There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound—
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.

-Robert Frost

Mowing There w…

Last Lesson of the Afternoon

When will the bell ring, and end this weariness?
How long have they tugged the leash, and strained apart,
My pack of unruly hounds! I cannot start
Them again on a quarry of knowledge they hate to hunt,
I can haul them and urge them no more.

No longer now can I endure the brunt
of the books that lie out on the desks; a full threescore
Of several insults of blotted pages, and scrawl
Of slovenly work that they have offered me.
I am sick, and what on earth is good of it all?
What good to them or more, I cannot see!

So, shall I take
My last dear fuel of life to heap on my soul
And kindle my will to a flame that shall consume
Their dross indifference; and take the toll
Of their insults in punishment? -I will not!-

I will not waste my soul and my strength for this.
What do I care for all that they do amiss?
What is the point of this teaching of mine, and of this
Learning of theirs? It all goes down the same abyss.

What does it matter to me, if they can write
A description of a dog, or if they can’t?
What is the point? To us both, it is all my aunt!
And yet I’m supposed to care, with all my might.

I do not, and will not; they won’t and they don’t;
and that’s all!
I shall keep my strength for myself; they can keep theirs as well.
Why should we beat our heads against the wall
Of each other? I shall sit and wait for the bell.

D. H. Lawrence

Last Lesson of …

庖丁为文惠君解牛,手之所触,肩之所倚,足之所路履,膝之所倚, 砉然响然,奏刀豁然 ,莫不中音。合于桑林之舞,乃中经首之会。文惠君曰:“嘻, 善哉!技盖至此乎?” 庖丁释刀对曰:“臣之所好者道也,进乎技矣。始臣之解牛之时,所见无非牛者。三年之后,未尝见全牛也。方今之时,臣以神遇而不以目视,官知止而神欲行。依 乎天理,批大郄,导大髋,因其固然。技(枝)经肯綮之未尝,而况大骨乎!良庖岁更刀,割也;族庖月更刀,折也。今臣之刀十九年矣,所解数千牛矣,而刀刃若 新发于硎。彼节者有间,而刀刃者无厚,以有閒入无厚,恢恢乎其于游刃必有余地矣,是以十九年而刀刃若新发于硎。虽然,每至于族,吾见其难为,怵然为戒,视 为止,行为迟,动刀甚微,然已解,如土委地。提刀而立,为之四顾,为之踌躇满志,善刀而藏之。” 文惠君曰:“善哉!吾闻庖丁之言,得养生焉。“

His cook was cutting up an ox for the ruler Wen Hui. Whenever he applied his hand, leaned forward with his shoulder, planted his foot, and employed the pressure of his knee, in the audible ripping off of the skin, and slicing operation of the knife, the sounds were all in regular cadence. Movements and sounds proceeded as in the Dance of the Mulberry Forest and the blended notes of the King Shou. The ruler said, ‘Ah! Admirable! That your art should have become so perfect!’ (Having finished his operation), the cook laid down his knife, and replied to the remark, ‘What your servant loves is the method of the Dao, something in advance of any art. When I first began to cut up an ox, I saw nothing but the entire carcase. After three years I ceased to see it as a whole. Now I deal with it in a spirit-like manner, and do not look at it with my eyes. The use of my senses is discarded, and my spirit acts as it wills. Observing the natural lines, (my knife) slips through the great crevices and slides through the great cavities, taking advantage of the facilities thus presented. My art avoids the membranous ligaments, and much more the great bones. A good cook changes his knife every year; (it may have been injured) in cutting. An ordinary cook changes his every month; (it may have been) broken. Now my knife has been in use for nineteen years; it has cut up several thousand oxen, and yet its edge is as sharp as if it had newly come from the whetstone. There are the interstices of the joints, and the edge of the knife has no (appreciable) thickness; when that which is so thin enters where the interstice is, how easily it moves along! The blade has more than room enough. Nevertheless, whenever I come to a complicated joint, and see that there will be some difficulty, I proceed anxiously and with caution, not allowing my eyes to wander from the place, and moving my hand slowly. Then by a very slight movement of the knife, the part is quickly separated, and drops like (a clod of) earth to the ground. Then standing up with the knife in my hand, I look all round, and in a leisurely manner, with an air of satisfaction, wipe it clean, and put it in its sheath.’ The ruler Wen Hui said, ‘Excellent! I have heard the words of my cook, and learned from them the nourishment of (our) life.’



In a moment of impulse, I wanted to get it over with, because every day that I’m see the tower of crates is a day that passes without you. And I was morose at first, but now, as each day passes, the anger swells till breaking point.

So what? Could we just not leave without talking? Must there be this inane exchange of words? Begone, because I have nothing left to say. I am exasperated with this state of affairs, and of all I’ve learnt and unlearnt. I don’t wish to dredge up the past, unpeel old wounds, and denude healed scars. We’ve learnt that we’re both as stubborn, determined and unyielding as we need to be, and we must learn the hard way that the most difficult way forward brings the most pain.


You’ve let go, and now I must learn to do so.

You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . . ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.”

Charles Baudelaire

You have to be …

Neither of us needed any of that.

It’s not that I want to be playing the fool here, but there’re so many mixed messages that I don’t know what I should decipher and what I shouldn’t. Let’s just go with not listening shall we.

We have long observed that every neurosis has as its result, and probably therefore as its purpose, a forcing of the patient out of real life, an alienating of him from reality. Nor could a fact such as this escape the observation of Pierre Janet; he spoke: of a loss of ‘la fonction du réel’ [‘the function of reality’] as being a special characteristic of neurotics, but without discovering the connection of this disturbance with the fundamental determinants of neurosis. By introducing the process of repression into the genesis of the neuroses we have been able to gain some insight into this connection. Neurotics turn away from reality because they find it unbearable – either the whole or parts of it. The most extreme type of this turning away from reality is shown by certain cases of hallucinatory psychosis which seek to deny the particular event that occasioned the outbreak of their insanity (Griesinger). But in fact every neurotic does the same with some fragment of reality. And we are now confronted with the task of investigating the development of the relation of neurotics and of mankind in general to reality, and in this way of bringing the psychological significance of the real external world into the structure of our theories.

In the psychology which is founded on psycho-analysis we have become accustomed to taking as our starting-point the unconscious mental processes, with the peculiarities of which we have become acquainted through analysis. We consider these to be the older, primary processes, the residues of a phase of development in which they were the only kind of mental process. The governing purpose obeyed by these primary processes is easy to recognize; it is described as the pleasure-unpleasure [Lust-Unlust] principle, or more shortly the pleasure principle. These processes strive towards gaining pleasure; psychical activity draws back from any event which might arouse unpleasure. (Here we have repression.) Our dreams at night and our waking tendency to tear ourselves away from distressing impressions are remnants of the dominance of this principle and proofs of its power.

Sigmund Freud, the Pleasure Principle.

We have long ob…

“Three of the four elements are shared by all creatures, but fire was a gift to humans alone. Smoking cigarettes is as intimate as we can become with fire without immediate excruciation. Every smoker is an embodiment of Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods and bringing it on back home. We smoke to capture the power of the sun, to pacify Hell, to identify with the primordial spark, to feed on them arrow of the volcano. It’s not the tobacco we’re after but the fire. When we smoke, we are performing a version of the fire dance, a ritual as ancient as lightning.”

Still Life with Woodpecker, Tom Robbins

“Three of the f…

Nina: (frustrated) Do you have any… corrections?

Leroy: (sniffs) Lily told me that she saw you crying. She’s worried that you’re very upset, and that I should take it easy on you.

Nina: I didn’t tell her that…

Leroy: …maybe you need a little break, like a day or two.  Or maybe a month, what do you think?

Nina: She shouldn’t have said anything.

Leroy: No! You shouldn’t have been whining in the first place.

Nina: I didn’t!

Leroy: You could be brilliant! But you’re a coward.

Nina: …sorry.

Leroy: Now stop saying that! That’s exactly what I’m taking about! Stop being so fucking weak! Again!

Black Swan