Sunday, May 25, 2008

Logic Dies, I am Sorry

Caught in mid-sentence, the Distinguished Gentleman, while speaking and also fumbling through his notes, was taken by surprise by a deep bass rumble. It was a rolling sound, one that seemed to approach, yet whose volume remained steady.

He did not stop to ponder whether the audience of 50 to which he was lecturing heard what he did. It was quite clear to him that they did not. He did, however, wonder what the rumbling would translate to in their world. He was now aware that the noise suggested a great degree of speed, as if its sole purpose were to engulf and consume.

A young woman stood up to ask a question. Actually, she had been standing there from the second the noise had interrupted his train of thought. He now mechanically asked her to voice her concern, and it seemed to the audience that the pause in his speech was normal, that nothing out of the ordinary was occurring.

As she spoke, the way the slight breeze in the stadium brushed through her hair - and swept it ever so slightly - made an impression on him that swallowed his conscious attention whole. Now, from far, far away, he heard himself replying to her question with great ease; he was speaking calmly and fluidly and while he watched his hands gesticulating animatedly, he continued probing his inner reaction to the movement of her hair, an event so commonplace and familiar that it scarcely should have been noticed.

The rumble was approaching. Now, he could sense it as a sphere of noise, which seemed to put forth some kind of light. It was indeed getting louder, but he certainly was not frightened by its intruding presence. In fact, instinctively he welcomed it. He knew it will consume him but he longed for it nevertheless.

While conversing back and forth with the young woman, he had taken off his spectacles. His pen fell to the floor and suddenly the sphere exploded into the room. His notes flew off his desk; the young woman had walked toward him and picked them up. She wanted to explain that he had contradicted himself while lecturing and she was searching for the old notes that would prove her point. As she stood there accusing him, he became enamored by the energy she exuded and distributed throughout his many worlds, like flooding water that spread throughout a sinking ship. He was ready to put his life to rest. And thusly, the sphere blew him into a form of dissipation. "Ah, yes. Thank you," he said, and the young woman returned to her desk, relieved that he had finally agreed with her about his contradiction.

Now that everything was calm once again, he stood in his place for a minute, silenced by the storm. After a long and slow sigh, he forced himself to reassemble his entire being into that point of focus so carelessly called "a lecture". Fully conscious at last, he opened his mouth to speak: "I..." and there was a sudden loud rap that came from the back of the stadium. Each and every student quickly turned around in their desks and the sound of their whispering grew louder and louder until the room overflowed with the clamor of their voices. The words he had attempted to speak were "I have nothing more to say".

And, from the back of the stadium, a figure emerged from the darkness to approach the students.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Contemplating Enigma - Part IV

A green sky was the backdrop to a darkened landscape. The old man bent ever closer towards my face. His features were rounded, his head like a globe. Tiny discs of milky azure were his eyes: the corridors to infinity.

"There are no ancient scripts," he whispered to me with a strong sense of urgency.

Then, the return to silence, save for the fire crackling in the background, feeding itself strong throughout the night.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Repellent (Contemplating Enigma - Part III)

On the wall, a painting, a very large painting. Standing before it is a man dressed in tight black clothing, his arms folded, clasped hard, the muscles bulging in an exaggerated manner. One would naturally think that he is the guard of the painting. Yet, his body is tilted significantly to the right, and stands thus unmoving, suggesting a large degree of stamina and purpose.

It is a wonder whether the light hanging from the gallery's ceiling - with a brightness that seems to fade in and out, but this is uncertain - is also a necessary part of the artist's vision, for the shadow of the man cast by the light is far more alive, far more expressive, and far more vibrant than he. The shadow flickers behind his unmoving back. And this flickering is in unison with the letters that strobe on and off in the painting.

One feels inclined to come closer, and, despite a growing sense of embarrassment, so that one almost begins to flush, one feels almost drawn forward by the unyielding hands of fate to ask the man the ever tired old question: "What does the painting say?"

And upon finally fixing one's gaze upon the man's face, one finds the pupils missing, replaced by the picturesque scene of a blue sky with white clouds, inviting one to travel deep into that open sky upon realizing that this is the centerpiece of the artist's work. But, then...and then instantly, the inevitable deep and fierce growl of the man bellows forth: "It says nothing!" - like a slingshot that snaps one back home.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Contemplating Enigma - Part II

I was threading my way through my backdoor neighborhood. I reached the edge of a large park whose trees stood tall and dark, as if to refute my entry. I walked along the row of houses and came upon a fenced area where there was nothing but shrubs and grass. And as I looked through the barbed wires, a question surfaced in my head on its own, and not without some force: "What is the language that you speak?"

(Never mind that I was dancing.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Transformative Music - Appreciating the Indecipherable

In my music, I sometimes add the sound of someone speaking with the intention that the words are indecipherable. Thus, I use samples of people speaking, if not in a muffled tone, then in a foreign tongue. Those listeners who happen to speak that tongue are out of luck. For, to be spoken to while there lies no hope of understanding the intended message can feel as if the realm of the mysterious were knocking on one's door.

I here present a small collection of my music that utilizes this technique to provide the effect of mystery.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Diminution of Suffering in the Face of Infinity

My vacation in Beirut, Lebanon, ended just a few days before a wave of violence hit the streets last week, forcing the airport to close and killing or wounding hundreds.

Since the two opposing factions have little common ground upon which to agree, it was certainly plausible that the country would plunge back into a long civil war. There is no greater fear for the Lebanese people than for Lebanon to become a blood bath like Iraq, with suicide bombers blowing up at random targets and claiming innocent lives. Already, the terrorism related websites were urging the killing to transfer to Lebanon but a few days into the fighting last week.

My own concern over my loved ones in Lebanon gradually grew over the days, especially since many of them work in the line of journalism, which forces them at times to follow the action rather than to hide from it. The worry ate at my being and I slowly saw my integrity slip, my spirits sink, the world growing black all around me. A veritable black hole of existence is the result of war. It is a traumatic shredding of the very fabric of one's being.

As I saw myself falling I made a resolution to put a stop to my fears and worry and to shift my state of mind to what Castaneda used to call the "Point of Indifference". In the past, this has been very helpful when I found myself apparently sinking to a place of no return. There is no easy way to do so, especially when one feels heavy and weak already.

I happen to believe in reincarnation and that we live on beyond physical death ad infinitum. My beliefs have been fairly strong since my teenage years when I was first waking up to my own maturity that I seemed to be born with.

I began to envision myself experiencing lifetime after lifetime after lifetime, and thus I began contemplating the breathless incomprehensibility of infinity. In comparison, this life of mine is nothing more than a blink of the eye. Were the worst to happen, it will only roll over with time...

With this meditation constantly in the back my mind, my spirits stopped sinking and I once more had a foothold on my bearing.