Sunday, January 31, 2010

state of the art[s]

in all the
in which i've
wanted careers,
they now expect
one to volunteer;

and, hey,
why pay
do it for
free anyway,
for the love of it--

that's what 'amateur' means.

our culture
for richer
or poorer?
the question
but personally,
it's the latter---
objection sustained.

Friday, January 29, 2010

the plan [stan [and ollie]]

besides not wanting to kill myself, my near future according to me will look something like this [i hear god laughing somewhere]:

james and i are in the process of trying to get his company to be able to legally sponsor me as an employee. it's an obstacle course of checklists and requirements, but we're going through it check by check. what will we be doing? we've developed a soil remineralization product, called geo-gro, made from stones----remember the injunction for me to 'follow the stones'?

right now the 'climate' in the uk, political, environmental and social, is about as supportive as could be asked for such a business venture. an excerpt from this guardian article:

Benn promised £50m for research over the next five years. Much will go to find ways to reduce carbon emissions from soils and rotting waste food, as well as finding ways to grow food with less fertiliser, pesticides and fuel.

'benn' is hilary benn, uk environmental secretary. geo-gro can help with all of the above. we've applied for a startup grant and have a decent opportunity to be awarded up to £5,000 [$8,000].

this means that i'm intending not to return to my old life in boston as a massage therapist. there are many reasons why, but the best one is 'because i can't'. i'll miss very much all the friends and spiritual family i met there!

so how does it end? not sure. i could get the visa while i'm still here, in which case i wouldn't have to leave and return to the states. if no word from uk immigration, then i have to leave between march 9th and march 28th. i'd be landing in nj, somewhat in limbo, awaiting news of my status. this will be time for me to make a bit of money somehow and to visit friends and family [in boston, ny and nj]. if awarded a visa, then i drive up to boston, get my stuff out of storage in roslindale, say goodbye to friends and book my next flight.

and what if i don't get a visa? i need to find a new way to make money, retrain---guitar repair is still on my mind as a potential new career. the school is in nj and lasts 6 months. after that i'd probably return to boston [remember me?] with a skill in demand there, enabling me to pay the steep entry fee for the game of being able to afford to live there!

comments/suggestions welcome.

poetry corner

who the hell reads poetry these days?

commitment is:

real currency;
precious metal;
all laws and contracts
on paper, papyrus and stone tablets;

three for one!

any relationship
[worth having];

the highest identity,
for when the first person [i]
knows itself [committed to living]
then second [you]
and third people [he, she, it]
are invited into the trinity.

three for one!

pure investment
guaranteed returns,
no heaven necessary.
dividends in your pocket---
love paid back treble...

three for one!

so, why can't i sign
the papyrus on the line?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

apologies to those who care

news bulletin: dan doesn't want to kill himself. repeat: dan does not want to kill himself.

yikes! i'm blushing...embarrassed about my capital-r romantic outpouring of the few previous posts! maybe i should cut down on the schubert leider...maybe some sunshine would help ;-)

seriously, i thank you, my friends, for reading, caring and writing to me very eloquently and skillfully...i always assume incorrectly that no one is glorious to know that i'm wrong!


Monday, January 25, 2010

when the oriental girl of my dreams finds me in my sleep...

....then i know that things are turning around in my psyche....

i mean, literally, in my's a recurring dream [more meaningful than the 'i'm in my underwear and am late for a test' type---though they certainly have their use] in multiple forms that always signals a process of deep unification, not the typical western male fetish of going 'asian'----though i think the reasons behind both phenomena are similar: coming together [easy now] with the 'other', whether it be outwardly or inwardly foreign; she represents previously unrecognized parts of the self becoming recognized. in my case especially, the 'left' meets 'right' [east meets west] sides of the body, hemispheres of the brain, methods of dealing with the world, paradigms ring true.

so, i spent some quality rem-time with her...and i get the feeling that it is she that i will have to court before any non-disasterous courtship can happen in the 'real' world.

i wonder if asians dream of americans or africans [or any other, take your pick] when something in their psyches congeals?

the above 'dream-date' [sorry!] followed a day of heavy processing. i wrote frantically and honestly about my early musical miseducation [obliquely referred to in my previous depressing rant] and really felt the pain of the loss 25 years later.

a word about [my] depression: yes, there are people who can't function or who would destroy themselves without medication...but i'm not one of them, though i've been a friend of darkness for as long as i can remember. my depression is based on not feeling feelings that i need to feel to be able to move on; medication would prevent this process by killing the feelings with numbness and apathy. yesterday, i felt a neat parcel of them, personally addressed to me...

i hear a lot of 'but you have so much not to be depressed about' types of pep-talks. some i appreciate, some are patronizing, most miss the point. the point is this: my process [verb] is stuck on the inside. my outside [noun] experiences could be far worse...marauding hoards have not ransacked my village, making me watch them perform unsavory acts to those i love...etc. but then again, the same could be said of most people in the modern western world. this type of outdated thinking is a cognitive dead end and only leads to an insidious type of survivor's guilt. if we are ever going to step into a healthier framework, we have to find tools to deal with this guilt and its ilk, like being able not to feel bad about seriously considering or asking the question, 'what do i want to do with my life?' then, i think, we'd feel our abundance, actually feel it...then we can give it freely!

this is maslow-ian hierarchy of needs stuff:

we first world-ers have long since won the battle for things, material survival ['physiological' and 'safety' levels of the pyramid], but it is amazing that we still have the vestiges of the thinking ---a scarcity consciousness, if you will---that helped us to fight and win the battle. perhaps that is the real scar. the victory has become a trophy which has become a fetish we worship onanistically, a reflected exaggeration of our power---technology. how interesting that as soon as we nail down the bottom of the pyramid that the upper levels start to show cracks---the nature of our problems changes. they become more subtle, ethereal, abstract, not as gross and material. refined is the pompous, yet true, word. we need to develop a more refined technology of the upper three levels. not gadgets [things]. different ways of thinking. then we can help others build and repair their pyramids. the life of bill gates illustrates this process almost-novelistically well: from world's richest techno-capitalist to world's biggest philanthropist in 25 years....and what have i done in the past 25 years? ahem...

back to my point: treating depression in a 'thing', noun, materialist way has become the norm via the technology of drugs, and, hey, if you're depressed because your nerves are deficient in certain neurotransmitters, then this is the appropriate solution. reach into the noun [your skull] and tweak the mechanism...bang. done. bill my insurance [ah, if i could afford it ;-) BUT, if you happen to be having upper pyramid issues, different tools are needed.



Thursday, January 21, 2010

bury me

been depressed for a number of weeks, pretty much constantly, with slightly lighter moments intervening occasionally; hence, the lack of posts. been amazed at how quickly my perhaps immature, naive faith can turn into despair! same coin, two sides....

the other night, james and i watched 'death of a salesman'. the last time i saw/read the play was high school, when such characters seemed distant and unlikely. now, however, i'm amazed at how much i've grown to resemble in fantasy, in essence, not being there for pretty much my entire absentee human...middle age welcomes me with stinky breath, poor memory and

i almost laughed out loud, when, standing in front of a bookcase in the living room of my city-stay apartment, i spied a spine that sported the title: 'what do i want to do with my life?' by po bronson. it's very refreshing! even though it's billed as a 'self help' book, it lacks the annoying new age jargon which makes me want to buy and use an automatic weapon. it's people's stories of their quest to answer this very question, compassionately related by the author.

i've realized that i gave up taking that question seriously starting in 5th grade, completing the premature process in 9th grade. both times i let myself----but then again, does a young child have an actual choice?-----be talked out of special studies and playing musical instruments, the only things i've really cared to do with myself...i haven't found a replacement....and it's been 25 years!!!

even imagining that i have inoperable cancer can't shake me out of my stupor ;-) [in the visualization, i don't suddenly take that trip or meet my love or find sudden peace or forgiveness or walk to meet the dali lama or become anything...i just £%£^^£^%£ing die unglamorously, unceremoniously, silently, painfully and.....very ALONE!]


Friday, January 8, 2010

Go placidly amid the noise and haste

that's right...i've been dating myself---in the artist's way kinda in indulgent-quality-time-on-one's-own. my versions of this have been meals out, films, music-ing, library, writing [aka 'journaling']; many of the usual suspects...sorry! no real adventures to report----i really do live my life on the inside...but you probably knew i just have to start accepting the fact.

anyway, last night i headed to my favorite thai place downtown for quiet dining. sat down. ordered a house red. and was then assaulted by a gang, gaggle, brace, hoard-----whatever you call the roving bands of 20-somethings, which i've found to be a particular specialty of the uk, in general, and norwich [a college town] in particular. [actually called a 'generation gap' here and is an acknowledged split in society] the thirteen assembled for, what seemed to be, their last supper. they were extraordinarily proud of how well they could overtake the restaurant's small size and the also diminutive, quiet, courteous asian staff and showed it with a look-at-me pub/club crowd fervor. to be fair to the youngins, the 'adults' whom i assumed to be someone's parents---and, most likely, the sponsors of the evening on the town---were the worst offenders. [trying to regain a forever lost youth, one supposes]

i ate more quickly than i would have liked, though i did take my time with the wine as i shot the occasional, ineffectual acid glance over at the screamers of vulgarity. the noise they produced could have helped to solve the energy crisis, if only the black box existed to make the transformation of sound into power. it was literally painful to me. but what i found worse was the content of most of the decibel-age: yelling, asking if anyone had a condom so that they could 'have it off' in the bathroom, making fun of the asian staff, etc. look-at-me stuff...

on the way home, ears still ringing, i stopped in front of a storefront to find a calligraphy rendering of the following poem:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

(c) Max Ehrman 1926

...and it was then that my tragic evening alchemically transmogrified into comedy!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

a tourette's moment















sigh inhale exhale

Friday, January 1, 2010


ah, a symmetrical date that the uk and the states can agree upon---there are 11 others, when the day and month are the same number. the english put the day first, then the month; americans do the opposite.

ah, a fine binary date: off, on, off, on, on, off.

ah, happy new year! may it be as rare as the blue moon which kicked it off...

my new year's eve was spent at an interesting concept for a dinner party. the brainchild of gary, james' brother [who is also responsible for the banana wreath photo], all the guests were assigned a course of the meal to prepare. no guest knew what any other guest was making. high-blown restaurantese descriptions were written and a menu was compiled and printed by gary's son, izambard. my text read as follows [you might recognize it]:

humanely dismembered kale sustainably massaged in a delectable melange of alioli plasma, quintessence of citron, superannuated nutritional yeast and hand-grated coagulated casein protein...

yes, the famous kale salad! guests were responsible for serving their course and cleaning up after it; so, no mess lingered for the hosts. plates were reused [after being washed, of course].

even after 7 courses, i wasn't stuffed and neither was anyone else! the portions were small, like tapas, and the meal stretched itself across 4.5 hours, from appetizer to dessert. a recommended concept...

in sum, a crowdsourced good time. a smart mob. dinner party 2.0.