This world is so wide that, even if you flitted around and around it, you would never reach the end of it. This blog is a collage of more or less literary and humorous, outlandish or sometimes even serious glimpses at this great wide world.
Like a trapeze artist without a backup net, I dared to break off a relationship with a woman who was in love with me (at least she told me so, and it looked like it to me). Why? I did not love her the same way. I was in love with her briefly, but the initial infatuation faded within a few weeks, to be replaced by thoughts of the woman I was really in love with, had loved for close to a year and had attempted to forget by starting a relationship with another.
Alas, my beloved one told me in very clear words that she did not reciprocate (on one occasion) and that she saw no future for us (on another occasion).
Still, I dared to follow my heart and received, in the course of this year, ups and downs galore, a few days of happiness with my beloved and other days of piercing pain.
All in all I often feel like I'm living in two worlds (similar to J. Nash in A Beautiful Mind) that are both cohesive in themselves ... but of which only one is real. Yes, you guessed it, it's the one with the piercing pain.
Hopefully it's all good for something. Some learning experience perhaps.
Daring or idiocy? That is the question.
- Leonard "Truth or Dare" Blumfeld
Written upon inspiration by Sunday Scribblings. Many of the ups and downs mentioned are recorded in this blog in more or less subtly encrypted form.
"Something grave happened today!"
"What do you mean?"
"Your lithe body is no longer lithe. Did someone offend you? Did I offend you?"
She cried on my shoulder.
"You would never offend me. You couldn't possibly."
"You never know. – But tell me what happened."
"It's silly. I'm sure I'm exaggerating. Except that I can't help but feeling down like this."
"My daughter loathes me, and I got my income tax statement back today. I owe them money and I don't have any! How can this be?"
"Now, now. We'll look at this one at a time. First off, why do you think your daughter loathes you?"
She told me about both troubles, and some of her litheness returned as she was doing so and we were thinking of ways for her to come out of the fog – familial and financial.
Posted as an entry for Sunday Scribblings' Weird. What's the connection – what does this fibonacci have to do with weirdness? Well, it's about the weird game of perceived true love, perceived self-deception, renewed hope, renewed attraction, inability to let go I've been playing with and against myself for close to two years now. What stamina! That is weird, isn't it?
Oh what a nuisance leaves can be. Even though they're pretty the way they've turned yellow and brown. Especially on a dry, surpringly warm Saturday in latish November. But they also get soaked and ground-sticky and broom-resistant. Razor-edge-of-time experience reported here. Yes, this weekend it's my turn to clean the common areas of the building. I've only done the outside part of it, and now have to leave because I'm going to a friend's open studio show in Ludwigsburg. There's always tomorrow for the rest, right? Right.
Looks like the downward half of the sinusoidal curve is here again. Friendly, noncommittal treatment. Turndowns I find offensive because they go overboard in being turndowns. Like this: "Would you like half of one of these?" "No, I don't like chocolate crescents." "I normally don't like them much, either. But they looked so cute with the chocolate stripes on top I couldn't resist." "Without the chocolate stripes I would have liked them." Get the point?
She says, looking him in the eyes unflinchingly: Why do you call me your nightmare incubate? Is it to tickle your vanity? You used to think of me so differently, said you loved me, only me. Told me I was so beautiful that simply looking at me took you to a different world. Now, tell me, where did all that go? How did I become your nightmare incubate?
- Leonard "It's All Vanity" Blumfeld
Written using incubate, nightmare and vanity from 3WW.
This week, Inspire Me Thursday suggested taking Ingres' painting Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière and going to work on it. Which is exactly what I did, doing some digital magic involving a photo of yours truly.
Oh no - it's been weeks since my last appearance here.
What have I been doing?
Let's see - there was an Indian event here in Stuttgart, for which I organized some of the music (Subroto Roy Chowdhury on sitar, accompanied by Sanjib Pal). There was a trip to Munich to see my daughter before the end of her semester break. We dived into the art world by visiting an exhibition of Pakistani sufi posters and the gigantic Alfons Mucha show (art nouveau), which included some of his well-known posters but other works as well, including some bombastic Pan-slavic megalomania paintings.
My love life's been on the rocks and mostly in the dumps.
Strangely enough, I can't seem to enjoy life when I do not allow myself to be in love (and yes, with that one particular woman I've been writing for, to and about for the last year and a half).
She stub- bornly refuses to become my next relationship experiment.
- Leonard "Truly Loves Her" Blumfeld
Personal note: Mind-wrote this while taking a shower, went out to have dinner, returned, and it was still on my mind. So I simply had to write it down and publish it!
This also marks my first return to the fibonacci in quite a while.
What a beautiful late August day - not hot, but warm and sunny. The trees, chestnuts are first, are beginning to shed their leaves, and there's that crisp breath of fall in the air. I could stay with this season for a long time; it's my favorite.
Is this poem autobiographical? you might ask. Well, yes and no. Looking at myself and my failed relationships of the last seven years with some cynicism, this is definitely deserved. But then again - I never had even the slightest bad intention... Perhaps I should not be so harsh on myself.
Do I love her as truly as I profess? By my standards I do, perhaps even by fairly elevated standards. Will it last? That I don't know. But it has for a year and a half.
Had a weird dream last night...
It all started out with me having to wait (for whom or what I do not remember) in a busy pedestrian zone. But lo and behold I had all the facilities with me to set up my laptop and watch a Bollywood movie. So I watched it for a while, moving my pedestrian zone cinema substitute one time when I realized I was in the way. Other than that nobody paid much attention. Until a woman I recognized as a neighbor walked by, started talking to me and proposed moving the installation to her place. Which I did. Sooner rather than later we found ourselves kissing, then moving to her bedroom for more. Oh, I forgot that she also had a baby, possibly three months old, and an older companion, around 60. I originally thought they were sisters. Just as we were in bed, without many stitches on as I seem to recall, her whole family walked in. I felt embarrassed, but she didn't seem to mind all these people milling around us. She and they went to another room. Only one of the relatives remained with me, an older guy, a freckly redhead. He asked me how I felt? I mumbled something about odd, awkward, embarrassed, etc. He said he understood. In the closing scene, I, once again fully dressed, entered the other room, where my lady was in bed with her companion and the baby, surrounded by everyone else. Everybody was at ease and chatting away. The last thought I remember is that I felt uneasy because I still did not understand the relationships among all these people. But they seemed to accept my presence all right – as whatever. Or did they simply not notice me?
1. Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (1194-1250), to ask him what the mysterious Castel del Monte was all about, question him about his irreverent religious beliefs and many other things. 2. Saint Francis of Assisi, who lived at about the same time (1181-1226). I assume he did not appreciate Frederick very much (and vice-versa perhaps), but it might be fun having these two facing each other at the table. 3. Plato (428 BC-347 BC), to ask him what he really knew about Atlantis. 4. Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), just to have her back for a while. 5. Frank O’Hara (1926-1966). He, Sylvia, Plato and I could talk poetry, for example. I would imagine Frank to be the cheerful soul of the evening. 6. Kamala Das (1934-2009), to have somebody outspoken from another continent. 7. Léo Ferré (1916-1993), another one unlikely to bite his tongue. 8. I myself, meek and mild, trying to balance the mixture of egos big and small around the dinner table.
I might do the cooking myself – a 5-course south Indian meal, for example, to have these older folks taste something different. I’d serve the best of drinks – Italian table water, red and white wines from Germany, Italy and France, and Calva as a digestif. Should make for an interesting and amusing evening.
– Len “He Loves His Food” Blumfeld
* upon instigation by Sunday Scribblings (task description: Do you ever play the game where you decide who you would invite to your fantasy dinner party?
The rules are: - you can invite anyone, living or dead - you have a table that seats eight, but as you are one, you can invite seven people - you have to explain why you'd invite them
And for bonus points: - what would you serve them for dinner?)
I’m at a curious stage now, where there’s a lull induced by a two-week vacation. Everything’s on hold, sort of, and, apart from a framework of some planned work and engagements, I do not know what will happen afterwards regarding a certain person. Make that two. Nothing might happen. Things might go on as suspended and stop-and-go as they have been. “Keep on patiently, like you have been,” the Italian tarot lady said, “trust your feeling and do not listen to anyone else.” So I keep it up, more or less, wavering, just like anybody else, between hope and disillusionment. Some sort of cipation. Not quite anti.
How's your personal weather today? I'm a bit under the weather. Quite a bit under the weather, actually. So what happened to cloud your skies? There's an uncomfortable draft in my face, but also some stillness that isolates me. Oh my! Whereabouts are you? Stuck in the desert of my own mind and feelings as usual.
And they said to each other, "We need glasses so we can see. Because, as it is now, we have no vision." And one of them continued, "We have been self-indulgent way too long. This has got to stop." But where to go in this land without opticians, and how to slim down on indulgence?
PN: Thanks for the opportunity to interview you, Mr. B. LB: Call me Len, please. PN: Mr. B., you told us that you have a history of being invisible... LB: Yes, that happens sometimes. PN: What happens exactly? LB: I'm among people and say something, and it's as if I wasn't even there, or in a different time slot. PN: That sounds quite speculative. What about the other people – do you see them? LB: Yes, they seem quite normal to me. PN: And you consider yourself the abnormal one? LB: Yes. PN: Like you're not fit to be around the human race? LB: Yes. PN: Has it occurred to you that you might be an alien? LB: Alien, yes, but not an alien. PN: ... LB: You were saying? PN: ... LB: Yes? PN: Mr. Blumfeld, where are you? Are you there? Hello? LB: (can obviously no longer be seen or heard) PN: This, dear audience, was the interview with Leonard Blumfeld – a man who said he had illusions of invisibility and who indeed has become invisible.
Has that ever happened to you? You were paddling along just fine downriver, with one useful but unloved paddle in one hand and about half of another paddle somewhere in between hand and bush, when that unloved paddle became too unloved and the longing for the half-paddle became more important? Eventually, you got disgruntled enough to discard the unloved albeit useful paddle, suddenly found yourself going upriver, and the half-paddle turned out to be entirely elusive? OK, so I'm talking in riddles here, but the situation is pretty clear: up shit creek without a paddle. Scared shitless and almost willing to turn around again to grasp for what might remain of the unloved paddle...
“It was such a dreary day. You looked just as dreary.” “And that’s why you embraced me? Even though you know I have no tolerance for embraces!” “Oh, knock off that intolerance crap! You’re just timid, and that human touch created turmoil such as you’ve never felt before.” “Next thing you’re going to tell me that I love you!” “Precisely that, you timid fool.”
Written for One Single Impression’s dropped and for Totally Optional Prompts’ song lyrics. Alludes, of course, to the Ella Fitzgerald ditty from 1938 which, in turn, alluded to a much older American nursery rhyme.
These emotional ups and downs versus one particular person seem to have some regularity. Intensity and certainty are inevitably followed by increasing uncertainty and doubt ... and then reverse certainty (that it's all artificial heat-up and all too welcome misunderstanding of signals on my part). But ... there were smiles from her yesterday even though cold had seeped into my emotional feet.
A digitally processed gouache sketch from 2003. Since the original was mostly green, my initial intention was to use it for the previous green topic. But the scan struck me as boring. While playing around with the tools of digital editing, I arrived at this version, which shows what I'd call a dynamic push. The massive, bulldog-like body on the right – itself receiving a push from the right – is going to collide with the spiky* body on the left. The resulting crash should be interesting... Now for Inspire Me Thursday's Push.
The current situation in this office is as dubious as ever. Should I stay or should I go? Will I be able to come here much longer or will I be told soon that there no longer is enough work? Why can't I simply take things as they are "right now", like the pigeons out there on the red tile roof next to the satellite dishes? Hell, they're not even aware of them being satellite dishes. The notion of pigeons watching tv and complaining about a shortage of channels suitable for pigeons. What would they feature? Lots of cooing, lots of diet-related stuff, e.g. best ways to capture worms and edible garbage left on the ground. Reports on enemies. Involuntary sterilisation issues, the trouble with clay eggs that won't hatch. But I digress...
Note I wrote the poem from memory, i.e. from the memory of looking down onto the green hillscape from the elevated city park in Locorotondo, and had in mind numerous trees in white blossom among the scattered trulli (cute dwellings with cone-shaped roofs typical of that area of southern Italy – see picture below). When I went back to compare with the pictures I'd taken, there were hardly any trees in white blossom. However, there were plenty of such trees in other parts of the area I'd passed through. Memory can be a treacherous thing!
It's stuffy and hot in here. The outside world still can't quite admit that winter is over. There were occasional snow flurries this moring. Some stubborn trees are holding on to brown leaves. Two Russians are in the office today, but there's no Iron Curtain whatsoever. Apparently, all of Russia laughed about Mrs. Clinton's emergency stop switch present. Need to get on with work, but had to blog off some boredom.*
– Yours truly, L.B.
* 'Boredom' is, of course, a word that's not allowed around here. Problems aren't allowed, either. Only challenges and solutions. What shall we call boredom then? 'Slight momentary lull in the general scheme of challenge'?
Written from someone else’s point of view around cajole, recluse and temper from 3WW. It’s all Indian today, after a Holi festival last night with Bharatanatyam dances and Bollywood film karaoke, plus immersing myself into a few poems by Rabindranath Tagore this morning. No wonder then that this is by some poor woman whose husband has got it into his brain that he needs to sit under a big old tree, grow his beard and become enlightened.
Over by the wildwood, in the hot summer night, We lay in the tall grass, til the mornin' light come shining
If I had my way I'd never get the urge to roam. But sometimes I serve my country, sometimes I stay at home.
Just don't put me in the frame upon the mantel Where memories grow dusty old and grey. Don't leave me alone in the twilight. Twilight is the loneliest time of day.
And I never gave it a second thought, it never crossed my mind What's right and what's not. I'm not the judgin' kind. But I would steal your darkness and the storms from your skies. We’ve all got certain trials burnin' up inside. Don't send me no distant salutations. Or silly souvenirs from far away. Don't leave me alone in the twilight. Twilight is the loneliest time a day.
And don't put me in the frame upon the mantel. Where memories turn dusty old and grey. Don't leave me alone in the twilight. Twilight is the loneliest time a day.
I sing along with her and am happy to be in tune sometimes and notice it.
– Leonard Blumfeld
Note Parveen Sultana, born in Assam in 1950, is one of the great current singers of India. Her voice spans umpteen octaves, making it difficult for normal untrained mortals like yours truly to even attempt to sing along.
Here's a not so serious sample – Parveen Sultana's contribution to the movie Kudrat from 1981:
I’m trying to imagine what would happen if tomorrow I boarded the train that takes you to work, sat down on the hopefully empty seat next to yours, placed – among all the people that might be watching your uneasy surprise and my jolly trespassing – the letter in your hands – the letter written to me in your words and with your name signed, the letter that tells it through you as I see it: your denial to acknowledge any feeling for me, the explanation of those glances, the happiness you felt in those moments spent together when we were in perfect tune, the glow on your face and in your eyes, the gleeful exchange of easy banter, the absorption that made us forget the world around. Would you wash your hands of all this, laugh it off as all in my imagination and send me off, once again, coolly, with some pedestrian greeting? Or would you admit that you’ve been lying all along – for whatever rational logic?
But perhaps it’s better to leave everything as it is – suppressed, puzzling, frustrating, ignored, lopsided.
I could be wrong.
The task from Café Writing was to pick at least three of the following words and build a piece of writing around them.
I chose all the words: greeting, hands, imagine, leave, letter, people, train, trespassing, washing.
This disarrayed* rabble** has nearly invalidated every human array I ever believed in.
* So in disarray with the actual needs of mankind and this planet. ** A reference to those who would probably rather think themselves to be the very crown of the crown of creation, or at least of financial cleverness.
– Leonard Blumfeld
Written using disarray, rabble and validate from 3WW CXXIV.
What am I go- ing to do about my stubby admirer? He keeps coming back.
– Anonymous, dates from ca. 800 A.D.
Translated from Sanskrit by L. Blumfeld. Goes to show that the ancient Indians, who were incidentally the ones that invented the so-called Arabic numerals, had already mastered the form of fibonacci poetry.