Last week, one of the amalgam of Andys who make my Facebook page such a pleasure to visit (see last week’s post) put up a post “listing 15 movies that will always stay with me, and tagging the shit out of 15 people to do the same.”
[Are you the sort of saddo who makes top five lists? Are you the type of cool guy who doesn’t make top five lists? Sign up for more personal apoplectic.me tiny letter distributions here.] Continue reading Why Fidelity?→
Long-time readers of the blog may remember the meditative trilogy of posts (1, 2, 3) from this past summer, sparked by Alan Spence’s imagining of the life of the Zen Master Hakuin in his novel Night Boat. Others of you may recall my more recent discussion of empathetic imagination. This week, those threads resurfaced and wove themselves into this post.
In the aftermath of my stroke (remember that?), I’ve found myself increasingly wedded to a positive outlook on the world. I suppose that’s a natural result of a near-death experience. By that, of course, I mean the experience of nearly dying rather than an umbrella term under which Ian Wiki groups “detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light.”
[Another music-based post today. I’d suggest you soundtrack it by listening to Time Is Falling, the EP by friend of the blog Josh and his bandmates in Attics. Even though it’s fab, you can stream it and download it for free!]
Welcome, friends, to part two of Stroke Bloke’s reflections on some personally meaningful songs. (Part one is here.) This time, I’m going to lift the restriction limiting our choons to Scottish numbers, for reasons that will become evident. (Although, I’d love to include these folks: http://www.edinburghartfestival.com/commissions/complaintschoir.)
Regular readers may be aware that I often refer to my stroke and its aftermath as “StrokeFest 2012”. Now, notwithstanding the title above, let me assure you that I have no intention of repeating this as an annual event. In fact, my doctors have advised me that this would be a terrible idea. But “StrokeFest” does seem an appropriate descriptor. There were tears, laughter, love, and death-defying feats.
They say catastrophes come in threes. Today, the cistern went berserk and flooded the bathroom, the printer refused to print text (although images were fine), and the portable heater that was meant to dry out the bathroom took a stroke. Also, The Care Bears Movie, Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation and The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland.
My editor, lover, lifesaver and cat-claw-clipper noted that Monday’s post was particularly dense. I chose to interpret this as a mostly good thing, and this turned out to be the correct call when she added that it probably contained enough material for a couple of weeks’ worth of posts.
Fortunately, there’s a lot going on in the world, of strokey and not-so-strokey natures. From my introduction to Vilayanur S. Ramachandran’s Phantoms In The Brain to the ongoing NSA surveillance revelations (and how Wang Dong will react); from how non-invasive brain stimulation is being used to help patients with walking impairments to the maleficent spread of the craft beer plague around the world.
Last week’s posts were very fin de siecle, non? Many thanks to everyone who commented or dropped an e-mail. Some interesting themes emerged in the discussion. Paul referred me to an Ira Glass quotation.