Food for Thought

March 23, 2018

Dickens, often publishing a novel in monthly parts, found it necessary to devote some hundreds of words, and if necessary repeat those words a month later, to a single character.

In 1920 Sherwood Anderson remarked simply that ‘she was a tall silent woman with a long nose and troubled grey eyes’; in 1930 Mr. Ernest Hemingway in a moment, for him, of unusual expansion, said, ‘He wore a derby hat and a black overcoat buttoned Across his chest. His face was small and white and he had tight lips. He wore a silk muffler and gloves.’ In I940 Mr.V. S. Pritchett writes, ‘He had a cape on, soaked with, rain, and the rain was in beads in his hair. It was fair hair. It stood up on end.’

Anderson took up fourteen words, Mr. Hemingway thirty-one, Mr. Pritchett twenty-six. Between Dickens and Mr. Pritchett, then, something has happened. Is it only the evolution of the short story ? May it not also be, perhaps, the parallel evolution of the reader ? Education, travel, wider social contact, the increased uniformity of life, dress, and manners have made us all familiar with things that were once remote enough to need to be described. To-day all of us have seen Sherwood Anderson’s woman, the tragic, anonymous representative of a whole inarticulate class ; we have seen Mr. Hemingway’s tough with the black overcoat and bowler hat ; we know Mr. Pritchett’s type with its fair hair that stands up on end. The widening of social contact, among other things, has relived these three writers, and their generation, of an oppressive obligation. It is no longer necessary to describe ; it is enough to suggest. The full-length portrait, in full dress, with scenic back-ground, has become superfluous ; now it is enough that we should know a woman by the shape of her hands.

H E Bates
The Modern Short Story

Sweet Kali

March 22, 2018

sweet Kali stands before us
an offering she holds
while all the skulls around her neck
sleep in a child’s repose

there are many souls in limbo
they wander through our sight
seekers for salvation
seeking for the light

a universe lies waiting
a red planet full of stars
just beneath the lingham
that rests in Kali’s arms

the dogs lie waiting patiently
while Ganesh begins to writhe
turning to a serpent
that writhes before our eyes

here’s the minotaur from Jambu Dweep
wrapped in a golden fleece
telling stories in my head
the tales of ancient Greece

then Kali holds a severed head
cradled gently in her hand
while beneath the Shiva Lingham
someone lies upon the sand…..

Jose Large

have a few drinks

March 22, 2018

I never type in the morning. I don’t get up in the morning. I drink at night. I try to stay in bed until twelve o’clock, that’s noon. Usually, if I have to get up earlier, I don’t feel good all day. I look, if it says twelve, then I get up and my day begins. I eat something, and then I usually run right up to the race track after I wake up. I bet the horses, then I come back and Linda cooks something and we talk awhile, we eat, and we have a few drinks, and then I go upstairs with a couple of bottles and I type — starting around nine-thirty and going until one-thirty, to, two-thirty at night. And that’s it.

Charles Bukowski
Sunlight here I am: interviews and encounters 1963 – 1993

the dramatic scene

March 22, 2018

I’m not a theorist. I’m not an authoritative or reliable commentator on the dramatic scene, the social scene, any scene. I write plays, when I can manage it, and that’s all. That’s the sum of it.

I’ve had two full-length plays produced in London. The first ran a week, and the second ran a year. Of course, there are differences between the two plays. In The Birthday Party I employed a certain amount of dashes in the text, between phrases. In The Caretaker I cut out the dashes and used dots instead. So that instead of, say, “Look, dash, who, dash, I, dash, dash, dash,” the text would read, “Look, dot, dot, dot, who, dot, dot, dot, I, dot, dot, dot, dot.” So it’s possible to deduce from this that dots are more popular than dashes, and that’s why The Caretaker had a longer run than The Birthday Party. The fact that in neither case could you hear the dots and dashes in performance is beside the point. You can’t fool the critics for long. They can tell a dot from a dash a mile off, even if they can hear neither.

Harold Pinter
Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics 1948-1998

traditional witches

March 22, 2018


Why do Wiccans assume that traditional witches are dark and bad and use black magic and play around with dark forces and are grim and angry? We don’t and we are not! Now I understand why traditional witches are so secretive! Well, there is more to our secretive nature than that. But on the other side of the coin, there are some traditional witches that think Wicca is new age fluffy bunny foofoo. To each their own I say and the best thing to do is educate yourself on both sides of the coin! You will come across the most wonderful and real and the most weird and ridiculous!

Looking Through the Trees: Traditional Witchcraft

a crow

Crows and ravens are the creatures of the otherworld, and are portents of omens, magic, witchcraft, death, regeneration, and prophecy. In truth, anything black was considered a creature of the devil. Black dogs, for example: the howling of a dog was the announcement of death, and dogs have had a long, deep association with death and the otherworld. Even as recently as 1922 in Somerset, the black cat was considered to be a creature of the devil, but to own one was regarded as having a lucky talisman – showing the duality of the folklore. Black horses can symbolize death, as do black birds of most types, such as magpies. A pair of crows was called a “corbie (Scottish) coupling,” from the Latin word for crow (Corvus). The powerful omen of the crow has marked inaugurations; one cawing on the roof of a church in St. Andrews, Scotland, during the 16th century inauguration of Patrick Adamson as archbishop was said to have been saying “Corrupt! Corrupt!”. The crow is still linked to agriculture, as we have scarecrows, and the folk art of the crow always with the harvest; even in modern France there is an agricultural festival dedicated to this bird. Anyone who has lived with crows knows them as more than mere birds; some call them “feathered humans” because of their ability to speak and bond with humans.

Annie Forsyth
Ravens and Crows
The Beltane Papers winter 2009/2010

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

Charles Bukowski

lost boundaries

March 20, 2018

When I looked up through the web of trees, the night fell over me, and for a moment I lost my boundaries, feeling like the sky was my own skin and the moon was my heart beating up there in the dark.

Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Life of Bees