other notes, other places

work is stressing the heck out of me again and i’m pretty sure i am having one of those things you simply should not have: a blogwriter’s block. the whole blogging thing is about unblocking -and here i am experiencing a blogwriter’s block.

so, as i always say to myself in these situations: to hell with it.

*

and so i will start this one with this line because i saw it somewhere in the neighborhood and i really liked it:

و خدایی که در این نزدیکی ست

(نزدیکی است)؟

-سهراب سپهری

the delicious, delicate thought of a god who is loitering about aimlessly somewhere nearby, not grand, not angry, not even forgiving and kind and majestic – just present and near. almost within touch. almost not divine.

(years later, joan osbourne was channeling sohrab sepehri when she sang: what if god was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus…)

*

let’s see… what other thoughts crossed my mind?

yes, i have this one note here on this piece of paper about watching orhan pamuck on the charlie rose show.

i have never read a work of orhan pamuck completely. i famously lost the snow which i had picked up in istanbul, a year later, again in istanbul, and still not halfway through it. i liked other rooms, other colors more for its shorter essays, but many of those essays remain unread. i think i know why: as pamuck admitted in his conversation to charlie rose, he hand-writes his books in turkish. hand-writes. yes. and it takes him about 5-7 years to finish a book. you cannot read a book that is written that slowly in a short time. you should not. it would be an insult, almost. that’s why i have not finished any of his books despite my most valiant efforts and intentions to do so since i heard about his snatching the nobel literature prize in 2006 (or was it 07?) the point is, somewhere, beyond months and years and time and space, how a book was written, and whether the writer was smiling when writing it, comes across to the reader and affects the reader’s mood, tempo, and pace -touches the reader in an almost physiological way.

speaking of pamuck, i have not heard any other writer talk about the craft of writing with such passion and dedication, and with such love. hearing the man talk about writing makes you want to write. his is a love for the written word most enviable.

*

then i read this essay about susan sontag in the harpers magazine. i don’t remember why i made a note about blogging about this essay – i forgot. i will return to the essay and if i remember, i will come back and write. maybe. (no promises, no compulsions -compulsion is the enemy of blogging just as the holy book says it is the enemy of faith.)

*

right – the other note is about the new year. yes, happy new year to everyone still reading this. hope this one brings you the good stuff you have been waiting for. but more than the good stuff, hope it brings you happiness and contentment, and a certain measure of restlessness for living your life more fully.

*

i asked my brother who lives where he can actually purchase music on itunes to download and send me the story by brandi carlile. i first listened (and then listened again and again and again) to this song when i was young. what am i saying – i meant to say when i downloaded a free version of it on the itunes store a few years back. i guess the fact that it was free implies that brandi carlile was a relatively unknown artist then and in my own way i discovered her music for myself. i fell in love with it. and then a week or so ago i heard it in the backdrop of a commercial for cnn -playing cleverly on the theme of telling stories. and that prompted me to ask for it again because i had lost all my music in the cataclysmic crash of the hard drive. when i first heard this song, i posted about it here.

*

i have been asked to submit my photos to a gallery, and for publication in a photography book. this is a first. normally someone from harpers would ask for it for an educational volume; but this is about exhibits and books of photography. i.e. about my photos seen as art and no more images of stuff. fills me with joy -and with that other thing that usually comes my way in these occasions: a strong urge to procrastinate. it has been a week and i have not replied either request. shame, shame, shame.

*

there are various tempting notes about the stuff that has been unfolding here. i have thought every which way about these events, and the holy rolling stone himself knows i want to share these thoughts with you with relish -but won’t. that stuff is not for this space.

i will suffice at re-posting these crushed pearls
دُرِ سُفته: چهل و پنج

چه شکر هاست در این شهر که قانع شده اند
شاهبازانِ طریقت به مقامِ مگسی
حافظ-

*

apart from all this, my first official break in three and a half years of work went so well and was so enjoyable i completely came to understand why people take breaks. i also nearly finished anne enright’s the gathering. nearly. and this one time when i was snorkeling in overcast sky when underwater visibility is not so great i saw the hull of a boat at a distance and thought that that was that and that this was a great white approaching his thursday snack. after that, my underwater experiences in the maldives were forever tarnished with fear.

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~ by safrang on January 7, 2010.

2 Responses to “other notes, other places”

  1. I envy your writing skills!! I need to take an English course some time to advance my English:p Anyway, interesting stuff, despite the blogwriter’s block;)

  2. Principled testing to recognize if your say discuss fuctinon works, supply doesnt!

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