stubborn pride that have kept him earthbound, finally this Seraph is taking one of the first steps that will lead to his eventual return to the heaven he regrets leaving. What step is this? Not prayer, not holy pilgrimages, no public scourgings or grand guilt-ridden confessions. No, the Penitent Angel is doing something far greater - offering to help another. With outstretched hand he waits to lift any who will accept his gift out of the humdrum, out of the dust, to share the starlit world in which he walks. The advice this card gives is simple, suggesting to you that the quickest way to achieve your own goals is to help another, trusting that the fates will repay you with aid in your own projects and with one of the greatest treasures one can have: the knowledge that simply by existing and acting with care and kindness, you have made the world a better place than it could ever be without you."

Anyone who also knows that I have a secret obsession (there's nothing like posting them on the internet to keep your obsessions secret, is there?) with Lucifer, Evening Star, will also see why this appeals.

JaxRaven, should you catch this, I am also really interested in buying a set of your ShadowTarot cards and am too ridiculously Luddite to manage to figure out how I could leave a comment on any of your numerous websites to find out - please leave a comment on mine if they're for sale!!


And now an addendum to yesterday's post - the bit on goodness.

This morning I was reading Rob Brezny's Astrology newsletter and he talks about his book Pronoia, of which I really would like to get a copy. It's not available via the local library service, I'm afraid, I checked. To be fair, it could be a bit far out for them, anything that contains the phrase "Experiments and exercises in becoming a gracefully probing, erotically funny, shockingly friendly Master of Orgasmic Empathy" may be pushing its luck a little in the public stacks.

Anyhoo, all plugging aside, later in the newsletter, he quotes from Rob Anton Wilson, novelist, essayist and philosopher (amongst, of course, other things):

“Solving problems is one of the highest and most sensual of all our brain functions.”

I liked this because it reminded me of my recent discovery, which formed part of yesterday's post, that people may be great trouble makers, but they're at their best when they're solving problems.

Truth is, I'm getting more than a little obsessed with our Rob, he talks so much inspiration and interestingness (whatever, I can't be a bloody champion wordsmith all the time - think of it as a stylistic device). Listen to this:

The 17th-century surgeon Wilhelm Hilden had an interesting theory about healing. He developed a medicinal salve that he applied not to the wound itself but rather to the weapon that inflicted it. Though today we may sneer at such foolishness, the fact is that Hilden's approach has great potential if used for psychic wounds. Jesus understood this when he articulated the revolutionary formula, "Love your enemy." More than any other action, this strategy has the power to cure you of the distortions your enemy has unleashed in you. Try it out.

It's from his book, Pronoia. Oh, did I already mention it? Maybe you're thinking about buying it now. You really should. And while you're there, could you pick me up a copy........?


But now for something completely different. Sort of.

Did you know that one of the suggested origins of the word Abracadabra is "I create as I speak"?

Neither did I.

Rob Brezny told me (we're like that. To properly understand my meaning, you have to know that I'm doing that thing where I cross my fingers to indicate our closeness....Oh, never mind, I'm making it up anyway. He's never met me.)

Anyhoo, 'I create as I speak' is very close to some of the most important ideas about life I currently have, including the idea that we are, quite literally, 'making this shit up' and that we are creating the world as we go (which also taps into the current zeitgeist of phenomenon like It Works, and Cosmic Ordering). This is an oversimplification and it would probably be more accurate to say that perception is everything, but you catch my drift, I hope.

An alternative origin for Abracadabra translates as 'I transgress as I speak'.

I like this too, because it captures the idea that to name something (out loud in by writing it down) is to finalise your perception of it, which closes down how open you can be to a new perception.

Now that's magic.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Of Goodness, of Monarchs and of Telling Stories

Another great picture from Bill Emory  at black and white
who I never get tired of plugging...

There is fiction in the space between the lines on your page of memories,
Write it down but it doesn't mean you're not just telling stories.
Tracy Chapman

In the past, I have spent too long considering the varied ways in which man displays his inhumanity to man that I often neglect to notice the truly great things: our innovative, infinite capacity for positive creation. People are great problem makers, it's true, but we're even better problem solvers. Today's blog is dedicated to humanity's good streak.

Well, that and slagging off a piece of contemporary cinema, but hey, let's concentrate on the goodness thing.

I started with one of Bill Emory's pictures over at Black and White (see pic credit for links). I'm a subscriber to his blog and he never ceases to inspire. If you've missed him here before, check out his stuff right now. He makes you want to dig out a camera.

The Chief is addicted to TED talks on the internet, and with good reason. He showed me this great talk by Allison Hunt, a Canadian woman who 'cheated' her way to the front of the queue for a hip replacement, by volunteering for the hospital shop. It's inspirational.

I love that: Even when a Canadian cheats the system, they do it in a way that benefits humanity.

And we're not just good to people, either. On the 22nd September, thousands of people will run a 7km route around London, raising money to save the planet's gorilla population. Yet, this a charity run with one key difference: all of these people will be dressed as gorillas. Check out the Great Gorilla Run efforts here.

Lastly, I am also an avid follower of Jenny Diski's blog, Biology of the Worst Kind. Her partner, Ian Patterson, aka The Poet, constructed a poem for her birthday, called Sixty Windows for Jenny. According to Ian Patterson:

here the rule was to take phrases that included the word 'window' from page sixty of sixty novels and simply arrange or re-arrange them, with nothing added.

It's genius stuff, and you should go and read it now, here.

After all this warmth, consideration and much listening to music on the internet, I am disappointed when I spend time watching The Queen, shown on ITV tonight, with commentator's reference to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. I have to confess I did not enjoy this film much, although I thought much of the acting was superb. It all felt too mechanical, too trite, too neat and tidy, and altogether too Hollywood simplified for me to enjoy. I think after watching the two Capote films, which I loved for their ability to represent a life in fictional terms, and in so doing make a great reference to Capote's most well known work, In Cold Blood. What I liked so much was to what extent the two films are firm in their portrayal of humanity whilst being transparent enough to make reference to the stories they were telling. Or maybe it's just me. I know loads of you loved The Queen, as t'were.