Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sublime things (this week)

The moon! Did you see the moon!?!

Helena offers to show me the yoga positions she knows. She assembles herself into a lotus, palms together, lowers her eyes, and sweetly murmurs, "Namaste."

Beethoven!

J-F, as we're trying to plan the coming week, comments that Helena, busy with a toy, is too much in the present to want to participate in this conversation. She asks why we would say that, "Je ne suis pas dans une boîte."

The other night we watched The Man From Earth. While some of it (the acting, the camera work) is laughable, the ideas are persistently interesting. A departing scholar reveals to his colleagues that he is a Cro-Magnon caveman, 14,000 years old. He reveals that he studied with Buddha, and it later comes to light that he himself was a significant religious figure — Jesus. I love stories that work like this, showing great events as banalities — we see how the everyday grows into historical significance, given the right filters. See this movie if you want something to talk about for days.

I'm reminded of one of my very favourite films of all time (Man Facing Southeast), mostly, I guess, because the premise is beyond credibility — our protagonists' confessions must be taken on faith — but also because, when words run out, they turn to Beethoven. (I wonder what ever happened to David?)

Helena thinks the cat, knowing she wants to pet him, can "read her head."

Reading. Reading Bolaño, not sure what to make of this Bolaño, almost finished this Bolaño, need to take a break from Bolaño. Lining up: Lessing, Winterson, Turgenev. Also reading TS Eliot:

Twelve o'clock.
Along the reaches of the street
Held in a lunar synthesis,
Whispering lunar incantations
Dissolve the floors of memory
And all its clear relations
Its divisions and precisions,
Every street lamp that I pass
Beats like a fatalistic drum,
And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium.
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