Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Moon, Light & Shadow

Clouds, clouds, clouds tonight. And rain. Nothing to be seen here of tonight's full moon, unlike some days ago, when the astro-physicist before for one night travelling a bit deeper into what humans commonly call our (sic!) universe, focused the observatory's telescope on the almost full moon.
If I remember correctly, the photo contains of 14 shots, and its original size is 80 x 90 centimetres.

Click to enlarge.

So much for the light, and here comes for the shadow.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just a thought

Sometimes I wish I knew less
about violence in its various forms.
And when being in such a mood,
I wish I were a humble gardener,
fond of literature and poetry,
writing a poem now and then.

Not necessarily, hm?

When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book?
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Birth & Death(lessness)

It's once again the (International) Day of the Book.
Well, and once again I do not care, but just repeat:
For me 365 days in any year are days of books,
and 366 in leap-years.

Anyway, on Shakespeare's 446th birthday
the 394th anniversary of either his dead
and the death of Cervantes
just to wish a very special literary evening.

May my voice not put you off the realm poetry.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sparrows cussing like sailors

After their hibernation since last Thursday even my muscles enjoy a glorious soreness. It's good that spring comes! Still, I am glad - and I think my muscles are, too - that I decided to cut the fruit-trees in late autumn, as shortening parts of ...
... the hazels (one girl, one boy) and ...

one jasmine (the left one is an elder) ...

... by about 2,5-3 three metres was enough for a beginning, as - old sportsman's spirit - I don't use a motor-saw.

Cutting the jasmine I had been hesitating for five years. However, now it had to be done, although bad conscience was upon me; and not wrongly.
The longer I was busy with the jasmine, the more little visitors I got. They sat down on one of the few long branches which were left, and although I do not speak Sparrowish fluently, I knew the little fellows were cussing like sailors that, at least for a while, they will have to find another sleep-tree.
Which is why - to make up for -, immediately after my outrage, on the other side of Seanhenge I planted ...

... voilà: Seanwood Forest.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bach in the Air

Regular readers might think "Why does he post the same piece twice?"
Well, is it the same?
Enjoy, and judge yourself.

Quasi a postscriptum: What a surprise, this morning to find Bertus' comment. Coincidence? I (had) saved Ton Koopman and The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra for tonight - as a crowning finale on Bach's 325th birthday - for almost exactly the same reasons as Bertus' described, what I could, however, never ever have explained so well. Perhaps I'd been a bit more lenient with La Mutter. Nevertheless, I do see Bertus' point, and: I do agree - the more when putting on my sarcasm hat.

(Snow-) Shovelling's End

... but one tiny flake of snow.

And a historical treat ...

... on Johann Sebastian Bach's 325th birthday: The wonderful Pau (Pablo) Casals in 1954.

On Bach's 325th

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Asking the mirror, Yoda replied

The other morning I asked:
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who in the land is fairest of all?"

Spake Yoda:
"When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

And? Did those born after change anything?

Below the video you find the text, both in German (in case you wish to follow Bertold Brecht's reading), and in English.

An die Nachgeborenen


Wirklich, ich lebe in finsteren Zeiten!
Das arglose Wort ist töricht. Eine glatte Stirn
Deutet auf Unempfindlichkeit hin. Der Lachende
Hat die furchtbare Nachricht
Nur noch nicht empfangen.

Was sind das für Zeiten, wo
Ein Gespräch über Bäume fast ein Verbrechen ist
Weil es ein Schweigen über so viele Untaten einschließt!
Der dort ruhig über die Straße geht
Ist wohl nicht mehr erreichbar für seine Freunde
Die in Not sind?

Es ist wahr: Ich verdiene noch meinen Unterhalt
Aber glaubt mir: das ist nur ein Zufall. Nichts
Von dem, was ich tue, berechtigt mich dazu, mich sattzuessen.
Zufällig bin ich verschont. (Wenn mein Glück aussetzt, bin ich verloren.)

Man sagt mir: Iß und trink du! Sei froh, daß du hast!
Aber wie kann ich essen und trinken, wenn
Ich dem Hungernden entreiße, was ich esse, und
Mein Glas Wasser einem Verdurstenden fehlt?
Und doch esse und trinke ich.

Ich wäre gerne auch weise.
In den alten Büchern steht, was weise ist:
Sich aus dem Streit der Welt halten und die kurze Zeit
Ohne Furcht verbringen
Auch ohne Gewalt auskommen
Böses mit Gutem vergelten
Seine Wünsche nicht erfüllen, sondern vergessen
Gilt für weise.
Alles das kann ich nicht:
Wirklich, ich lebe in finsteren Zeiten!


In die Städte kam ich zur Zeit der Unordnung
Als da Hunger herrschte.
Unter die Menschen kam ich zu der Zeit des Aufruhrs
Und ich empörte mich mit ihnen.
So verging meine Zeit
Die auf Erden mir gegeben war.

Mein Essen aß ich zwischen den Schlachten
Schlafen legte ich mich unter die Mörder
Der Liebe pflegte ich achtlos
Und die Natur sah ich ohne Geduld.
So verging meine Zeit
Die auf Erden mir gegeben war.

Die Straßen führten in den Sumpf zu meiner Zeit.
Die Sprache verriet mich dem Schlächter.
Ich vermochte nur wenig. Aber die Herrschenden
Saßen ohne mich sicherer, das hoffte ich.
So verging meine Zeit
Die auf Erden mir gegeben war.

Die Kräfte waren gering. Das Ziel
Lag in großer Ferne
Es war deutlich sichtbar, wenn auch für mich
Kaum zu erreichen.
So verging meine Zeit
Die auf Erden mir gegeben war.


Ihr, die ihr auftauchen werdet aus der Flut
In der wir untergegangen sind
Wenn ihr von unseren Schwächen sprecht
Auch der finsteren Zeit
Der ihr entronnen seid.

Gingen wir doch, öfter als die Schuhe die Länder wechselnd
Durch die Kriege der Klassen, verzweifelt
Wenn da nur Unrecht war und keine Empörung.

Dabei wissen wir doch:
Auch der Hass gegen die Niedrigkeit
Verzerrt die Züge.
Auch der Zorn über das Unrecht
Macht die Stimme heiser. Ach, wir
Die wir den Boden bereiten wollten für Freundlichkeit
Konnten selber nicht freundlich sein.

Ihr aber, wenn es soweit sein wird
Dass der Mensch dem Menschen ein Helfer ist
Gedenkt unsrer
Mit Nachsicht.

To Those Born After


Truly, I live in dark times!
An artless word is foolish. A smooth forehead
Points to insensitivity. He who laughs
Has not yet received
The terrible news.

What times are these, in which
A conversation about trees is almost a crime
For in doing so we maintain our silence about so much wrongdoing!
And he who walks quietly across the street,
Passes out of the reach of his friends
Who are in danger?

It is true: I work for a living
But, believe me, that is a coincidence. Nothing
That I do gives me the right to eat my fill.
By chance I have been spared. (If my luck does not hold, I am lost.)

They tell me: eat and drink. Be glad to be among the haves!
But how can I eat and drink
When I take what I eat from the starving
And those who thirst do not have my glass of water?
And yet I eat and drink.

I would happily be wise.
The old books teach us what wisdom is:
To retreat from the strife of the world
To live out the brief time that is your lot
Without fear
To make your way without violence
To repay evil with good –
The wise do not seek to satisfy their desires,
But to forget them.
But I cannot heed this:
Truly I live in dark times!


I came into the cities in a time of disorder
As hunger reigned.
I came among men in a time of turmoil
And I rose up with them.
And so passed
The time given to me on earth.

I ate my food between slaughters.
I laid down to sleep among murderers.
I tended to love with abandon.
I looked upon nature with impatience.
And so passed
The time given to me on earth.

In my time streets led into a swamp.
My language betrayed me to the slaughterer.
There was little I could do. But without me
The rulers sat more securely, or so I hoped.
And so passed
The time given to me on earth.

The powers were so limited. The goal
Lay far in the distance
It could clearly be seen although even I
Could hardly hope to reach it.
And so passed
The time given to me on earth.


You, who shall resurface following the flood
In which we have perished,
Contemplate –
When you speak of our weaknesses,
Also the dark time
That you have escaped.

For we went forth, changing our country more frequently than our shoes
Through the class warfare, despairing
That there was only injustice and no outrage.

And yet we knew:
Even the hatred of squalor
Distorts one’s features.
Even anger against injustice
Makes the voice grow hoarse. We
Who wished to lay the foundation for gentleness
Could not ourselves be gentle.

But you, when at last the time comes
That man can aid his fellow man,
Should think upon us
With leniency.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another 1500 years?

Oh dear! One could, indeed, come to think that Omnium, - i.e. everything (essential) - has been posted (just check the label), and thus after almost three years it's time to break the habit's paralysing stances; and if it were to prove that not only each beginning bears a special magic, but also each ending.

Anyway, another March 17th, and
once again quite a few Irish - yes, yes, and folks of other provenance - will keep the landlords busy, celebrating ... what?
And why?!

Alright, let's take for granted, a certain Patrick expelled all snakes from Hiberna.

And what's the outcome?

Since the Emerald Island is swarming with priests.

A reason to celebrate?

After all, the majority of the Irish people seem to be happy with the outcome of this wondrous metamorphosis.

Oh well, who knows what they would get, did they banish all bishops, monks, priests and nuns.

They might for the next 1,500 years or so be ruled by paederasts.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Death still a master from Germany II

Germany doubled the amount of its arms it sold abroad in 2004-2009, compared to that exported during the previous five-year period, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released Monday.

Germany is the world's third leading exporter of conventional weaponry.
Full article here.
Well, so much for the chronicler's duty.

The rest has already been posted on this blog.
I do recommend following the offered links, in case you are interested and willing to take the time and read this.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sometimes it's nice to imagine hell exists

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those
who in times of great moral crisis

maintain their neutrality.
Dante Alighieri

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hypatia and Medine

So-called International or World Days of whatsoever leave me cold.
Day of the book for me is on 365 days, and on 366 days in leap-years. Same goes for water, bread, animals, human rights etc. etc..

Thus it will not come as a surprise that the International Women's Day for me neither is anything special.

Do I hear anyone hissing "Damn macho!"?

Sshhh sshhhh ... :)

Anyway, Welshcakes over at Sicily Scene last Monday posted such a wonderful homage to a remarkable Italian woman (oh, just don't be too lazy to drop over; I am quite sure you will not regret) that I started to think about what woman in history I'd like to praise with an homage. Well, actually I did not have to think twice.

Thus, I checked the internet, ... and got delighted: Not only that I found a nicely done video about my heroine, but there got some other admirable women mentioned.

Just to make sure: To be admired (by me), a woman does not need to be scientist or famous for this and that. I have met and do meet many women who will never be mentioned in a history book, and still are lovely, remarkable, do admirable things. And some I know who are able to put better within one or two sentences what I would perhaps not be able to explain in 50.

And what is about the second name mentioned in your title? you might ask.

Well, yes, Medine.
Medine is not famous. And the sad realist in myself is sure she will not be mentioned in history books.
You see, Medine's no scientist, no artist, no philosopher. I don't know if she was a passionate reader; if she wrote poems. I don't even know if she was able to read, properly, ... if she was given the chance, if she got encouraged to discover the realm of the letters, numbers and symbols, supported to develop her talents.

And still I do wish that once she will be mentioned in history books!

Men who from generation to generation had been taught to believe (sic!), that - (perhaps) except of one's mother - girls and women are less worth, and that "a man who does not beat his wife is no man", suddenly perceived that it is of great advantage to have an excellently learned and educated daughter, to marry an excellently learned and educated wife, to get an excellently learned and educated daughter-in-law, as she will be able to excellently - with love and knowledge - support ... their son, their grandson to become an excellently learned and educated human being.

Medine will not have a son.
I'd like so much to know more about Medine.
Unfortunately, I do not know much more about her than that she's 16 and, that it's said she sometimes talked to boys, that complaining violence against her mother and herself she asked policemen for help and shortly afterwards disappeared - buried alive by her father and grandfather.

The peace of the night.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Whom the (snow-)bells toll

Well, actually I intended just to title '... and some more', but would first time visitors have known I were refering to the previous post? [Ha ha, no link here!]
After all, one does not need to be arrogant to not expect too much from the average 'stumblers upon', hm? :)

Anyway, why Whom the (snow-)bells toll?
Nah :), not primarily as this would offer the opportunity to mention en passant, that about thirty years ago colleagues used to call me Hemingway, but because Schneeglöckchen translated in English are not snowdrops but snowbells.

Ahem ... end of the beforegoing.

It's often said that nature is 'magical'. A few people in Haiti, Chile and Turkey, to name but a few countries, would perhaps / probably not wholeheartedly agree these days, especially not those who are dead; well, and those who had / have to learn that what humans use to call natural desaster (or so) does not necessarily increase fellow sufferers' ethic standards.
Oh, by the way, did you hear, watch anything about Haiti during the past fortnight?
Nothing? Ah, I am so glad! Isn't this global solidarity wonderful a thing? Some benefit galas, and before you could say f.e. religion or helpfulness, all Haitians got a new roof over their heads, enough to drink and eat; hospitals, schools, ah ... the whole infrastructure was renewed.
Isn't it a pity that good news are (considered to be) no news?
Still, isn't it wonderful to live in these times? In times when no wo/man feels so desperate to fall on her/his knees and cry "Oh, please, God, help me!", as there's always a fellow human not only willing to be g(o)od but really does help?
Brave new world!

End of the beforegoing.

What you are witnessing, in case you did not a while ago surf on to the next world-shattering important blogger(s) is, what a tiny step it is from taciturnity to logorrhoea as, of course, I could just have written:

This was what I saw on Saturday.

This was what I saw on Sunday.

And this when looking a bit closer.

Apropos, looking closer. Just thinking of everything's fine by now in Haiti, Chile, Turkey .... ah, and, of course, in China's democracy, I am. Liu Xiabo is free!! And so is Hu Jia. No priest or imam letting a little boy suck their holy pricks, no freedom fighter in Kongo or elsewhere raping a girl or woman together with his fellow heroes, and when after some seconds his manhood's getting limp, letting do his bajonet - oh, well or a fucking wooden stick - the rest to increase the woman's delight; Mr. Obama has declared Order 81 null and void, and consequently the Masters of Monsanto became bio famers; in Nigeria ... ...

... ah! Stop! This could have become such a lovely little post!! Lovely little flowers in snow. How cute! Harbingers of spring. Now, isn't there still hope?! I mean, it does not happen often that seasons change, does it? It's really surprising.

Forget it!

Rather than going on boring you, I quit and go on writing three or four pages more of what's going to become another glorious novel that will shatter the world ... not.
Who cares?! As long as readers shovel money upon me. I consider it better than shovelling snow, anyway.

Even better than wasting your time.

The peace of the night.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tiny harbinger

On first sight there's nothing special,
when last Sunday I went to feed the birds.

Snow, birds- and cat tracks, some scrubs.
However, what a delight ...

... on second sight.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tracks getting less deep

Comparing the tracks one could find in Seanhenge

during January,

those in March are less deep.
So there's hope ...

the snow shovel can soon be put asleep.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Secret of Kiltish Powers

The "second sight" possessed by the Highlanders in Scotland is actually a foreknowledge of future events. I believe they possess this gift because they don't wear trousers.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

Cyclone Xynthia as terrific goalgetter

There will very probably be a replay. As the ref's decision ought to have been: corner.

Well, on the other hand, what do I know about football? :)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Suppose I should stick to silently writing

To think
I must be alone:
To love
We must be together.

I think I love you
When I'm alone
More than I think of you
When we're together.

I cannot think
Without loving
Or love
Without thinking

Alone I love
To think of us together
Together I think
I'd love to be alone.

Richard Murphy