Wrestling existential elephants

Photo: Bruce Spear, La femme qui pleure

Been wrestling the existential elefant while the sky cried. Not long ago, my tax adviser, who was also my friend, died of lung cancer. How’s that for a sombre beginning to a blog post. Almost bloody. His English wasn’t good and I presume his ghost can’t or won’t follow me here. He always made me feel bad for writing in English…I feel a little small-minded saying this. After all, I’m talking about both death and taxes, here…this was one of those days that will remain nameless: without title. What does it take to change that? Death you’d think would achieve it and indeed, I can name the days of death in my life: they were creative days, too, because to get through them sanely required a creative effort. Most creative acts aren’t grimly death-defying, of course, they’re playfully beating eternity instead. I used to sit down at the piano alone at night when I felt sad. Make music that made me even more sad. Now I tend to look for musical language of sorrow instead. Sebald’s writing does that for me right now, terribly heavy-lidded stuff, lyrical moping, existential complaints at the highest artistic level. I never know if I should trust the beautiful lady La Tristezza: «La tristezza è un’emozione contraria alla gioia e alla felicità». Sat in the car this afternoon: flag flying at half-mast, I was preparing myself for a blue ride home, when suddenly everything fell into place for no particular reason. Suddenly I knew everything was going to be okay. Never mind those odds: they’re computed by grumpy dwarves who don’t know the last thing about sun light, rain drops or pachydermata.


[First posted in 100 Days of Summer at Plattenbau]

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