Oct 28, 2004

Midweek Camping Mania

The mountain can touch Sofia if it reaches just a little bit.

Tired of waiting, I joined a group of insiders for a midweek foray into the woods. After an extremely fast but safe drive, we stopped at a small clearing next to a little stream. The only huge object visible was the full moon, gazing at us serene and inquiring.

We collected wood and lit a fire in the standard scout fashion. I was the slowest of all wood-gatherers, stumbled all the time. But I'm like this, really awkward with hands and feet alike. I liked the pile of wood. To me it signified care and forethought, hard work preceding pleasurable relaxation. I enjoyed the food we'd brought, however couldn't eat as much as the others. Eating is ok, but not among my top 5 choices for passing time.

Talk was much better. We had beer and wine, in moderation (yeah!), and discussed various unrelated topics. The one I seem to remember best was communication and reading people's faces. A friend claimed that online communication does not provide real insight into the other person, because you lack visual info. True, but. Visual info, I argued, sometimes just creates a facade and blocks the real personality. Body language can conceal emotions as well as revealing them, especially when self-control is good. Example: eye contact. Averted eyes are supposed to be a sign of insincerity and insecurity. However, I can force myself to look people straight in the eye and STILL be insecure and insincere. So, an observer may misinterpret visuals as surely as a reader - typed messages. Also, my argument ran, there is something about personality that cannot transpire behind looks. I call it 'underface', and I picture it as a rather unpleasant jelly-like substance just beneath the skin. I know it's anatomically unfeasible;) Still, virtual communication sometimes provides a shortcut to a person's head. And probing another's mind, when the face is invisible, often is both a challenge and a revelation.

There was other talk, of music, art and travelling.

Sleep in the tent was fitful and interrupted by conversations with the moon. The next morning I woke up much later than usual, and took a walk with two photographers who didn't have to hurry for work. I am really lucky to know people like this...

Back in Sofia we learned there had been an earthquake during the night. We missed it, we didn't see a bloodred moon. However, we saw something else. A world with a difference, in a secret place, at an unlikely time.

Oct 22, 2004

Minus Music

I miss the music on my PC. About a month ago the ancient hardware went silent, and since then I have been writhing in abstinence. The new machine is being assembled now, but it is taking much too long even for someone like me, struggling to perfect the virtue of patience. Patience eludes me. I can wait for a long, long time, seemingly unperturbed, while on the inside the fires are burning, in anticipation of hell.

Whatever. Music turned out to have been a major player in my mind. I find I am constantly humming something under my breath, and the brain-jukebox is starting to croak from exhaustion. I miss musical shapes and tastes, the way music impacted everything I did. I miss my mp3 collection on my drive. Incidentally, my radio isn't working either, so I resort to VH1 and MTV. Which helps somewhat, but not too much, as I don't choose the songs. In my pre-silence period, I never used the 'shuffle' function. This probably means that I am a control freak, or, as someone concluded, I make poor playlists. So, I want to have lots of available choices, and then do a poor job of making the right ones. So much for self-reflection and analysis:)

Right now, I feel like listening to the song Hey You (Pink Floyd), which is one of the saddest songs ever sung. There is a cover by Dream Theater but I don't remember it.

Together we stand, divided we fall - a recognition of a fact, or wishful thinking?

The choice of music, I have always known, can tell a lot about a person's character, viewpoint and mood. Music is utterly superfluous, it has no survival value for humans, therefore, I want to thank God for it. Truly you appreciate what you have after you lose it.

I'll end with The Doors:
When the music's over... turn off the lights.

Oct 19, 2004

Sources of Inspiration

No man is an island... I am in two minds about it at the moment. Physical and psychological isolation, whether self-imposed or not, can be a source of growth and wisdom. I realize this on the intellectual level (yeah, I work for the title of 'an intellectual'), but on the emotional level I'm struggling with it. When all I see inside is a hole, there is a temptation to try and fill it with things (people) from the outside world. Rather, I should bend my inner self, so that the hole is healed, ot at least diminished to a bearable size. (Holes hold an attaction for some, caving IS one of the sports I've tried and found fun only the first time.) Bending, however, is time-consuming and hard. And, sometimes, the curves can be ugly.

Doing what is right and trying to be a virtuous person has been one of my top priorities for the past few months. Yesterday I became aware that I had done something terrible to someone I deeply care for. Inadvertently, on the surface. Meanly, maybe, when probed. In either case, I am ashamed of myself and disappointed in trying. I haven't felt that bad about myself for years. Betraying someone's trust is one of the worst crimes in my value system. Honour is a virtue I esteem highly, and friendship is a 'skill' I thought I had perfected. Yeah, right...

I have learned a lesson from what happened. And this is a source of comfort, somewhat, cause Learning is exciting and inspiring, for me. QED. Inspiration even from failure. Applause. Bow.

Oct 18, 2004

Some things are fun only the first time;)

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Starting with a cliche, I promise to keep them to a minimum, although cliches are a nice way to relate to the rest of the community. Be too original, and your audience shrinks.

In this blog, I plan to train as a columnist, writing on various topics of interest. Here's a non-cliched definition of 'topic of interest'.

Pieces of the macrocosm that accidentally or intentionally collide with pieces of the microcosm.

OK, here are some of my current interests:

  • online communities (yeah! this is the world we live in)
  • reading texts (60% still on hardcopy)
  • the music realm (ranging from progressive rock through classical piano to chillout), watch this space
  • SIRI (Sources, Images, References, Influences) - my newly-coined acronym for what some call 'cultural studies'.
  • parenting (two kids, aged 5 and 1 1/2)
  • God (yes, low priority, sorry God)
  • sports (rock climbing in particular, planning to paraglide some time when I have time)
  • kindness, truth and beauty (aka, ethics and philosophy)

WHOM MAY IT CONCERN? Or, who are the implied readers?
A small part of the world population who:

  • have access to the internet
  • can read English
  • have interests at least marginally overlapping with mine
  • know hazel offline
  • like, or are, nuts
  • my kids in 10-15 years' time, if blogs are still in fashion

But the number one addressee is of course, myself;)

I usually work a lot, but I fear I'll post regularly, as I tend to distract easily, and writing is one of my favorite distractions. So, cower!:)