dimecres, d’agost 30, 2006

Reaching the Peak (English / Welsh)

Well, at times I have too much going on in this aging cerebrum to catch all the stimuli hurled at me.

So I did read what Nathaniel (you quixotically dear presence in my good port...) wrote when I was rambling on about my dead aunties. However, I missed something (one more admonition not to drink too much before blogging...) . This is what I missed:

"A metaphor I read last night: the peak of the mountain is simultaneously its perfection and the sign of its imminent decline."

Well, I won't really pretened to know why Nathaniel put this in his comment, perhaps he will tell me in a response to this one...

Ta waith, it got me to thinking, since soon, oh, within the next ten years or so, I will reach my own phsyical summit, and thence begin my decline. Probabilty, based on the current knowledge from the quacks, sawbones and witch doctors, tells me that I have not quite reached the halfway mark. My family is rather long lived, a couple notable exceptions notwithstanding. We lived long, fat, and happy (as happy as people from the oozing swamps of the Pocono Plateau can be, really). Chances are, I have many long years of suffering before me.

I remember when I walked with Lynn up yr Eifl on the Llŷn. She said, oh, well it will be a 30 minute hike. Three hours later, because she had chosen the wrong trail, we finally reached the summit. From there I could see where my own blood ancestors, and Mary's and Olwen's too, had watched as the silly, dark, little Romans scurried about for a few centuries, being ignored mostly except to trade. I could see way across Snowdonia, yr Eryri, deep into the heart, the cadarnle of Welsh speaking Wales, and beyond. I could see on the horizon, tiny dark mounds that were Ireland, 90 minutes away on a the highspeed Stena Line from Caergybi to Dun Laoghaire.

That mountain peak is still alive in my memory, the decline forever forestalled by the resplendant beauty of Wales, my Wales, my little blue-green heaven, below my own feet, reinforced by the conversation with the 20-something couple who acheived the summit of yr Eifl where, where the ancient hillfort of Tre'r Ceiri lies, a conversation automatically in Welsh about the beauty below us.

Mae'n hardd, 'tydy?
-ydy, 'wir.... 'Na'r olwg brydfertha' ym Mhen Llŷn!

Still, the walk back down was lovely as well, for the memory of the summit played in Lynn's and my mind, and the views down were so much more lovely than the steep, sheep manured inclines we encountered on our way up.

Still, I'm not sure where the summit of life is.

You know, when we were walking up that mountain, and we reached the moorlands laying covertly in a kind of cwm or bowl along one side of yr Eifl, just before, I said to myself, "Oh finally when we cross that last ridge we will be at the summit."

Then we crossed the ridge and a half mile of moorlands lay before us, with a gentle rise of a couple hundred feet, the ruined walls of ancient Tre'r Ceiri off in the distance, at that moment backgrounded by some mist off the sea that was slowly receding. My heart sank into my shorts. The hike heretofore had been too long, and now the goal plainly in sight, the very idea of continuing on to the ancient fortress was nearly too much.

Perhaps this is how life goes...

Perhaps, the obvious peak is not the moment of perfection. Perhaps the hike to the peak is potmarked by valleys and bowls not really planned for. Perhaps, when we finally get to what be believe to be the end, tired, bedraggled, shocked by those younger than we who get there the same time as we, and who moreoever agree with our evaluation of the view, the short trip down is not the so much the physical decline, but the reward. Surely the peak, physically, is not the end of the journey, and the glory of the journey is not merely the hike to the physical summit. On the way back down, when the hiking may be easier, even when the body is sore, the views are lovely and one has the luxury of enjoying the smaller details and the knowledge that rest is soon to be had.

It is then, maybe, that the real peak, the ultimate goal of the journey is the return to origin. It's a journey we are all taking. Even though the paths may be distinct, we all start, groso modo, in the same place, and we all end up in the same place. The real decline is not in the descent of the mountain, but that the moment when we reach once more the bottom where, due to circumstances beyond any real control, we part ways from the company, or at least the mountain, and contnue on into something else less well defined...

dimarts, d’agost 29, 2006

Breathe, one more breath (English)

Come on
Come on
just a little while longer
it shouldn't be long now
one more breath
then the next
ignore the off beats of your faltering heart
ignore the sobbing heaves of your chest
ignore the struggle between these sorry foes
one more breath
it won't be long now
and soon you will be free
let it die
let it slink off into a forgotten place
an oubliette of the soul
its ultimate irrelevance should be impetus enough
to breathe
one more breath
and let it die
you can feel it slipping
slipping from your embrace
from the sphere of your dreamspeak worlds
where there
and only there
it has ever been real
with your greying hair
the dissembling of your own feelings has begun
the neural pathways that fed this addiction are growing impoverished
your aging biology cannot replace the brain cells fast enough anymore
and besides
the succor of the magic of distillations is a greater boon than hope these days
the realm of what used to be is becoming more interesting than what may be
your identity has begun its slow descent into dissociating memories
the bend in the long road is nearly turned
with time
that heals all wounds
or causes them to be forgotten
all you will do is remember gaunt figures of former friendly faces
you can do it
hold on a little while longer
one more breath
and maybe it will die

dilluns, d’agost 28, 2006

Yr iaith fain [The Thin Language] (English / Welsh)

This was an email post to Clwb Malu Cachu regarding someone's use of the Welsh expression "yr iaith fain" to describe English. The Welsh expression means, "the thin language."

That's interesting Suw, I never thought of yr iaith fain as being pejorative to the English speaking people, although it may be a well deserved criticism of the language itself.

While yr iaith fain has basically addressed the phonetic differences between Welsh and English, I often think of it as addressing some other problems with English (any speech system has problems, so no, I'm not saying Welsh is perfect). My native language is English too (I come from England 2.0, ie. America), and since I'm in the language biz, I've generally come to agree that English is sort of squishy and sloppy. When compared to the precision of the French lexicon (the specificity of meaning related to names of things, not the ease at which one could determine inherent meaning, for that German does really well), or the the rich complexity of nuance in the Spanish verbal system (there are tenses and moods in Spanish that neither English nor Welsh can communicate), or when compared to the ability that both German and French have to be polite (German has levels of social grace that French can only dream of attaining and which are totally alien to English). German also has away of dealing with the specificity of spatial relationships that require hand gestures in most other languages. Welsh has a way with metaphor and sound that makes it excellent for poetry (no surprise) and actually conceiving of spiritual spaces and concepts that are generally alien to most other languages I've encountered. Also Welsh is really excellent in describing the physical geography of places and natural settings that English approaches but mostly fails except when borrowing words from Welsh (think on the English words related to valley for example).

What English does really well at is play with certain words like get. I love when my students will ask me how do you say "get" in Spanish (or French, or...) Of course, one only "gets" in English. Although some of my Spanish students have tried to "coger un frí­o," literally "gather (catch) a cold," but this makes no sense in Spanish. Sometimes the Welsh word cael approximates the meaning, as in, "I got a car," "Ces i gar." But I've yet to hear anyone in Welsh say something like "cael i fyny" unless they were non-native speakers. Of course there is semantic drift in all languages, and English is the most likely source of external influence on Welsh for such things, so we're bound to see more, not less of this.

The other wild thing that English does is with its prepositions. I've never encountered a language with wilder prepositions. German prepositions confuse the hell out of English speakers, but that's because they are generally uber-specific. I mean, I can say in English: "Slow down," or "slow up." I can say, "sit down," or "sit up," and here the meaning is different. I can say, "get over it," which can mean to physically get over an object, like a wall, or I can mean "get over your wingeing about your sorry romance." I've also concluded that real, everyday English is a very agricultural language. In spite of English speaking cultures now being at the fore of science, English isn't actually all that great when it comes to such specific concepts.

In fact, more oddly perhaps than any other language that I know, it has elected to construct two languages, two distinct set of codes in order to function, one for the everyday world, and one for science. A couple years ago I was at a friend's home, and he's quite an aircraft enthusiast. While stopping off to visit my aunt (hehe, there's a good Monroe County, Pennsylvania-ism for yas), I noticed he had a small reading collection there. So while perusing his magazines I encountered one that was about aircraft. I opened up to one article after another and realized that after more than 30 years of speaking English, I had absolutely no idea what was being talked about in those articles. The jargon was so specific that to the unitiated it was incomprehensible without a specialized technical dictionary. So, in essence, English has two very distinct sets of codes (which is to its benefit). The primary code is used in everyday conversation and is more Germanic in essence. The other uses only small syntactical and linking words from the Germanic past (by large and far) and depends heavily on an Anglicized lexicon coming largely from French (and therefore Latin) or from mots-savants constructed directly from Latin or Greek employing rules generally adopted from French.

Interestingly, this may also be the case of real Welsh, where the everyday is very Welsh and very natural, but where many other ideas are expressed with English code-switches moving right alone in otherwise Welsh sentences. English speakers don't think of themselves as speaking French a great deal of the time (even in the everyday English, which I'm using very much on purpose in this response, is still very French). Most English speakers however are not functional in the scientific/technicall jargon, and most people who are in technical and scientific fields are not linguistically sensitive enough to realize what's happening. Whereas in Welsh, many people realize the code-switching has gone on and view it as "bad Welsh" or even a deficiency in the language. Of course that's all social and subjective perception (and that would be a fancy way of saying hogwash).

Now it's true that most languages have jargon, but, the jargon in those languages is generally more closely related to the original language, even when the knowledge was appropriated from another language and culture. In French and Spanish for example, the jargon is Latinate, for obvious reasons. In German it still tends to be German, altho the influence of Global English (oh Lord, sit up, sit down, get over it, poor, poor planet Earth!) is changing that. In Welsh, there has been a long tradition of jargonizing loan words with a Welsh edge; so many technical words in Welsh are adaptations or translations of English words, and this process if still on going. I remember, since I'm old enough to (pah!), when the term "cympiwtr" or "compiwtr" was widely used in Welsh. It's been a month of Sundays since I've seen that word now. Everyone uses "cyfrifiadur."

Ok, all that long winded text to say that at the end of the day, as a native English speaker, I generally find my native language to be clumsy and squishy. Most functional speakers of English are unable to use, and are perhaps unaware of how the other code in English can be used, to be specific and eloquent, largely due to a lack of education and a generally global move to proletariat models of conduct and speech (one who uses big words is thought of as arrogant, yo) (wow, I managed that one with only one French word, hehe arrogant of course). Groso modo, the communicative potential of English when compared to other languages is rather poor in my opinion and in my experience. Yes, it's true that English is the big man in campus these days, but that is due to a huge set of sociological and historical variables, and not solely to its relative superiority or inferiority at expressing ideas.

And sadly, one of the things that gives English its unique charms, its earthiness, and down hominess, is fading faster and faster away. One thing we can do as English speakers to preserve what really is the saving grace in a squishy-name-oriented-of-weak-verbal-nuance-language is maintain the use of color colloquial and regional expressions in our English. Such idiomatic expressions tend to die out in urban cultures, and this, I feel, is a great loss. As Global English, by definition an urban language, takes over from real English, like Upstate-New York-Mohawk Valley-English, or Southern-Louisiana-St. Bernard Parish-English, or Cotswolds English, we, the speakers of the language actually lose control over it, being forced to choose between our regional vulgarities and a form of the language people in China will understand (personally, I see no reason to make it easier on the Chinese, or anyone else for that matter, but then I'm a bit possessive of my squishy English language even so...). That is very unfortunate. Of course, the march of development of English into other languages, I think, will continue on, but the exchange between regional Englishes and Global English will mitigate that development.

Ironically, Welsh may outlive global English, as the regional Englishes continue to develop and evolve down new paths, and Global Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, or whatever comes to replace a global English that will, there can be little doubt, be the "Latin" of the future.

divendres, d’agost 25, 2006

Thinking on Old, Dead Aunties (English)

It is now 3AM in the City that Used to Light and Haul the World. I just finished reading a preliminary copy of a new chapbook of my poetry.

Two poems are dedicated to Arwilda Elizabeth Hagerty, who lived from 1908 to 1994. She was a tiny woman with a funny name, and full of a thousand times more love than I think I will ever know again.

One time, in a séance at the Holistics Studies Institute, the Reverend Stephen Robinson (a man who does well and truly frighten me) was the medium. He began searching for someone in the room who had Scooby-Doo underoos as a child.

I had.

However some hoarse throated ne'er-do-well jumped on the clue before I could. That was the only connection she had to the rest of his reading. The rest I identified with. The rest of his message was responded to with throaty "no's" by this rough and uninspired woman.

He described in his reading that he saw a small woman with white hair and glasses in an old house with colonnades. He said that she pulled back a curtain across one set of said colonnades, and there were dozens of people in spirit. The message he sent on their behalf was that they were all still there.

Since the white-trash momma jumped on the the reading before I could, and since I didn't want to cause a scene in the Spiritualist holy place, I remained quiet. The Reverend Stephen Robinson was the only person to ever give me something I could believe in from "the other side" on any previous occasion, and I felt the message was for me, from Arwilda. I wanted to call out, but discretion got the better part of valor.

Aside from my own dreams of her, this was the only external confirmation, of sorts, that I had ever had of her, and she and her sister Margaret are the only two people from my family whom, to this day, I still hold in high esteem. I did dream of Margaret, Marggie even before she died.

I remember a conversation at my paternal grandparents' house, where the alcohol flowed even more freely than it does in my own house now. My father, who I think in his heart of hearts was a truly sensitive man, began talking about the paranormal. He brought up, in the same slurred speech that would dress down any driver who honked at him as he swerved his way from Stroudsburg to Bartonsville, the time when I, as a child, woke up screaming one night. I remember the night to this day as a matter of fact.

I was a small child, since I was only a few years in a real bed, and I wore footy pajamas, you know those one-pieces with plastic footies that children used to wear in the '70's. I woke up terrified, since across from my bed, framed by the window I had seen a skeleton in a green aura in my window. I remember the night so clearly because I called for my parents, not just my mother, who was to a small, frail boy his only succor, but for both of them. I insisted that my father, who I saw then as mean and cruel, be there as well. I had an important message for them both.

I can remember even now what I said to them.

Even on that drunken Sunday night at 615 Queen Street in Stroudsburg, in that tiny, 1953 prefab house with the thin wood panel walls, with my old man sitting in the "daddy" chair, next to the 1950's bi-level table and lamp, he being drunk and beedy eyed, slurring his speech, reminding me of it, then at the age of 13 or 14, chills still ran up and down my back...

I was sitting up in bed, sobbing. I clucked out to my parents, both of whom came to my wee bedside, a fact that surprised me then and now, because at that time the only compassion my father had for me was not to swat me too many times with the belt. What I said to them, and what my father reminded us all of that night on Queen Street, was, "Someone is going to die, but they will be all right."

Within in a week my most loved Marggie was gone.

She was round and had curly grey hair and had a great big smile and a button nose you could pinch. She was my lifeline. She and I would go to the park across the swinging bridge over the Pocono Creek as it wended through town, and we played in the kiddie pool. She and I laughed in a world with a manic mother and drunken father, and most of all to her, a stern sister. She even made a little red white and blue suit for me for the Bicentennial in 1976. She was my every wonderful thing.

And then she was gone.

And, I, the little frail boy from the swamp, I had made my mother and my father mind just a few days before, to tell them all about it.

As fate would have it, Marggie's death was the first in a decade long string of tearful good-byes.

And a decade later, on a drunken night soaked with Seagrams 7, my father, the lost soul that he was, reminded us of that very fact.

In the years since Marggie had left me... yes, she left many others too, but I was a poor boy from a poor place with only the love of ancient women, as far as I'm concerned, it was I whom she left. Nearly all those other people are dead now, just my mother is alive who remembers her I think, and I trump her...

In the years since Marggie had left me, Arwilda, Dee-Dee I called her, became my constant friend and solace. I never really trusted her when I was a wee child, when Marggie could deliver me to the park or to Lee's ice cream shop. Dee-Dee was stern. She was business. She ran the 14 room minor manse at 111 N. 9th Street (in those days it was a House, alas now it looks more like a hovel...). Marggie was all love and flowers, smiles and giggles. But then Marggie died. She died in the hospital, but began dying in the in the bathroom on her own vomit when her stroke began. Dee-Dee told me so.

I never got to see Marggie in the hospital because my manic mother thought it was a bad idea. She superimposed her own fears on me. I wanted to see dying Marggie. I wanted to kiss her fat little cheek one more time. I wanted to hold her till she came back to reality. I could have then, made her healthy. I was a child, full of magic. My mother, whose magic had died when she married her sullen man, refused such accomodation. She even refused to let me see dead Marggie's embalmed corpse laying orangish and content in its silver coffin.

I had the last laugh on my mother though.

My mother couldn't be bothered with her precocious boy too much, so she would send me down to town from up in the Pocono Creek valley where the Colonel Joseph Benjamin Barton made his home, to the aunties' house, only now it was just the aunty's house. Just a week or so after Marggie had succumbed to the question mark, there I communed with the sterm sister in her minor manse of many sorrows. Oh, many had died in that house since they had moved there in 1919. Many ghosts clung to the smaller rooms and the attic. I was terrified of the small front bedroom, the "dolls' room" and the attic even as the estate agents priced out every bauble and cloth, when Dee-Dee herself journeyed to investigate the question mark in 1994.

There, she and I, in that colonnaded dining-room-cum-sittting- roon, we did bond. I can still see her to this day, her tiny body, at 14 wracked by fever and so grew no bigger, but now in its late 60's, on the "davenport" beside me, my own frail and disease wracked body leaning into her, she asked me simply, plainly:

"Do you miss Marggie?"

No hint of sorrow, Dee-Dee was the one to command the brigade transporting the baby carriage across the muddy erstwhile parking lot in the middle of a minor huricane...

"Sometimes I do," I said in my little child's voice, the rounded television screen playing the "Guiding Light" in front of us. Now it was 1977.

"Well sometimes it helps if you just lay on your stomach and kick up and down and bang your fists on the floor. That's what I do sometimes."

So we did. She and I lay on the floor on our stomachs in front of the "Guiding Light" and we kicked and banged our fists on the floor, and we cried. We cried for a very long time. When we both stood up, we hugged each other, and, for the first time in my life I said, and I meant, "I love you Dee-Dee."

On that day the stern sister and I became best friends, until she died that cold March day in 1994

I know many dead people.

I sometimes nonchalantly ignore the deaths of acquaintances now, since there have been so many, and really, unless I love a person, why should I worry about their deaths? Their death is no more or less important than their birth after all, and life is for living, not showing up at someone's wake whom you barely knew...

Still, of all the deaths that stick with me, none are more compelling than those of Marggie and Dee-Dee.

I dreamt of Marggie shortly after she went away; it was on the night of her funeral. I dreamt I was at 111 N. 9th Street, and Marggie walked through the door from the little anteroom, what my aunties called the coobyhole, into the dining-room-cum-sitting-room, as though she had just returned from Jacobsen where she made lawn-mowers. However this was not my Marggie. In the dream her skin was darker and her eyes glowed yellowy-green, something like that skeleton from my dream shortly before. My mother and Dee-Dee were in the room as well, and I was far from the coobyhole door, near my giant toy box; both the other women made protective gestures, but the emotionless face of the Marggie ghost just said, "Don't worry, I'm all right."

The dream ended there.

A message from the real McCoy, or my own saddened brain longing for affirmation?

I have no idea. I was a tiny boy then, but even now I am still just a chimp looking for meaning in a jungle of branches that whip me about the face and body, and so I do go to the such tribal and ancestral places as the Spiritualist Church, even if they do call themselves by silly names. Even my aunties had a Ouija Board. I used to drive my toy cars on it...

All this to say that even now, as it turns 430 AM, I still remember Arwilda. Why her more than Margaret? That's not a fair question. Margaret and I had from 1971 to 1977, but Arwilda and I had from 1971 to 1994, twenty-three years of life and love and loss. I do not deny my love for Margaret, but I also exalt the love I grew to have for Arwilda, from that moment in front of the "Guilding Light" in 1977 until I went to see her on her last day in 1994.

She loved me. She said so. I still believe her to this day, and I suspect, if anyone could come back from the dead, it would be she, with a simple message from tu ôl i'r llen: we're still here. just look at all the people in the parlour..."

A little message back then, in the cybersphere, as close as most of us get now to the ephemeral...
I still remember you both, and the joy we shared, and I hope to meet you again, in this world or the next, and I still very much love you. If you were near me, I would hold you both close and pray you would never be apart from me. Until then, when the awen strikes me, I leave roses on your graves, even though I can barely go near them without crying.

dijous, d’agost 24, 2006

Odd Perfumes (English / Welsh / French)

There are odd perfumes on the breeze tonight
I smell basements
and fabric softener
and autumn

it's time to think on autumn
it's a new territory
new challenges
new faces

"This could be the one!"

"That's what she said," he said

But no matter
soon it will be time to be off to engage the enemy

"Af i gwrdd â'r gelyn!"

We were only thirty
all tired and wretched
the enemy numbered three thousand and three score
and still we bathed our speartips in their blood
the men who went to battle ignorance

now is the season of continental rallying
of laying up for cold winter's scurmishes
for returning from my fitful
oh yes, fitful
summer slumber

As autumn drifts into my nostrils
I must hang my head in shame
utter shame
this season's experiments have all been dismal failures

Yes, judges mine
(all in my head, you fuckers should shuffle off to some fine old place
and leave me be...)
there has been progress
Great Works are underway!

still the only work that has mattered
to me
to the little secret man in my heart
i ddirgel ddyn fy nghalon....
here there has been no progress whatsoever

The little momo makes claims about my heart
and damn him if he weren't partially right
but that, that envoy I fear is a lost missionary
wandering about in murking depths
so dark an atom bomb would not illuminate them

always, like you Santes Dwynwen
about whose scant remains I did bring the infidel this summer
(for that I send you my humblest appologies)
I put my heart in sorry places
and were I Christian man as you were a Christian woman
perhaps god would make so many more pillar of ice...

Nay, néamoins

Pas de mauvais souvenirs ce soir...

I will gather again with my bretheren
the story of the day will sweep me up and away
back into blisful martyred moments
where I can hone my disdain
and walk tall among those other resolute bastions of independence

And soon, oh the world around will chant its dirges
as the trees die for the dark half of the year
as the grass turns brown and the water sips on ice
and the ancestors, in real or imagined circuits, will tour the freezing, dying land

I love the autumn
for its promises of cleaning out the unwanted thoughts and objects
by its example that nothing
nothing made by man or god can stand in the way of entropy
for it's heralding the passing on of the old year
its natural massacre of beauty
and how it shows that even in destruction there is beauty
the panoply of colors before the White Lady arrives

I love the Autumn as Orpheus loved his muse
this is the time of reckoning
when Lady Rhiannon ended her burden
when she became the poem of Justice
now, long before the winter of anyone's discontent

soon it will the season of laying on blankets
of shivering on frozen nights
but before the Dark Half comes
before the White Lady arrives
there will be drinking and dancing
last furvent bursts of life before it's too dark too see
and this will be
as it has always been
my moment

Stalwart and soiltary
I will garner my shield and mail
I will paint myself blue and anoint my hair with lye
and I will face the certain arrival of our mistress' hosts
and Gwydion and Rhiannon as my awen
I will emmerge alive and strong on the Light Half


There is no more a Celtic moment than the approach of Fall.

Some new languages on Wiki (English)

I was just over to the old Wikipedia today and found some languages I hadn't seen there before, and which are of interest to me:

Deitsch (Pennsylvania German)

Scots Leid

Eald Englisc (Anglo-Saxon)

Gaelg (Manx)

Nouormand (Norman)

dimecres, d’agost 23, 2006

Accept Your Fate (English / Welsh)

Accept your fate; accept your fate...

The nagual repeats this over and over again in Carlos Castaneda's The Second Ring of Power. I'm in the process of accepting my fate, which, while I cannot see it before me plainly, I suspect will be as follows:

I will, as the famed Albany psychic Ann Fisher told me, probably live to extreme old age. This pleases me, as I have no desire to be dead. However, in the meantime, all the people whom I ever loved, and more importantly, those who have loved me, will have died. Surely I will find new people on whom I can lavish my attentions, emotional, spiritual, nay even physical, but those who express their love for me are so rare. There may indeed be many who love me, but so few who will confess it.

Therefore, if this were true, one must imagine some of these silent others may in fact love me. If I were to believe that come the end of my days, there may in fact be some who do, then in this I would be truly blessed, even if it were not true.The belief of their love would be enough to see me through to the fist at the end of the valley...

However, not only shall I die old, but unrequited. A former friend, a certain Tom O'Connor used to preach to me about self-fulfilling prophecies, that it is I who declare I will die alone. Well, that I do, but not of my will, rather from my observation. I do not wish it upon myself, but I do not wish death upon myself either! So I go along accepting my fate until I see my fate as something else.

Nevertheless, I can hope beyond hope for fresh water in a barren sea, and still no water will produce itself. Oh, surely the rain will fall, and in small puddles at the bottom of my life raft small quantities will gather. These would be the moments with N from N, or M from CP, or the confession of J from S. Oh yes, these rose moments where I felt the pulse of something more than banal sexual encounters given freely for orgasms would be as the small morsels that fell from Madame Eglentyne's lips to her smale houndes. And I have cherished these rarities so, since they keep me from dying of dehydration as I drift across the blue waters of Annwn in search of Iolo Morgannwg's elusive and perhaps counterfeit Gwynfyd where at last I will lust with Ceugant, the ultimate truth, in a complete way, as I have lusted with no mortal being, a pleasant if theoretical end and purpose to all this entropy and longing...

Ahh, these lovely fictions, portrayals of reality. I should learn to take my own advice, perhaps this is what some others do. Yes, I have a lover who is wonderful, and looks after me, and offers me gifts and ruts with me like a beast, yet remains nameles and faceless, like God.

Would that I were given to lies; my life would be simpler.

Yet as I look around me, all I see are knotworks...

Gwenole and the Druid

I first read the story of "Saint Gwenole and the Druid" in Jean Markale's La femme celte. I love Jean Markale, the crazy Breton academic renegade that he tends to be. He's a character and a half, tallish, thin as rail with wild bushy white hair, and when I saw him in person some years ago now, his eyebrows were still thick and black.

The story goes like this:

The then Abbot Gwenole left his religious compound in Landevennec to have a perambulation. Just on the edge of the woods, he encountered an aging Druid resting against an old oak. The Druid looked ragged and bedraggled, and being a Christian man, Gwenole offered him succor in his compound. There he would find rest and nourishment. The Druid declined, telling Gwenole that he preferred to stick to his woodland paths. The Druid knew full well that the sureptitiously friendly Gwenole really just wanted to convert him.

Gwenole was of course scandalized by the Druid's reluctance to follow him into the compound and rightly concluded that it was due to conflicts in religious beliefs. You see, it was only the 6th century, and there were still plenty of Druids running around the hills and dales of Brittany. Gwenole pushed the issue with the Druid, and a huge theological debate erupted on the edge of the great forest. It went on for hours. Finally the Druid said he had some holly to gather and made for the seclusion of the trees. However, just before he vanished into the darkness, he turned and looked at Gwenole, who was red-faced and extremely consternated, and he smiled coyly.

"You know," he said with a flourish of his hand toward the sky," when we cross that final threshold, we may both learn that we were wrong!"

I always love a Celtic story about religion. Old Celtic war stories are lovely too. You know the sort of thing, we were 30 and our enemies numbered 3,000, but we still bathed our spear tips in their blood. But I digress. The story of Gwenole and the Druid has a great universal lesson, that of grace and humility before the ineffable. The Christian in this story had it all wrong, even if his version of the universe were real. His insistence on his righteousness made him out to be both a bad Christian and unexamined human being. The Druid, far older than Gwenole in the story, was more self aware, and thus he realized that the pretty box with the bow and sprig of holly into which his forest filled universe fit might be nothing more than bullocks, AND, what is more important, he was willing to accept it.

Religious mythologies are wonderful paradigms to shape a vision of the world, but that's where they end. No religion, and this is a salient fact and one case in which I will say, while one may disagree with me, one would be totally wrong, no religion has the literal truth. None of these paradigms express the spiritual reality of the human condition, never mind the possible spiritual reality of the cosmos we are only beginning to understand. They are reflections of human thoughts and musing over many millennia married with real world observations of what appears to happen. They do offer us wisdom and guidance, and if they are open ended traditions, they can offer us real growth and comfort.

I suspect that there is something going on with this cosmos. It's not just an accident (of course whatever else it is there are many "accidents" ar hyd ei le. I suspect that there is some purpose in our being here, more than the accidental (and I'm relatively sure it was mostly accidental) collision of the right chemicals and some primordial soup to get it all going. My hands have touched the possible face of God enough times in my life to make me keep an open mind. One thing I'm sure is that the game doesn't play out like the Big 3 Revealed Religions like to make out. Whatever is going on here, I bet it's quixotically far more complex than they purport and far simpler than it would appear.

But who knows, when I cross that final threshold, I may well find out I was wrong, if I find anything at all...

Response to Chronofile Post on Gnosis (English)

Glad to hear the lecture went well, groso modo, and that you found it interesting. Had my back not been such an issue that day, and had I not worn myself out due to said back, I would have been interested to hear this lecture. As a Unitarian Universalist, I'm generally always interested in information about religious or spiritual traditions with which I am not familiar. Of course, my biggest "concern" with religious movements of any kind are that people actually believe in them! That might sound like a ridiculous sentence, but let me explain.

I think it's wonderful that people follow various rites and practices in the manner of their ancestors who did not know what we know today. I think it's also really important to keep an open mind about questions of spirituality. Science hasn't given us all the answers yet, and it may not be able. So, when people use religion as a metaphorical expression of spiritual hope, and as good examples of how to live one's life, then I think religion is grand. However when people come to believe in the literal truth of their tradition at the expense of other belief structures, and especially of reason, logic and science, I then find myself in the guise of the amateur anthropologist as I observe them, smiling away on one side of my face reassuringly, but on the other clucking and sniggering as I gaze at my fellow, rather hairless, ape descendants clinging to their primitive belief structures, periodically comitting murder, rape, war, and sundry atrocities in the name of their mostly mythological deities. Moreover, the age of the tradition has little to do with its development. Some very old religious traditions are just as doolally as Heaven's Gate. While others such as Baha'i and Buddhism over a gentle ride along life's long quiet river, coupling curiosity, meditation, prayer and ritual with hope, compassion and even some reason.

As for me, well, I continue to venerate the great Question Mark and commune with my fellow iconoclasts while partaking of our most holy liquid, extracted so many moons ago for the first time from those funny Ehtopian beans. This post puts me in mind of another Celtic story about Saint Gwenole and the Druid, but in stead of posting it here, I will post on my site, tyddyneira.blogspot.com

dimarts, d’agost 22, 2006

Momentico de realización antes de acostarme (Spanish)

Estoy pensando en las materias de mi ser. Me parece que asi es, es todo, lo que tengo. Es posible que haya otros que tengan otras cosas, otras vidas, otros momentos, pero yo, eso es lo que tengo. Bueno, a mi momento le falta una cosa, pero de todos modos, es un mejor momento que había imaginado, y además, es un mejor momento que los que poseden muchos otros... ahora, a dormirme para soñar de otros momentos fictivos...

Mañana, si me despierto, es otro mundo otra vez. Deseo que sea un día completo, perfecto, con todo que quiero... así es la meta.

Hoy, por su parte, ha sido un día perfecto en línea, como he puesto tres artículos en mi blog :)

Друзья [Russian for Friends] (English / Russian / French - kinda)

I'm putting the English language on official notice. I plan to enforce a strict definition of the word "friend." It's such a troubling word in this language, and I rarely know what most people mean by it. This one is my friend and that one is my friend. This is my friend from work, but this is my friend that I pork once in a while. That one is my best friend, but you're just a coffee friend. This one is my roommate, and we're friends, maybe best friends or maybe we shag on the couch but keep it all hush hush. The word friend can be so damn vague, like the floppy member of a diabetic octogenarian man.

Будет другом? Я не понимаю!

Thus, here I will explicate what the word friend means in my idiolect, and I will give rules for its proper employment when speaking with me, so I'm not left feeling like a kosher Jew on a pig farm.

1. A friend is not a person with whom you have sex. You never, ever, ever have sex with your friends. If you have a friend, and suddenly you find yourself with your genitals in some part of his or her body, your relationship has evolved. Perhaps you could use the term, fuckbuddy, or friend with benefits, or lover, or paramour, or boyfriend or girlfriend. Even heavy petting moves the line from friend to something else. This cloying use of the word friend with life partners is annoying. A committed loving and sexual relationship is in all honesty more complex than a day-to-day friendship, and I would posit, rather uncommon. Usually spouses are in it for the kids, the social acceptability, the tax breaks and the ass. Friendship, nah. If your wife or your husband is your best friend, you are most likely pathetic.

2. A friend is in fact, someone you love, or you feel like you could love. A friend is not a casual acquaintance. If you have a friend from work, then that person must be someone for whom you would commit loving sacrifices.

3. People can become fast friends, but if someone is a friend, then it's always nice to use his or her name when they are are referent. A sentence like the following, "I have a friend in Scranton" is fine, since his or her identity isn't likely to be important to the general narrative. However, in the sentence, "I was out with a friend last night," you have now opened a Pandora's box. The pragmatic informational possibilities in that sentence are vast. Last night? Out? Friend? This could in fact mean many things. It might mean that you were out with your chum Bill for a pint at the pub. It might mean that you were on a date. It might mean that went back to your "friend's" place and made the beast with two backs. This is a socially ungraceful construction, and should be avoided at all cost. In such a case, if you did not wish the hearer to know what you were doing, it would be more tactful to simply lie about where you were if questioned, or better still, refrain from bringing it up. If you're talking to an acquaintance that is. If you're talking to a friend, someone whom you love or may love, just be specific. A friend will revel in the ecstasy or the banality of your life because he or she loves you.

4. If there were to be any confusion about your friendship due to your sexual orientation, then it is of paramount importance to use nomenclature that expresses yours actual feelings. A single straight man talking about his female friends should take the time to reinforce that they are "just friends." You don't want people interpreting your friendships for something they're not.

5. A good word for someone whom you know casually is "acquaintance." For men, the terms bud, homey, pal, guy just doesn't work; worse than friend, in some circles these terms are very sexual. It is better to avoid them. If there is someone in your life of whom you are fond, but whom you do not love, the term acquaintance has drifted semantically enough to ensure that the hearer will understand that you enjoy this person's (non-sexual) company, but you do not love him or her, and you are not rubbing your genitals together.

6. If once upon a time you used to rub your genitals together, or perhaps you had a serious relationship with said individual, then it is appropriate to use the word friend, but it is also de rigueur to explain that you used to be lovers, paramours, etc.

7. If you are still rubbing your genitals together (or any reasonable facsimile thereof), see number 1.

Ah, the good old days... [No, this isn't what you think, read it anyway] (English)

Hey, can you remember the good old days of the internet, back when only a few of us had it, and nearly 100% were able to think, drink coffee and look at the endless bytes of free porn. You remember when that porn used to come down off the net and have to be compiled or else in stead of a pic of a bodacious bubble butt all you would see was a soup of code? Those were the days, and I'm not just talking about getting free porn (those days are pretty much over with, unless you want a computer full of spyware and malware and other shit licking things like that. These days everyone has access, or at least it seems too many people do. Gone are the days when the net was dominated by intelligent, if periodically somewhat socially awkward men. I miss those days.

Now the net has gone proletariat. Anyone with the scratch to get a Dell and a phoneline can be online, from the privacy of his or her own home. The results are things like this email I received tonight from a friend in Mexico City; someone he knew forwarded it to him. I've snipped the addresses, but fear not, they all look very American...

Bush wants us to cut the amount of gas we use. The best way to stop using so much gas is to deport 11 million illegal immigrants! That would be 11 million less people using our gas. The price of gas would?come down. If you think this is a good solution to both the problems,?forward it to your friends. I just did."

Wow, this piece of drivel would be from a person who simply can't think, never mind think, drink coffee and masturbate.

Honestly the author of said email doesn't even have a nodding acquaintance with a clue. The population of the US is more or less 290 million (actually larger, but I will stick to nice round numbers to illustrate my point) Let's round the number of illegals down to 10 million. 290 million and 10 million make 300 million. The part of that number that would be illegals, 10 million, gives us around 3%. So, let's review: this numbnut's idea is to spend billions of dollars (and burn millions of gallons of gas) rounding up and deporting (no doubt Final Solution Style with interment camps and freight trains full of wailing mothers and their sprogs and old people) 10 million human beings all to save about 6 cents a gallon on gas, or about a $1.80 a week, just about enough to buy a Grande coffee of the Day at Starbucks.

In stead of going Fascist (and oh irony of ironies, it is the Conservatives of our great nation who generally support amnesty...) how about this? Yes, it's true, we're running out of oil. No one in his or her right mind would believe that crude oil just squirts out of the earth in a never ending load of jet-black jism. If that were true, then the Earth would be flat and I would be hung like a Breton stallion. I'm willing to believe the scientific community, and I can publicly admit that I am not hung like a Breton stallion. The oil is drying up.

However, we still have decades left to suck the rest out of the ground. Humanity has recently brought the hapless Republic of Chad into the limelight by exploiting oil fields in its southern prefectures. Surely there are even more untapped fields to be exploited. The problem at present is not that there isn't enough oil for today, but that it's not being extracted and refined, a couple weekends ago I was in Philadelphia and I rode by an oil refinery that appeared to be dormant. Dormant refineries cannot produce gasoline. Pipelines that are dry cannot bring oil to refineries that might just be functioning...

Still beyond all that, the United States is a vast country with a lot of arable land. Why not take the Brazilian and Cuban route to self sufficiency and begin moving to ethanol? (I won't even bother getting into that topic on his blog, google it variously and presently for more information)

No, no, no, according this oik, and so many like him, the answer is easy, and of course, it's not related to the actual problem at all.

You know, when you have this great pink elephant with a case of the skidders in your living room, even though you're covered in great gobs of sticky, ripe fecal matter, it's still easier to address the problem of door knob that slips. I mean, if you can fix that little problem, the real one will just walk through the door, won't it?

One more power I wish I had: the revoke internet privileges for the truly moronic...

dilluns, d’agost 21, 2006

Response to an email from a friend (English / Spanish / Welsh)

My response to an email from a freind who was concerned that I had mentioned abandoning my Ph.D.:

Hi Dar!

I thank you for your concern; that's very sweet of you, but there's no need. No, there have been no setbacks at all, and no depressions. It's only that in the many years since beginning the diss, my life and my goals have changed. The area of research that is my topic is not something that I ever really wanted to do. My advisor browbeat me into doing it, so right from the get go, I was not invested in it the way I should have been. At first, the work progressed well enough, but as time went by and we got into the reading stage, my advisor kept changing the ground rules. This is her normal M.O., a fact which I have gathered from others over the years. No one has had her on his or her committee without having incredible troubles with her.

If my career hinged on having the degree, it would be one thing, but it does not. Professionally, I am stigmatized by my time in the CC world, and by the fact that I have not been doing research nor have I been publishing in my area of expertise. I do attend and present at conferences at my leisure. None of these are relevant however, since I have no desire to leave the CC, nor indeed do I have any desire to leave my CC. What the future holds is a big question mark, and true enough I may find the PhD usefull at some future junction, through happenstance, and for that reason I haven't abandoned it as of now. On the other hand, one has to set limits from time to time, and so I have decided that this is the do or die year. Either I finish, or at least have a defense date by close of this academic year, or it's over. So, it's not really as hopeless as you would think!

On the other hand, my life is not my career, and I don't live to work, rather I work to live, following the time honored French model. Nonetheless, I am deeply entrenched at the College, so someone could hate me lividly, and I could just bide my time, more than likely outlasting anyone with any power over me. Because I teach languages, I end up having many adult students who are themselves deeply entrenched in the local social and political scene, and even more fortunately this has been to my unintended advantage. I know many of the lawyers, doctors and politicans of the region and have made positive connections with the vast majority. I have never used these acquaintances to garner any personal favors, and this fact has only increased my respectability. These people know I'm not interested in using them, and they have honored me frequently with their high praise (I think justly deserved) on campus.

Recently I have become more involved in our union, and that has helped "cadarnhau" my profile with my colleagues and administration. Luckily, I still really love my work, and I'm still competent and coherent in the classroom. My enrollments are up with each successive year, and between my base pay, my overloads and the rents, I'm quite comfortable. Financially I have no worries at the present time, and I should be able to continue on this way for some time. How many years is the question mark of course, but I learned a longwhile ago not to ask too many questions about "tomorrow." Furthermore, somehow, I don't think changing levels would make me feel better about teaching if ever teaching became a drag. Luckily, over the last 12 years, I have found ways of keeping it all fresh and interesting to me, and as long as I can, I will continue.

Maybe my attitude confuses you, but I don't come from a point of view that life is always about semper ad astra. I come from very humble beginnings, from a poor and deeply dysfunctional family, the classic picaro, and like all picaros, I accept my fate and my buen puerto when it arrives. This is not, in fact, a resignation, although it may appear that way to some, but a vehicle for me to enjoy my life and my privilege. I'm not giving up on anything Dar, I'm just enjoying the view from my buen puerto, relaxing on a chaise lounge, a glass of Old Raj in one hand, and a used condom in the other ;) This is what I've been working for all these years, not a degree, or status, but the ability to indulge in the very temporary and all-too-short-a-slide along this mortal coil.

Now, assuming I do finish the big bad diss, there will be a hell of a party, and you will certainly be invited!


diumenge, d’agost 20, 2006

An Spyrys a re dhos (English / French / Welsh / Spanish)

A message from Spirit came tonight, as I took a sultry walk through the Great Forest of the Question Mark. After sweating for more than an hour, the Spirit sent a message to me about doors in a long hallway through Scott, a junior medium. The medium said that he could see me in a long hallway with many doors, and that I would touch the handles, stop, think, and not open them. He reassured me that I should open some of those doors, because they are all unlocked, and that while not all, nearly all concealed what I was searching for to make my life complete.

It was an interesting reaffirmation, or coincidence, I know not which (as I have variously written prior, I know very little with certainty). Are these doors symbolic of my attempts at love? If so, then his admonition that I have not been opening them is misplaced, as I open so many of them, but if this is a prediction, that now is the time to open more doors and step through, so be it. One thing, and one thing only has eluded me all these years, and that is a real cariad cywir, un amor reciproque. If I were to find such a love, my hope would be that we would be together pour toujours, au grand jamais, but even if such a love came to my world once in my life, and the moment was brief, but real, I would be able to finish my days at least feeling bitter sweet, and not just bitter.

Sadly, I am not given to know, nor am I anylonger equipped with the ability to believe, and thus I wait, bemusedly, the fist that awaits at the end of the valley...

Still, why complain?

I often hope that there is a balance to this World of Struggle, that I have committed some grave wrong to the universe to be blessed in some ways in this life, but to be robbed and cursed of the one thing I have always desired. Because, if there is not, if this all there is, the world is so much darker than we want to believe it is. And, if this is the case, then I take back all the sorrows I have ever published, and I renounce all claims to love, because no matter where tomorrow takes me, my end will ultimately be far better than most my fellow monkeys.

Still the doors... I have thought about what else those doors might be, and am left stumped. The message was apropos even if accidental. More contemplation is required.

dissabte, d’agost 19, 2006

Welsh and Polish yumyums (English / Welsh / French / Polish)

It's been a weekend of northern European viddles. First, on Friday, I invited JKL&J over for a traditional Welsh vegetarian meal. That's not as easy as it sounds, since the Welsh have traditionally be meat-lovers for a few centuries, especially ever since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, which came to Wales only shortly after getting started down in Cornwall. L & J are vegetarians, and J & K used to be, so a vegetarian meal for them is just fine. They arrived and I served most of them G & T's prepared with Boodles. Jim opted to have one my homemade Honeybrowns, as he had not tried them before, and he gave me a positive review. Hopefulluy soon I will be able to dedicate time to brewing traditional Welsh Ales to accompany my Welsh goodies. When we sat down at the table, since I follow French order when I serve guests at my house, I decided to offer cantaloupe. This may seem like a strange choice, but in France, during the summer, it's quite popular.

Earlier, on Thursday, lorsque je faisais les provisions, I was insistent with the man at the supermarket that he bring me fresh melons. When I got to the melon section, there was only one paltry and thoroughly poked cantaloupe to be seen! He acquiesced, perhaps feeling guilty that he did not know where the currants were in his own shop. Luckily I found them, without his help. Nonetheless, he brought a great crate of new melons and let me run my fingers all over them, picking the nicest, sweetest one for my guests.

For the main course, I prepared Wyau Môn. Wyau Môn (Anglesey Eggs) are made by mashing potatoes (tatws newydd os ar gael...) and mixing them with chopped and boiled leeks and fresh ground pepper. You layer the spuds along the bottom of a casserole dish, and then you slice hard-boiled eggs (mine were from chickens that were "born free"; it was actually stamped on their little brown shells). You line the egg halves over the bed of taters, and then you smother the lot in a creamy cheese sauce made with extra sharp cheddar, milk, butter, flour and nutmeg. Then you bake the casserole until the top is all lovely, brown and crunchy. The end result is lovely, with a creamy cheesey top over a buttery, silky base with what better, hardboiled eggs in the middle.

With the main course I served, peas, of course, one must have peas at a Welsh meal, good for the blood, and the digestion. Everyone raved how good they tasted. They were organic and flash frozen fresh, and of course I melted half a stick of butter in them as well. Besides pys, I made selsig Morgannwg. J of L & J always extols the virtues of my selsig Morgannwg. Selsig Morgannwg are meatless saussages. You use bread crumbs, eggs, fresh parsley, an onion, more sharp cheese. thyme and some milk to bind them. You roll the mixture into sausage shapes, and then you roll them in egg and flour. Finally you fry the lil suckers up. They end up being very tasty and moist!

Following French order, we then ate our salad and then cheese. I offered Stilton, Gouda and Boursin, herb and garlic. For our dessert, I made bara brith, or speckled bread. This you make with currants soaked over night in a half pint mixture of strong black tea and whisky liquor, self-raising flour, dark brown sugar and an egg. It's lovely, sweet but not boozey, and it tastes heavenly with Irish butter smeared across it. To go with the bara brith, I brewed some good, old fashioned black teat, and most folks took their "paned" "te coch", red tea, no milk no sugar.

Today, I went with A & D northwards, to Lake George, where we eventually landed at Taste of Poland. We had skewers with kielbasa and Polish farm cheese, tomatoes and olives for starters. Then we had mizeria, a cucumber and sour cream salad, very yummy. They then served us salads before we had our main course, the Polish Platter. The Polish platter had helpings for each of us of bigos (a sauerkraut, beef and kielbasa mixture) two ricotta filled pierogies, gołębki (what we might call pigs in a blanket or pig in a poke), a half kielbasa each, and two potatoe pancakes. We also enjoyed a bottle of Polish beer each, and finally some nice coffee. Over all the meal was fabulous. One thing you can say for northern European cuisines, nearly all of them require a hollow leg!

divendres, d’agost 18, 2006

ARGH! (English)

After 34 and more years on Terra Firma, is there anyone who can tell me why I bother?

... with the whole ridiculous Victorian Concept of ROMANCE?


Love is a C***
(and any reasonable facsimile thereof)

dijous, d’agost 17, 2006

Lowender an nos (Cornish)

My yu lowen a-haneth an nos drefen den yowynk noweth re dos dhym, ha den yowynk tek yu ev gans brasder pur da. Ev a wra kemeres plesur dre eva coref ha dre draow erel. Coweth noweth vydh? Ni a vydh gweles...

Y sgwrs â J (Welsh)

Doe, mi ges i sgwrs arlein efo J, yr hen gyfaill annwyl o'r post cynt. Roedd yn sgwrs yn hollol annisgwyl ac yn hollol ryfedd. Roedd o eisiau 'ngweld i ar ôl y mis maith ma i gyd, ond fel llawer gwaith, doedd o ddim yn gallu dianc rhag ei fywyd bob dydd i ddod at ei fywyd cyfrinachol ac at fy mreichiau i. Y gwir yw, rwyf yn teimlo dyddiau 'ma, mae ein perthynas, beth bynnag y bo, wedi troi yn gof-byw, yn cael ei gyflwyno ar lwyfan y bydysawd yn unig trwy gofio sut oedd o, heb obaith o gael ei adnewyddu fyth eto. Mewn math o ddalfa y mae o rŵan. Pam? Dwi'm yn saf. Am ba mor hir? Sdim yr un syniad gen i. Dydy o ddim yn rhannu ei fywyd bob dydd efo fi, dim un sleisyn ohono, 'mond i adael rhyw bishyn bach ddisgyn i mewn i ryw sgwrs o bryd i bryd.

Ond heddiw, mi naeth rywbeth gwahanol. Roedd yn dweud wrthyf pa mor dda o gariad ydwyf iddo, pa mor dda 'mod i'n neud iddo fo deimlo, hyd at y pwynt lle roedd o bron eisiau denfyddio'r gair "C" efo fi; na beth wedodd o wrthyf.

Roeddwn yn synnu. Roeddwn yn dawel am ysbaid wedyn, a gofynodd petasai fo wedi rhoi ofn arnaf. Na, atebais i, nest ti ddim... Y gwir yw mod i ddim yn ei garu o, ac hyd at hyn, doedd o ddim yn cyfaddef ei gariad tragywyddol imi ychwaith, ond i ddyn sy 'di aros yn dawel am amser mor hir, roedd yn gyfaddef annisgwyl yn llwyr.

Mi ges i freuddwyd rhyw dro, ac yn y breuddwyd roeddwn yn hŷn, ngwallt wedi llwydu mwy, a mi ddaeth J ataf, mewn cotyn hir du, i ddweud wrthyf yr oedd yn gadael yr ardal. Ond, roedd o am fy niolch oherwydd roeddwn wedi bod yn gyfaill arbennig iddo. 'Na roedd diwedd y breuddwyd. Cofleidion ni, ac ymadeodd, yn troi gefn ac yn cerdded i ffwrdd fyny'r stryd.

Yn ara' deg, dwi 'di bod yn agor ei feddwl, ei rywoliaeth, ond ei galon?

Roedd yn deimlad rhyfedd oedd wedi codi yn fy nghalon i ddoe ar ôl ein sgwrs. Dyna'r tro cyntaf i ddyn fel yntau ddweud rhwybeth felly wrthyf. Roedd yn hwb ac yn boen, yn felys ac yn chwerw, yn fy ngadael i yn yr lle lle dwi 'di bod ers blynyddoedd, y cyd-destun perffaith i'm hoes...

dilluns, d’agost 14, 2006

The Gathering (Английский язык) (English, except that wee bit of Russian to the left)

So, Theresa, my oldest friend, we have known each other yay these many 28 years now, decided to convene what may be termed in broad strokes, a blogventionette. Ah, sometimes English can be specific, even if rather silly. And so seven of us met in the City of Brotherly Love for a weekend of fun, frivolity and interpersonal connectivity. Of the others, over the last few months, I had encountered them from time to time through Theresa's blog. I had no expectations about the weekend, nor, at the end of it, were there any disapointments. What I found was a group of individuals, all within ten years of my own age, who were intelligent, compassionate, articulate, curious and at least a little adventurous. Each was eccentric in his or her own way. We came from locales as disparate as Omaha, Atlanta, New York City, Virginia, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and I, of course, from the City that used to light and haul the world. We drank too much, swore too much, perhaps ate too much bad food, and certainly overextended the socially accetable use of innuendo and double entendre. However, at the end of the weekend, groso modo, no harm was done, and we parted, a merry company, then individuals each in our own direction. Will there be future gatherings? Of this none can be certain. I'm all too familiar with promises ranging from the well-intended and sincere to the downright shallow, serving only to save face for the moment. Something tells me though, that these promises to meet again on some crossroad hither or thither, will come to pass. Here's to hoping that we meet again on some other enchanted weekend!

diumenge, d’agost 13, 2006

Learn to Lie (English)

Lie to me better
use your wit and guile
for something more than taking up space in your small little brains
learn to lie well!

I'm tired of being lied to by amateurs
why lie at all?
just be honest, say no, sorry not interested
your weak little lie will not hold me in reserve

I'm old now, see
and I can detect a lie a mile away
well, yes, I nod and smile
unlike you

I've learned to lie well...