June 3, 2013

Correspondence / 13

Thanks, I think. Do my other photographs look like cell phone shots?

Just raggin' on ya, homey. I have nine cameras, so, yeah. Some of those that I thought at the time I Had To Have, I didn't, even for commercial hires. My regular companion is a point-and-shoot super zoom. Ever wish you could have back, just once, all the money you've wasted? Though what, existentially speaking, is wasted, really? An old sage and Sinophile I once knew said that Chinese men believe that each of us have a fixed number of orgasms in life, so it's best to save a few. Wait... what? A Zen moment.

No, peace in the Middle East doesn't look likely in the foreseeable future. A fellow passenger on a freighter that I took to Europe years ago remarked that the one thing he regretted was the discovery of oil on the Arabian peninsula. I didn't know what he was talking about then, this was decades ago, but it was a prescient observation. The sooner the West can develop alternative energy, and pull its money and presence out of there, the better, though I probably won't see it in my lifetime. I read somewhere that when you calculate such things as the military resources needed to secure and protect Middle East oil, the true cost of gasoline at the pump is close to $45 dollars a gallon. Addictions are costly on so many levels. The London slaying was shocking. Prime minister David Cameron said that the attackers had “betrayed Islam.” George Bush said the same thing. “This is not Islam.”  I do wish that western non-Muslim leaders would stop pandering and trying to pre-empt the Muslim world by presuming to define Islam for everyone. If terrorists acts like these are a departure from Islam, shut up and let Muslims leaders tell us that.

You know what's even more perplexing than envy? People's dedication to inspiring it in others. What is that about?

Funny Agatha Christie trivia, that. I had a first edition of Nabokov’s “King, Queen, Knave,” but it fell off the cart somewhere in my disorganized youth.

I’d never read Raymond Chandler. After reading a musing on detective fiction in the New Yorker that rhapsodized about him, I picked up an Everyman’s Library edition with three of his classics in one volume. I read the first few pages of The Big Sleep last night and I’m already immersed in the atmosphere and attitude and cadence that he made famous. I once wrote of Debussy that it doesn’t matter how much an original voice has been hacked, spun off, or sent up. There’s always a freshness, an indelible stamp. The original “anticipates its exploitation and rises above it.”

My laelia, fifty six flowers this year, started blooming yesterday. I awoke to a rain-cooled morning, everything washed, bright, and fragrant.