I often ask myself that question when I look or try to look too far into ways that aren't productive or possible for me to figure out, so I usually end up just sticking to the program and trying to screen out the negativity and all around messed up to beyond all belief nature of the question being what in the heck I was wondering of speaking of, but decided I didn't care anyway,
So back to just enjoying the weather and stuff I like doing and keep things to the positive level here.
I think somehow I can't avoid trouble, for some reason. At least we have this musical gig coming up. I don't know what the heck I'm doing tomorrow though. Maybe just the usual, or more of the usual, and maybe something healthy to eat instead of my usual unhealthy diet, or go for a walk. I sure hope the weather gets a little less cold. People are funny and unusual and the world seems incredibly messed up really, which is bizarre because I thought I liked the way this town was, but there goes to show that I'm clueless. Maybe I'd rather stay that way, not that I care anyway.
The point being, I should go back and listen to Obscured By Clouds, the whole album, at least once or twice .....
Sunday, March 01, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
eating pizza at Blondie's was a big reason to walk down telegraph. They sold (maybe still do) a lot of slices. Good pizza.
So, beyond that Telegraph: it had some good coffee shops, populated by students much like myself. (I didn't start drinking coffee until age 25, but that's another story.) So, yeah, great bookstore, Cody's books, sold new books, and then the next door shop, Moe's, had five floors of books. Then there were Shakespeare's, one other cool one, then Shambhala books. Not that that means much. Then there was your classic head shop, AnnaPurna. Couple record stores, ....lots of food. Yeah, sounds pretty good. Well, it was easy living because I lived in a dorm and just had to go to class and try to learn stuff, much of which was interesting. I got my grade ten.
The other thing about Berkeley and Oakland is that, when I was there most, 89-91, walking up Telegraph from Oakland...or is it Shattuck?...was quite a walk, and you'd just be walking gradually uphill .....
nice walk. the air's worse and the sun is brighter, so it is a trade off. between Oregon, I mean.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 2/27/2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Though the world change as fast
as cloud-shapes manifold,
all things perfected at last
fall back to the very old.
Past flux and vicissitude,
more freely and higher,
still endures your prelude,
god with the lyre.
We do not understand
grief, nor love's phases,
and what death keeps concealed
is not unveiled.
Only song through the land
hallows and praises
-Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus
Posted by Chris Farrell at 2/25/2015
Sunday, February 15, 2015
BEGINNING my studies the first step pleas'd me so much,
The mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion
The least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love,
The first step I saw awed me and pleas'd me so much,
I have hardly gone and hardly wish'd to go any farther,
But stop and loiter all the time..
Posted by Chris Farrell at 2/15/2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
My life is not this steeply sloping hour,
in which you see me hurrying.
Much stands behind me; I stand before it like a tree;
I am only one of my many voices,
and at that, the one that will be still the soonest.
I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because Death's note wants to climb over,
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
And the song goes on, beautiful.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 2/13/2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Why, william, on that old grey stone,
thus for the length of half a day,
why, william, sit you thus alone,
and dream your time away?
"Where are your books?..that light bequeathed
To beings else forlorn and blind.
Up! and drink the spirit breathed
from dead men to their kind.
You look round on your Mother Earth,
as if she for no purpose bore you,
as if you were her first born birth
and none had lived before you!
One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake
when life was sweet, i knew not why,
to me my good friend Matthew spake,
and thus I made reply,
The eye-it cannot choose but see;
we cannot bid the ear be still,
our bodies feel, where'er they be,
against or with our will.
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
which of themselves our minds impress;
that we can feed this mind of ours
in a wise passiveness.
Think you, 'mid all the mighty sum
of things for ever speaking,
that nothing of itself will come,
but we must still be seeking?
-Then ask not wherefore, here, alone
conversing as I may,
I sit upon this old grey stone,
and dream my time away.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 2/11/2015
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/29/2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Lean out the window,
I heard you singing,
A merry air.
My book was closed;
I read no more,
Watching the fire dance
On the floor.
I have left my book,
I have left my room,
For I heard you singing,
Through the gloom,
Singing and singing
A merry air.
Lean out the window,
(why the last word above is appearing larger than the others, I don't know)
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/27/2015
I wrote this long ago, probably late nineties. altered it slightly
She asked a dime of me
I could not reach my pocket
She asked me for the time
I could not raise my arm
She turned to go, I thought to smile
but could not change my face
I finally reached, it seemed to me,
quite a sorry place.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/27/2015
Sunday, January 18, 2015
People would stop by from far-off places, and there would be great discussions in rooms fueled by wood fires, and mellow parties with music on special occasions, but music would be happening all of the time, as would art of all kinds. We would all be living in close proximity, so we could bicycle or walk everywhere. This would be in a valley in the coast range, and would not be any sort of cult, because people would live there voluntarily, and there would be no conflict with the laws and policies of the local government, for the most part. Those of us that wanted to spend a lot of time gardening could do so. Privacy and space would be respected, but there would be a constant social environment with good conversation and good things happening, to take part in or not, and hopefully some good writing would result from it. Sort of like the next step up from the famous parties at Ken Kesey's place in La Honda that Jerry Garcia and the Dead attended. It would be a similar beautiful environment, but a step forward from the drugs and chaos of the past, to an environment where we could talk about the kind of world this should be. And safer in terms of keeping control of excessive drug use, in some way.
I know there are such hippies hiding out in the coast range already (definitely know that now!), but maybe we could take it to the next level, beyond where it is now. Many people live out there at peace with themselves and surrounded by beauty, but in my mind, the interactions of people living there and people visiting can have a real effect on the course of events and negotiations in the real world of wars and politics.
I always hoped to live in a place where good social interactions occurred on a daily basis.
This type of thing already happens every year in the form of the Oregon Country Fair, but I was thinking of a permanent community with many visitors and no sense of stress...and much time to live in a quiet way in tune with nature. Quiet would be a big part of it. I’d like to live in a quiet place and work on gardening more than now.
Doing a lot more yoga would be great. It's a very important aspect, in that it sorts out the connections and strengths in the body, and yoga people understand those ideas and go beyond what we know in karate, because although we stretch, most of the class is movement, some of it fast. Still, doing the forms in karate is, like tai chi, meditation in movement, or they can be done that way. People are put off karate because they see strength and anger and fighting, but in our style it's affectionate anger. We always shake hands after a
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/18/2015
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/17/2015
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/15/2015
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
I stood tiptoe upon a little hill,
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/14/2015
|The Solitary Reaper|
|BEHOLD her, single in the field,|
|Yon solitary Highland Lass!|
|Reaping and singing by herself;|
|Stop here, or gently pass!|
|Alone she cuts and binds the grain,||5|
|And sings a melancholy strain;|
|O listen! for the Vale profound|
|Is overflowing with the sound.|
|No Nightingale did ever chaunt|
|More welcome notes to weary bands||10|
|Of travellers in some shady haunt,|
|Among Arabian sands:|
|A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard|
|In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,|
|Breaking the silence of the seas||15|
|Among the farthest Hebrides.|
|Will no one tell me what she sings?—|
|Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow|
|For old, unhappy, far-off things,|
|And battles long ago:||20|
|Or is it some more humble lay,|
|Familiar matter of to-day?|
|Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,|
|That has been, and may be again?|
|Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang||25|
|As if her song could have no ending;|
|I saw her singing at her work,|
|And o'er the sickle bending;—|
|I listen'd, motionless and still;|
|And, as I mounted up the hill,||30|
|The music in my heart I bore,|
|Long after it was heard no more.|
I used parts of this poem and wrote a new song based on it recently. Here it is:
behold her, single in the field,
scattered highland reaper,,
alone she cuts and binds the grain
and sings a melacholy strain
will no one tell me what she sings
perhaps of plaintive far off things
or some more humble pain
which may be or be again
she wears a coat of blue
oh too deep, oh too true
more than I can find
she sang her song as it had no ending
as when she cut and binds the grain
and I listened motionless and still
as the song came through the hills
when I think over those days
through the earth’s fire and flame
the music echoing tthrough the trees
and the song came through the hills
It's gonna be a huge hit. (well, that would actually be a drag because I'd get accosted by fans....)
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/14/2015
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Posted by Chris Farrell at 11/27/2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
mi corazón, es tarde y sin orillas,
el día, come un pobre mantel puesto a secar
oscila rodeado de seres y extensión,
de cada ser viviente hay algo en la atmosféra,
mirando mucho el aire parecerían mendigos,
abogados, bandidos, carteros, costureras,
un poco de cada oficio, un resto humillado,
quiere trabajar su parte en nuestro interior,
yo busco desde antaño, yo examino sin arrogancia,
conquistado, sin dudo, por lo vespertino.
My heart, it is late and without shores,
day, like a poor tablecloth put to dry,
sways, surrounded by beings and extent,
there is something from every living being in the atmosphere,
lawyers, bandits, mailmen, seamstresses,
and a little of each occupation, a humbled remnant
wants to perform its own work within us.
I have been searching for a long time, I examine in all modesty.
ovecome, without doubt, by evening.
-pablo neruda, ....un hombre chileano\
Posted by Chris Farrell at 3/25/2013
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
the refrigerator sits full of juices in the corner
the wooden chairs gleam in the light
the sober reflections of mentalist ways through our changes
the birds sit down, and the cats fly across the grass
We all feel as if they are stand up men somewhere, editing themselves
the houses sink down in the moonlight.
it's the winter, the edge of things, the changing light
it's all dark in the head, we would have thought, and we change
somnabulent criticism, edited detail, and the marks of honor
we come home through the breezes
we tell black women to stop staring, they start yelling
we slice through the edges of our emotions and the edges of actions
the fast energy of a mentality, cutting through the conscious,
the reality of positivity, guitarists with sweet lyrics,
all the emotion, all the energy, all our ambition
suddenly gone through cookie-cutter lights.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 2/06/2013
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Some words on Patsy
Patsy Todd was born in Compton, California, on August 3, 1929. She moved to Oregon in ’37 during the depression, picked fruit, and her father bought a farm and sold it in ’47, moved to the coast, built a motel, called the “Miles Motel”, went to Chemeketa, learned to weld, worked at Wade’s manufacturing plant. Mother did rations, worked for a millionaire, the father building fences, mothing taking something, moved father out to St. Helens and rioting started. Worked at Smokecraft in the ‘70’s, linen mills in Jefferson, talked about Burt Reynolds. Smacked her because she liked Bob Hope, not Burt Reynolds. Joined the union and quit, kind of fraudulent run in Salem, bring my grandchildren. Can’t see after wreck, living with man, worked in restaurant “Chilibowl”, early shift, met guy, snow started, guy came over, started the affair, died of a heartache. Clarence came home smelling of gasoline, left, after six years
The following are more poems that I wrote:
Down in Reno
some seedy hotel
two fat people
amused by a rubber dinosaur
was down at the circle k
a bum looking for a cup of coffee
grizzled and disturbed
had encountered an old black man with a cane
had been here and there with a backpack
learned an odd sort of kung-fu
demonstrated in the misty grass
needed a ribbon to tie back the hair
needed a sleeping bag on a cement floor
asked me for a dime later
walking around with an indian
lighting up cigarettes in Starbuck's.
grass outside waving in the wind
wood bench on the large porch
Ann coughing in her large hair
cars whizzing by
notes of hope and worry
and tunes of bruce and jerry
the fourth string in need of tightening
the module coming out in rapid haste
and more trouble and worry
and the thought of the ant
and the poke-weed and parturience
and limitless are the leaves
stiff or drooping in the fields
portraying a frightening eschatology
and sense of the smart-ass
When I am in my room
I see again
the thousand daffodils laughing in the wind
and think again
of her long hair and green eyes.
So, when it comes to locating the precise measure of things
and leading to a preoccupation with the word
of where all this came from
who are active and residing on an earthly level
as one who is a doubter by practice
and tends to by longing reach the other side
who keep such a disconnectedness
that it is impossible to know what is rational, as
the lady that goes on about airplanes
the smoke trails are giving her signals
by sign language she communicates with them
by sign language she is in touch;
to sullen doubter she says
"well, buck-o, what do you know?"
and with wanton excitement will explain
how they follow her around
On Mary's Peak the rain came down
out the foggy windows the huge trees
I drove out a side road
far hills covered with green
electric poles cutting down the hill
a little creek ran by
in which I washed my feet, and drank
blackberries and thimbleberries here and there
failing heavy force of that which remains...
unsaid, and yet pervades all things
from this eye of the world
nature and its quiet rain
Posted by Chris Farrell at 2/05/2013
Monday, February 04, 2013
Thinking of my life, and how it has been going the last three months or so...I've been pretty stressed, seeing things that I didn't like, seeing people that seemed dangerous around town, and did the impression I have match with reality? I'm going to assume that it did. I've met a lot of people, a lot of good people, or people that have good qualities, and that is in some kind of contrast with the nastier people in the world...but the fact is, does what is going on in my mind really correspond to the world and how it is? I think it does, because I get feedback from real people, who value my judgements and observations, but maybe haven't gone through precisely what I have gone through. On the other hand, I think a lot of people, older people, have gone through getting stressed out like me, from who knows what. I don't want to go into the details, and it is hard to see what about me would appear that interesting. I guess a quality of me that is pretty interesting is that, for one thing, I'm kind of in my own little world, and on my own schedule, and for another, I'm not really seemingly connected with an identifiable group of peers. But I got to where I am through some painful processes, through trying hard to make it in the working world, through having to go into the mental hospital at various times...the first time being back in Berkeley, when nothing seemed to make sense, but I did have friends that cared what happened to me, and I appreciate that....and over the years, slowly gaining some self confidence, finding some groups outside karate..finding people that meant something to me, that also might have been having issues, and trying to make sense through the personalities, and through trying to do the right thing and get through the hard points, to get to a place that makes sense.
And as of now, I theoretically need to go out and get a job. I guess I will volunteer at stone soup again, and at the homeless drop-in center, because I'm familiar with those. Somehow shelving books at the library doesn't appeal to me. I went over to the co-op to try to see about volunteering, and I mentioned stone soup, and the lady seemed to get really agitated with me, like she was making some unfortunate assumptions about me just because I'm working in programs that help the homeless. People making judgements about me who don't really know me are kind of annoying. For one thing, I don't have much to feel guilty about, having tried hard my whole life to improve as a person. And furthermore "ye who has no sin on his hands, cast the first stone" as bob weir said.
It's good I have one roommate who seems to be doing well. The other seems to be moving out.
Nietzsche, from "Thus Spake Zarathustra", "On Scholars": I am too hot and burned by my own thoughts, often it nearly takes my breath away. Then I must go out into the open and away from all dusty rooms. But they (scholars) sit cool in the cool shade: in everything they want to be mere spectators, and they beware of sitting where the suns burns on the steps....
I think of the above line when I think about why I'd rather do actual creative writing than try to write academic papers, or teach. I never enjoyed teaching, whether it was trying to teach english, or karate,....that's about it ..but I seem to write stuff.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 2/04/2013
Thursday, January 31, 2013
I dreaded that first robin so,
But he is mastered now,
And I'm accustomed to him grown,--
He hurts a little, though.
I thought if I could only live
till that first shout got by
Not all the pianos in the woods
had power to mangle me.
I wished the grass would hurry,
So when 't was time to see,
He'd be too tall, the tallest one
Could stretch to look at me.
.....the day is warm and I just got back from driving to Portland...I seem to have no tolerance for the traffic, or much interest in hanging out up there these days...and I feel dead from all the sitting in the car. However, the day is peaceful and there's things to look forward to...
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/31/2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I stepped out of the taxi and into the rain, relieved to be moving after a day either sitting around or in traffic. I had actually wanted to get out a block earlier, as the car was stuck in traffic, but the driver, an African that was driving me crazy with a long rambling dialogue to his wife in a language consisting of some English words that he would only describe as an "African dialect" or "pidgin", said that it was a very violent neighborhood and I should stay in the car, so since it was only another block to my brother's house, I acquiesced.
I took a moment to admire the solid brick of the house that somehow gives that feeling of lasting sturdiness and a classic sense of history. It reminded me of an elaborate painting of a building on the wall of a co-op I had lived in as a student. Every brick was painted with painstaking detail.
brick and mortar
a sure and even hand
Those rowhouses were build between 1890 and 1905, and were not in danger of falling down. The door was an old deadbolt that I opened with a square key and carefully locked behind me. Depositing my excess baggage, I headed out rapidly again down the street, bound for Dupont circle. Many of the streets in DC run at a 45 degree angle, which makes for some very bizarre intersections. I walked warily for a few blocks, and failed to detect much danger other than the traffic. The street was quiet, and although the Howard University area was not much to look at, it was a calm street and things gradually improved as I walked. North of Dupont was clearly a high rent area, and to the right the land rose slightly and looked as if it got even pricier. I headed south and enjoyed the hustle of an uban district, but continued west toward Georgetown University. I hardly know what to expect, but after crossing the parkway and admiring the trees wet with rain, the sidewalk turned to brick and the houses were beautiful.
walking out in the dew
the drops of rain
The university buldings were phenomenal, many looking European in age. The library was a new and bland structure, and I had little hope of getting in, not being a student, but was admitted after showing a picture identification. To my surprise, they did have a number of books in Japanese, so I went to look them up. They were on a quiet floor, students sitting around with laptops. An old card catalog was near the wall, but may have been there just for nostalgia. The stacks were those kind that move when a button is pushed as a space-saving technique. I keep imaging the headlines: "Scholar crushed to death by moving bookshelf", but I figured them out and after much hassle photocopied a couple of stories. By that time I was starving and headed out of there eating a ham sandwich. Flocks of students hung around outside on their cellphones, looking well-heeled and preppie. I passed therough the commercial district again, but elected to head back to Dupont, where I figured there would be an older crowd in the cafes. The light was dimming by the time I got to a cafe. I ordered my coffee.
I sat and read the paper, watching the busy people walking by.
people on their cellphones
The walk back involved a gourmet grocery store and a sideways street filled with cars and a man stumbling around on burgundy wine.
The next day I came upon a nice little Japanese import store full of those amazing ceramics. They had some of the strange and wonderful Japanese candies. A book called "A Zen Wave", on Zen and Basho, contained a quote saying essentially that meditation can bring one to where anything can bring the joy of enlightenment, perhaps the "divinely superfluous beauty" mentioned by Robinson Jeffers. There was a book of essays by R.H. Blythe, a scholar who wrote what is still the most amazing set of books on haiku. I walked out of there and considered the day a success, having seen many things not seen in my everyday small town existence.
a car passes by
a foot reaches out
the curb drops
the foot lands
I think we went out and saw some show by Sterolab after that, some French group that did not have a whole lot going for them. I continued to have to endure the taxi driver who would not get off his phoen.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/30/2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
I cannot live with you-
It would be life-
And life is over there-
behind the shelf
The sexton keeps the key to
Our life-his porcelain
Like a cup
Discarded of the housewife
A newer sevres pleases
Old ones crack..
I could not die-with you
For one must wait
To shut the Other's gaze down
And I-could I stand by
And see you-freeze
Without my right of frost-
Nor could I rise-with you,
Because your face...
would put out the sign..
that new grace..
Glow plain-and foreign
on my homesick Eye
Except that you than he
Shone closer by-
Wow, I don't understand half of Dickinson...and this poem in particular is tricky to figure out. She's done some other great ones...many great ones.
Lean out the window,
I hear you singing
A merry air.
My book was closed.
I read no more.
Watching the fire dance
On the floor.
I have left my book,
I have left my room,
For I heard you singing
Through the gloom.
Singing and singing
A merry air,
Lean out of the window,
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/27/2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Hail to the spirit that can unite us;
for we live really in figures. Always
go the clocks with little strides
along with our intrinsic days.
Without knowing our proper place,
we act as if from true relations.
The antennae feel their sister-stations,
and the emptiness of space
bore...pure tension. O music of forces!
Aren't the interruptions turned away
by the indulgent affairs of the day?
However the peasant works and sows,
he never reaches those deep sources
where seeds turn into summer. Earth bestows.
-translated by C.F. MacIntyre, University of Berkeley press, 1960.
Posted by Chris Farrell at 1/22/2013