Sunday, February 29, 2004

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
John Muir

Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Gospel According to St. Matthew

This is a pre-emptive strike against Mel 'Braveheart' Gibson's controversial snuff movie The Passion of Christ, which will shortly be arriving in the UK with a predictably over-blown blockbuster-style fanfare. Save yourself a trip to this cinematic gore-fest and the indignity of chundering into your popcorn by getting hold of the video or DVD of Pasolini's beautiful and moving The Gospel According to St. Matthew instead.

footnote [4th March]: A woman who drove her car into a lake told police she was re-enacting a scene from The Passion of Christ. Apparently she was attempting to be baptised.
from The Zentrepreneur's Dictionary
zenter v: go in and out at the same time
zen route adv: being on 'The Way'
zenrage v: pull another's beard
zentertain v: make a cup of tea

Friday, February 27, 2004

Demystifying the fears and terrors of marketing a dream that captures the soul
While searching for some information about the Zen Master Bankei I found this priceless piece of New-Age twaddle:

Dragon Spirit: How to Self-Market Your Dream - A Zentrepreneur's Guide by Ron Rubin and Stuart Avery Gold.
Ancient wisdom and timeless philosophies, knotted together with state-of-the-art insights and observations, address the realities of the marketplace, demystifying the fears and terrors of marketing a dream that captures the soul. This fast-paced, witty excursion will encourage and inspire, inspirit and enthuse as never before by moving the reader ever onward, empowering them to experience the wows and the wonders of their richly deserved dream.

Read it and weep!
circle by Bankei

the highest Zen ...
What does it matter, the new year, the old year?
I stretch out my legs and all alone have a quiet sleep.
Don't tell me the monks aren't getting their instruction.
Here and there the nightingale is singing; the highest Zen.
The fare was six bucks.
I gave the cabbie a ten and asked for my change.
Change, said he, must come from within.

Thursday, February 26, 2004


Kate Rusby - the most beautiful voice in England!
Some samples here, including this Richard Thompson song, originally sung by Linda on 'I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight':

This cruel country has driven me down
Teased me and lied, teased me and lied
I've only sad stories to tell to this town
My dreams have withered and died

Once I was bending the tops of the trees
Kind words in my ear, kind faces to see
Then I struck up with a boy from the West,
Played run and hide, played run and hide.
Count one to ten and he's gone with the rest
My dreams have withered and died

Silver moon sail up and silver moon shine
On the waters so wide, waters so wide
Steal from the bed of some good friend of mine
My dreams are withered and died

If I was a butterfly, live for a day,
I could be free just blowing away ...

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.
Albert Camus

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Ten million nightflowers
Scattered through an angel's hair
Open at the sound of a flute.
Hold your breath, look
The sky is like a city at night
And endless worlds ripple outwards
With each note of the pipe.

Monday, February 23, 2004

wet news
A British diver became the first man in the country to watch 'Finding Nemo' while submerged underwater.
A new species of crab that paints its nails with pigment from coral has been discovered near Fiji.
A Norwegian fisherman has caught a cod with an intact can of Coca-Cola in its stomach.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say, then say the opposite.
Sam Levenson

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Glenn Gould

The Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is a sort of touchstone for me. If I discover that someone knows and likes his recordings I feel a sort of bond with them. In my experience an interest in Glenn Gould often implies a slight eccentricity of character, and that is generally a good thing. Of course, since Gould was a great interpreter of JS Bach's music, a love of Bach is usually implied too. I am naturally well-disposed towards anyone who appreciates the greatest musical genius ever to have walked the earth. Hi Enrico.

Recommended Recordings:
The Three Sonatas for Viola Da Gamba & Harpsichord with Leonard Rose (Cello)
The Partitas/Preludes, Fugues and Fughettas
Consort Musicke of William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons
The Goldberg Variations (1981 recording).

Friday, February 20, 2004

The Poultry Fancy - An Exciting Live Hobby
If you like beautiful, responsive, living things, then the world of Fancy Poultry may be what you have been looking for.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

caring government
People with suicidal tendencies in Botswana have been asked by the country's Minister for Works and Transport, Tebelelo Seretse, to throw themselves out of trees instead of in front of trains.
piles of cash? no thanks ...
The family of country singer Johnny Cash have blocked a plan to use 'Ring Of Fire' to advertise haemorrhoid relief. Florida TV producer Sula Miller said she had thought of the idea 'while suffering from the condition'.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

dear god, now i'm advertising poultry!
McMurray Hatchery
America's Rare Breed Hatchery
Poultry Books and More
Free Poultry Resource
For the global poultry veterinarian, producer & enthusiast
Back in Print at Last! Genetics of the Fowl by F. B. Hutt
Related Searches: • gorillas • poultry • exotic birds

i might as well get into this ...

Anyone Can Build A Tub-Style Mechanical Chicken Plucker

i'm advertising gorillas too

She said: "Johnny, this is a deadly game, have a few laughs and go home." I shuddered. Normally I pack a rod in pyjamas - I carry nothing but scars from Normandy beach. I said "Wrong, baby, you can't fool me." She spat playfully. "I'm ahead of you, Johnny." I studied the swell of her enormous boobs and said: "Baby, you're so far ahead it's beautiful."
from 'I am a Bigshot' - The Bonzo Dog Band
'Maybe this world is another planet's hell.'
Aldous Huxley

the gift
I read about a man who tried to cut his travel costs by shipping himself across the US in a cargo crate, and it reminded me of this song
some more useless things
the Darkness; the fashion industry; low-fat yoghurt; the God Channel; cuff links; tv chefs (except Keith Floyd and Rick Stein, but especially Gary Rhodes); Duran Duran; biscuits; royalty; spiritualists; pugs, pekinese and dachshunds; Jonathan Creek; white socks; Harrison Birtwhistle; tv ads for Intel, IBM and Microsoft; Star Wars; cosmetic surgery; button-down collars; prog-rock; postmodernism; jazz; beards without moustaches

to be continued ...

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

it's not unusual
The days are drawing out, the snowdrops are already fading, the cherry trees and crocuses are coming into bloom, and the robin in the garden has started belting out his song. All winter he has warbled away like Tom Yorke. Today he is Tom Jones.

Sunday 17 February 1661
A most tedious, unreasonable, and impertinent sermon, by an Irish Doctor. His text was “Scatter them, O Lord, that delight in war.” Sir Wm. Batten and I very much angry with the parson.
Samuel Pepys
Mad, Bad, etc

'Some kinder casuists are pleased to say,
In nameless print- that I have no devotion;
But set those persons down with me to pray,
And you shall see who has the properest notion
Of getting into heaven the shortest way;
My altars are the mountains and the ocean,
Earth, air, stars,- all that springs from the great Whole,
Who hath produced, and will receive the soul.'

Phew! For no particular reason I've just finished reading the first four Cantos of Byron's Don Juan. It's a long time since I studied him at school, and I hadn't realised how highly Byron ranked predecessors such as Dryden and Pope. This makes me wonder if his reputation as the 'arch-Romantic' isn't over-stated. In a way his style is more eighteenth than nineteenth century - more like Mozart than Beethoven. He certainly shares Mozart's lightness of touch, and his earthy humour. As he said himself: "As to 'Don Juan', confess that it is the sublime of that sort of writing; it may be bawdy, but is it not good English? It may be profligate, but is it not life, is it not the thing? Could any man have written it who has not lived in the world? and tooled in a post-chaise? in a hackney coach? in a Gondola? against a wall? in a court carriage? in a vis a vis? on a table? and under it?"

Monday, February 16, 2004

And Julia's voice was lost, except in sighs,
Until too late for useful conversation;
The tears were gushing from her gentle eyes,
I wish indeed they had not had occasion,
But who, alas! can love, and then be wise?
Not that remorse did not oppose temptation;
A little still she strove, and much repented
And whispering 'I will ne'er consent'- consented.
er, yes ...
Moscow Zoo keepers are to fit televisions in the cages of gorillas to make them 'think more'. Vladimir Spitsyn said the gorillas will be able to watch films about the life of monkeys and great apes in the wild among other subjects. 'We want them to spend less time picking their noses and more time thinking about life'.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

....................................................................................................... Love is never wasted

Friday, February 13, 2004

'To enter one's own self, it is necessary to go armed to the teeth.'
Paul Valery

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Swedish proverb
You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent them from nesting in your hair.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

use that smile wisely
"If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers."
Maya Angelou

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I can't look at the rocket launch
The trophy wives of the astronauts
And I won't listen to their words
Cos I like >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> birds

Commonbeauty has posted a short piece I wrote about 'Greed' today, as part of a series on the Seven Deadly Sins.

Monday, February 09, 2004

chicken copyright Tamara Staples

This odd chicken-type thing was photographed by Tamara Staples.
Ornamental poultry is a subject I know little about, but I'm filing it below 'non-alcoholic beer' in my list of utterly useless things.
and this was written before the invention of the weblog!
'One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with.'
Marshall McLuhan

Sunday, February 08, 2004

copyright alan edwards

Saturday, February 07, 2004

'The cow which has no milk will not be purchased, even though equipped with a pleasant-sounding bell.'
Siddha Nagarjuna

Friday, February 06, 2004

People fear silence as much as anything, and because meditation takes place in silence it can engender fear. The mind creates its own buzz of activity to combat the inner silence, but the silence has the last word. Sooner or later the mind tires of all this activity and evasiveness, ceases to be restless and fearful, and embraces the silence. It has no choice, it is its true nature.
[from a visit to The Coffee Sutras]

Secret Blogging and Silence

'Man goes into the noisy crowd to drown his own clamour of silence.'
Rabindranath Tagore

Thursday, February 05, 2004

you may wonder where this blog got its name ... or not ... anyway ...

Mike Heron and Robin Williamson - the Incredible String Band>

This Moment
This moment is different from any before it
This moment if different, it is now
And if I don't kiss you, that kiss is untasted
I'll never, no never, get it back
But why should I want to, I'll be in the next moment
Sweet moment, sweet lover, sweet now

The walls of this room are different from any before them, they are now
The air that you breathe is different from any before it, it is now

You may think that life is repeating, repeating
You may think that life is repeating, oh no ...

I just want to tell each one of you that
Each note hit is different from any before it
Each note hit is different, it is now.
Incredible String Band

and Goethe says ...
'Nothing is worth more than this day.'
Warrior Zen

'No matter how humble a person’s position, if he upholds the truth, I will step aside for him.'
Suzuki Shosan

thanks to Christy the Scorpion for the link

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

FLY GUY ......................................... pure genius :)
BBC FOUR ........................................ total rip off :(
'A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.'
Maya Angelou

'Do ye not comprehend that we are worms born to bring forth the angelic butterfly?'

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

it's windy here today

copyright alan edwards
northern lights
Presenters of a BBC radio gardening programme advised a caller on how to grow cannabis. When he referred to 'Northern Lights' they thought he was talking about a variety of cabbage.

A Brazilian football referee who pulled a pair of red knickers out of his pocket instead of a red card was so embarrassed that he ended the match 20 minutes early. He said he had no idea how the lacy knickers ended up in his pocket.

I keep listening to this beautiful little song by Beck ...

Lost Cause
Your sorry eyes, they cut through bone.
They make it hard to leave you alone.
Leave you here wearing your wounds
Waving your guns at somebody new.

Baby you're a lost cause.

There's too many people you used to know
They see you coming they see you go.
They know your secrets and you know theirs
This town is crazy, but nobody cares.

Baby you're a lost
Baby you're a lost cause.
I'm tired of fighting
I'm tired of fighting
Fighting for a lost cause ....

Monday, February 02, 2004

Ship of Fools: the Magazine of Christian Unrest
says church organists are introducing popular music to services. "Some contributors admitted taking bets with the organist," says The Times, following reports that the Dr Who theme, Abba's 'Supertrouper', 'Send in the Clowns', 'Chopsticks', and the Monty Python theme have been heard in church. In one case just before the bride arrived for her wedding the organist switched to 'Why are we Waiting'.
from Waltzing's For Dreamers
Oh play me a blues song and fade down the light
I'm sad as a proud man can be sad tonight
Just let me dream on, oh just let me sway
While the sweet violins and the saxophones play
And Miss, you don't know me, but can't we pretend
That we care for each other, till the band reach the end?

One step for aching
Two steps for breaking
Waltzing's for dreamers
And losers in love.

One step for sighing and
Two steps for crying
Waltzing's for dreamers
And losers in love.
Richard Thompson

Sunday, February 01, 2004

February - Not Everywhere
Such days, when trees run downwind,
their arms stretched before them.

Such days, when the sun's in a drawer
and the drawer is locked.

When the meadow is dead, is a carpet
thin and shabby, with no pattern

and at bus stops people retract into collars
their faces like fists.

- And when, in a firelit room, a mother looks
at her four seasons, her little boy,

in the centre of everything, with still pools
of shadows and a fire throwing flowers.

Norman MacCaig

Norman MacCaig, one of the great Scottish poets of the twentieth century, used to drink in Bennets Bar in Edinburgh. With his piercing blue eyes and acerbic wit he was not a man to take lightly, but on the couple of occasions I met him he was certainly entertaining company. Hugh MacDiarmid, whose dying word was said to be 'Norman', regarded him as his natural successor. However, unlike MacDiarmid, MacCaig had a great economy of style, claiming mischievously that he only composed poems short enough to fit onto a single sheet of paper in his typewriter. What a great simile -- 'their faces like fists'!