Six or seven years ago a good friend, also a reader, gave me two Murakami books for my birthday: Norwegian Wood and After the Quake. I read the latter first and absolutely loved it. The former I started but didn’t finish. I have a long-standing policy of not finishing books I don’t actually want to read. I think the habit must have started in elementary school, as soon as teachers started…
As I write this I’m already a bit into The Return of the King. Despite what seems to be its reputation as the relatively boring middle bit, I thoroughly enjoyed The Two Towers. These books pass the most important test I give to books at this point in my life: I enjoy reading them.
Having said this, and feeling like the whole point of this blog is to say something, I’ll say that there are all…
Tom Piazza, Devil Sent the Rain
I think I have previously reported my habit of wandering the stacks in the library and randomly…
Aboriginal Black Panthers, Australia, 1970.
Via El Machetero
My new sounds:
"I saw this elderly gentleman dining by himself, with an old picture of a lady in front of him. I though maybe I could brighten his day by talking to him.
As I had assumed, she was his wife. But I didn’t expect such an interesting story. They met when they were both 17. They dated briefly, then lost contact when he went to war and her family moved. But he said he thought about her the entire war. After his return, he decided to look for her. He searched for her for 10 years and never dated anyone. People told him he was crazy, to which he replied “I am. Crazy in love”. On a trip to California, he went to a barber shop. He told the barber how he had been searching for a girl for ten years. The barber went to his phone and called his daughter in. It was her! She had also been searching for him and never dated either.
He proposed immediately and they were married for 55 years before her death 5 years ago. He still celebrates her birthday and their anniversary. He takes her picture with him everywhere and kisses her goodnight.
Some inspiring things he said;
"I was a very rich man. Not with money, but with love"
"I never had a single argument with my wife, but we had lots of debates"
"People are like candles. At any moment a breeze can blow it out, so enjoy the light while you have it."
"Tell your wife that you love her everyday. And be sure to ask her, have I told you that I love you lately?"
Be sure to talk to the elderly. Especially strangers. You may think that you will brighten their day, but you may be surprised that they can actually brighten yours.”
IN the meantime we had finished our tea. The horses, which had been put to long before, were freezing in the snow. In the west the moon was growing pale, and was just on the point of plunging into the black clouds which were hanging over the distant summits like the shreds of a torn curtain. We went out of the hut. Contrary to my fellow-traveller’s prediction, the weather had cleared up, and there was a promise of a calm morning. The dancing choirs of the stars were interwoven in wondrous patterns on the distant horizon, and, one after another, they flickered out as the wan resplendence of the east suffused the dark, lilac vault of heaven, gradually illumining the steep mountain slopes, covered with the virgin snows. To right and left loomed grim and mysterious chasms, and masses of mist, eddying and coiling like snakes, were creeping thither along the furrows of the neighbouring cliffs, as though sentient and fearful of the approach of day.
—Lermontov, Hero of Our Time, Ch. 7
‘Chop & Quench’ by Fela Kuti
Wow. My favorite Fela groove ever, and I hadn’t known there was a vocal version.