Empty Days

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Lovers of the arctic circle.

I've seen another one of those films that made my day for being good - though the title has snow in it, it is actually a Spanish film - except that its mythical otherworld is located in Lappland, Finland.

On the face of it it's one of those magical-realism films about a gloriously overpowering love-story. On the other hand though it's more about "meaningful coincidences" and destiny that is revealed through them. This sort of approach is always extremely poetical and makes order out of seeming chaos - basically it's a regular fairy-tale - I guess that's why I found it so uplifting: the idea that all things past and future, personal and strange, are all somehow connected by invisible threads of the "web of fate" and that you're not really completely on your own with your blind blundering mind making all the stupid mistakes and decisions - that there is some guiding sense to all of this apparent nonesense.

One key-phrase from the film, by the protagonist who is ravaged by guilt over the suicide of his lonely mother which eventually makes him abadon the one love of his life: "After I left her, life stopped making sense and I was deprived of my destiny" (not exactly, but basically that's the idea). Of course the key-word here is "destiny" - which in this case is represented by his fated love for that girl - but it could be anything, as a matter of fact - what's important is that it presents destiny as a sort of holding to something sacred - destiny is woven from some holy place in one's life - and this place is given rather than found - yet it is possible to stray away from one's true course by abandoning this place inside yourself. Then you become lost because nothing guides you anymore - life loses fundamental meaning, no matter what you do or don't do with it.

Of course this is a european film - in Amerika there are people like David Lynch or Atom Egoyan who work in that line - trying to see beyond the purely rational take on things. Perhaps it's the closest thing to spirituality we can muster today. It's not much, it's deceptive, but the poetry in it is undeniable - that longing for a deeper vision than the goddam materialistic trap we're all somehow caught in today.

So is this film about love or something? No - it's not about love or something. It's about making sense out of something that has long become shallow and nearly non-existent - life as we know it, that meaningless trap.

A good film.


Still feeling lousy today. General bad thoughts due to general situation. Some instances of paranoia. Went to fill out the police-report but it was mostly just to go some place - the weather is really good, it's a shame i can't enjoy this world as much as I might. Maybe I am deluding myself but it seems to me I used to be able to actually "feel the beauty" of such things as blood-red or bright-yellow trees, the smell of burning leaves in the air, kind pensive autumn...

I can't anymore. I guess it's this sense of dead-end and personal inability to create my own space, my own life - the insecurity that comes with this helplessness - in short, i am completely boxed in and I can't lift my head and look above and beyond this tiny stupid human enclosure full of swarming insects. This whole world I am confined to is like a sickness to me - and I am sick with it - I can't see beyond this malady.

The fact that this happens to be the city and my particular spot in that city is perhaps incidental - though the associations have become so ladden that it's hard to see through all the mud. It could just as well be that I would develop approximately the same relationship to my surroundings pretty much anywhere else. I just don't know. But I think I might - because I would still be as helplessly trapped inside my inability to live as I am now. Getting away only works temporarily - after that the same rut sets in. And I'd have to run again.

"I move around a lot ... because things get bad if I stay" - Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces. I fully understand that state. Except that I don't have enough will to break away and just be on the run from things constantly. That's a temporary solution - a way to reconstitute oneself repeatedly despite all that rot inside. Dying a thousand deaths and being reborn and dying again like an insect - I am rather inclined to just stay dead, I guess. Otherwise I would run too - in circles, all over the earth. The mad moth - looking for light, hoping to burn alive.

Friday, October 08, 2004

It's interesting - thinking about it this way, it cheers me up somehow. The fact that things in life are not all completely unrelated and random - that there is some lousy sense to this lousy stupid universe of mine. Can I put that bit about bragging into the police report, I wonder? :-0

Some superstitious thinking for you.

Actually there is a pretty funny observation that I've made before and thought totally inconsequential initially - except that it kept repeating itself, as a sort of side-freak show to whatever lousy course events would take now and then.

Apparently I am not supposed to brag about my bike - because as soon as I do something bad happens to it. This definitely sounds superstitious, but since I don't believe in superstitions all these strange cause-effect observations usually come after a fact - when shit has already happened - and then I suddenly remember I've been wantonly bragging about that bike a few days previous. Wantonly in the sense that nobody asked me to brag about it - the key in this sort of "ominous" bragging is that it's unprovoked and is totally wanton and unasked-for in nature. There are other sorts of bragging - but this one is a punishable crime against "the way things are", apparently.

This strange connection first struck me when I got into my first big bike accident - I had just gotten that bike and totally loved it and was happy I got such a fast-flying bike. I was in high spirits, let's say. But then instead of just praising my newly acquired bike, I bragged about it - for no reason at all, just to express something like "hey, look at me, I am so great" kind of thing, which is what bragging is all about after all: it's not about bikes, it's about how bikes make me great or something like that. Well - a week later I got into that accident and the bike went to scrap altogether. Of course it struck me: I was feeling so good about that machine and had had it for only a few weeks and now it was suddenly gone for good, taken away, disappeared, non-existent. So it sort of went against all my bragging situation right there - and that's how I made the connection, for some reason - that it was the impetus of bragging that got into an accident, and the bike served as the object that took the very tangible hit. Yes, the bike got destroyed - but most of all my bragging impetus got destroyed - because all objects are symbolic of a certain relation to life and what we do in it and how we feel or act. The sword of Jedi - it was never just an object, was it...

After it struck me that first time, this strange scenario of bragging having bad effect on bikes continued to occur - not always but now and then it did. I don't really know what this connection is supposed to mean - and I can't really control it just because I know it's a possibility. The most obvious meaning I could think of would be this: nothing is really yours, buddy, so don't get all mixed up with objects in your possession, they can and will be taken away, and then who and what will you be without them? Nothing much indeed.

I bragged about this bike two days ago - out of the blue and nobody asked me to do it - now it's gone: the impetus of bragging went poof. An interesting feeling, let me tell you.

Another recent instance was at the end of my bike-trip: I bragged to my temporary travel companion about how my bike had such better control than his and felt all proud and happy that I could let go of the steering and fly straight at whatever speed etc - and the very next fucking day I rammed into a barrier on the bike-path and got the front-fork bent with steering nearly gone as a result. Let me tell you that the impetus of bragging about easy steering control was gone right there.

I love these coincidences. They just don't seem all that coincidental after a while.

Goddam lousy piece of luck.

It's kinda hard to deal with this shit - once your bike is stolen, basically all you can do is just sit there and try to willfully forget the very shape and image of that object - severe all mental connections, so to speak. To deal with the rage against the thiefs I will likely go make a police report - not that I hope to find it again ever, but it's some sort of action I can take at least.

Also, I better be pro-active about this situation because it also means that I won't be able to bike in winter anymore - so I'll need to invent some alternative course of action here. Because these things always break a lot of possibilities and habits it somehow feels like a punishment from gods or something like that - which is not a good way of thinking as it gets me depressed and guilty, which I already am in any case for other reasons besides. Like I already feel extremely hostile against this whole city and this neighbourhood in particular, and this comes to fire these feelings even more - and makes me feel trapped because I know full well I can't move anywhere that will be any better: in fact, with my reduced means, it will likely be even worse and possibly much worse. Living in this flat - and living in general - is something like a slow torture. And this sort of "gifts" from the world around is just another thorn in the side every time - like when I came back here to find the tree was cut. And now this. And what else will it be besides.

The feeling of being trapped comes from the fact that I can't see how this could be otherwise no matter where I go. It seems to me that all this shittiness is somehow a direct response to my own inner shittiness - and this I will drag along with me no matter what I do or where I go.

So by this convoluted way of thinking I end up feeling *guilty* about my fucking bike being stolen... How is this possible? It is with me, apparently.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Great news - my bike was stolen.


According to the janitor, two other locked bikes were stolen from the entrance last week. Guess a gang is again operating in the neighbourhood - not the first time, but i sort of hoped it had gone away.


On having no will to live.

I tried to invent something to live for - bike-trips as a test of free will so as to be able to enjoy life again. But it wasn't enough - I am still incapable of inventing some goal I might want to work for. Creating opportunity is the name of the game. So far there are none - because I've been unable to work up a will to create some.

There is this splendid world out there and I can't live in that world - I can't step in. It has nothing to do with cars and houses, careers and bank-accounts, social success or holing out in the desert. It has to do with my inability to live for myself. The world per se is a piece of cake - it has trials and it has ugliness and it's dumb and violent and it doesn't like you necessarily. But all of this is a piece of cake - because the real life is in me - and that's where I can't live it. I am not at home in my own self - "knock-knock, nobody's in, return later". Can't step in. What the fuck...

I'd like to be Dick Cheney, let's say - in the sense that I'd like to make sense to myself. For good or for bad. This man is so bad - but he absolutely makes sense to himself, there is not a shred of doubt about this. Or I'd like to be that rapeful pedophile who's in jail now - I'd like to follow my call, just as much as that fuck followed his fucked-up call. I'd like to have no choice in being good or bad - on account of finally being what I am. Who the fuck that is happens to be in question. Perhaps I lack urgency - that violence in pursuing blindly what can only be known blindly. Perhaps I lack lust - and the sense of my finality. Perhaps I should force the open door for once at the risk of looking like a fool. Perhaps I am all wrong on account of everything and can't see the lie at the heart of my most holy truths. Perhaps.

The technique is apparently to find out what you want and go for it. That's where it doesn't work for me - I can't find out what I want in the first place. Or I don't want to find out what I want - at least it feels that way at times. Hilariously then, I first need to find out: why it is I do not want to find out what I want. Even more hilariously though, I am pretty sure there is no fucking way in the world I can actually find that out - without knowing already what it is I want. It does sound like a vicious circle - because everything about will is a vicious circle. It either exists or it doesn't. Like in magic: look, no bunny - abracadabra, here's your bunny.


American vice-presidential debate.

As much as I cared nothing for re-watching more of Bush and Kerry, I did want to take a close look at Cheney. While it is said that he is the most powerful vice-president in years, it has long been my impression that he is most likely the real power-house behind this nitwit of a president. Cheney is not just intelligent - he's scary. Sitting next to that parroting idiot Edwards he sounded like the oracle of Delphi - speaking direct from the seat of all american power. The presidential debate should have been between Cheney and Kerry - I don't quite see what Bush was doing there. Bush messed it up for a reason: he never quite knows what he's talking about. Neither does Edwards. Bush might have out-talked Edwards - both are regular nitwits. The true power of this particular White House is predicated on the fact that the real President is not the one on the podium - while the world takes aim at the visible idiot, the invisible master-puppeteer makes his moves - and makes sense. A smart arrangement. May Bush lose - so we might be delivered of Cheney.


Speaking of the oracle of Delphi. To the hope-ladden question "will Bush lose in November?", the runes responded unambiguously: "you're in luck".

Good :-0

Action - take one.

The great appeal of movies about bank-robbers and various reckless outlaws - those films are not about either money or masterful tricks to evade obstacles. It's about the most seminal qualities of human nature - courage to live according to your will and courage to take required action.

Likewise gambling is against the law - any sort of gambling, not just on money - because gambling involves luck which doesn't obey any kind of laws known to men. It is also about taking wild risks - to play outside and with-out any law and order.

Ultimately all of this is about taking a different view of life and the utter boldness of spirit that this requires. Breaking the moral law - which is the law of all laws - is the greatest crime and the first act of freedom. Results are without importance. The bank-robber is a hero when he robs the bank - not when he gets away with cash and spends it on whores and fine cars. Likewise a suicide is a hero when he jumps off his bridge - not when he's in the morgue chilling out in the body-bag.

Both might get medals in the parade of the brave - but who needs medals? and what is the wisdom of a life without acts of freedom?

My greatest error has always been that I preferred to question the world rather than myself. At the same time I don't quite see why I always make that error - or whether I could have chosen otherwise.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Death truncated.

Viewed from the standpoint of total nothingness - death - everything about life appears as a joke. All questions, tribulations, frustrations, limitations, desires, attachments, victories and failures - all of it suddenly loses its indubitable importance. A world without death would be a miserable place - however all religions and esoteric philosophies tend to build bridges between life and death, include it into the finite sphere of existence, make it a stage in the endless processes of a certain intelligible universe. But why? Do invisible worlds concern life or death? Is there really no great distinction between the two? Is it not possible to escape life and its meanings?

The one thing that makes death the great divide and a liberation - its utter finality - is removed from it by all these meta-physical deliberations. No escape from creation - here, it begins anew, back you go buddy. The one and only hope of final freedom is sacrificed on the altar of universal meaning.

I perfer not to understand rather than not to die.

The great promise of death is that it will be nothing like life - that it will take away identity, personal destiny, memory - total and final anihilation of everything.

Fears regarding death concern something still remaining from life.

Ladida II.

Interesting patterns - I felt like shit yesterday having realized (among other things) that I am not going on no bikes trips anymore - it's fucking too cold and I fucking don't have either enough clothes or/and enough body-warmth to like that very much. And outside of that I don't know what to do - no plans for future living. So the rune I got yesterday was good - it was Halagaz: utter destruction.

So today I wake up and the first thoughts that come to me are about how I am going to buy those prescriptions pain-killers that are not sold over the counter, heh, and how I am gonna down them with some strong alcohol - and I am wondering which is better to pass out, red wine or whisky? And I think it's red wine, because it makes me sleepy, while whisky makes me jittery. The plan looks pretty cool and I start looking forward to some such "self-realization", heh. The rune of the day is Wunjo: joy and fullfilment.

I am startig to sound like Henry Miller - the bitter sex-obsessed guy. Apparently to him scoring with whores was self-realization. Not very different from my fullfilments by self-destruction. It does bring some joy into the picture. Right - it's a matter of self-control - if you can't go anywhere, at least you can stop the merry-go-round. Heh.

As to Nietzsche he was a liar.

Think about it, you idiots out there - the man was a liar. Instead of living a life he just blathered about how it'd be so cool to be alive - blah-blah-blah, I am so important, read my books. That's all he ever did. Bullshit.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Chirping on that tree of life.

For no mental reason that I know of, I am suddenly in much better spirits - strongly suspecting hormonal variations here, which I am probably a fool for ignoring all too often. One can only wait on hormons - patient endurance etc.

That actually goes together with another simple thought: that for all my trials and errors, revelations and confusions, I might soon end up in the cancer ward, depleted and taking second seat to my body trying not to die - and what will all my thoughts and ideas and memories be worth then? Not much, I suspect.

There is Fate - and there are ideas about Fate. Two very very different things, heh.

However: taking second seat to Fate, hiding in her skirts as it were, might provide a middle-way... Perhaps there might be some such strange joy even in weakness, sickness, and depression.


I've been thinking about Nietzsche a lot lately - he can never tell me anything I don't know already, mostly due to my not having yet gotten where he's been - all those things in his writings I don't really get and not know it. I never know I don't get him, until I finally get where he was saying such and such from - it's like a walk I am taking with him: a very long walk it has been already.

He's a great cell-mate, what can I say.

Jung's Shadow.

I've had the hardest time understanding the whole therapeutic concept of jungian Shadow - "working with your dark side" - right, as if one could "work" with it, heh.

It finally became a little clearer when I found some quote explicating the connection between his idea of Archetypes (collective unconscious) as expressed in folk mythologies and all human cultural symbols, and projection of one's own unconscious sides onto other people and events. The idea is this: man is mirrored in everything. Key-phrase: Carl Jung conceived of his own life as a myth. There - finally it all makes sense.


Fear of others - most certainly fear of one's own self.


Joe Gould's Secret (that film, yes).


Suddenly it doesn't seem all that strange that in olden times people were able to assume the shape of a wolf - if anything, it gotta be the ultimate way of "working with your dark side".

The lore.

Whilst checking out all possible talk about runes on the net ran into a helpful white-race site where they provided a link to an "enemy" database for some interesting infos on the origine of various nordic symbols (of course this being such an important part of their creed, heh).

This symbol is actually very interesting - Wolfsangel

Most of the information I've read about the wolfsangel says that it is not a part of any runic alphabet but is instead an old folk/peasant symbol used for either warding off wolves or co-opting their power. Some people believe that it's a bindrune of Nauthiz and Eihwaz (restriction/need and strength, respectively). Runes are always open to interpretation and if the wolfhook is a bind of the above two symbols then it can been seen as power rune meaning discipline (strength and restriction), as a prayer rune asking the gods to assist its user in conquering his weakness, or as a combative rune meant to create the need for strength in one's enemies.

Others see the wolfsangel as a bindrune of the Sieg (victory) and Isa (challenge, introspection) runes. With this combination the symbol can be read as a prayer or power rune relating to the answering of a challenge, especially a sort of Nietzschean self-overcoming. Being that Isa is often used to reinforce other runes, the wolfhook can be looked at as an especially potent victory rune. Isa, however, is one of the more complex runes and therefore makes the Sieg/Isa view of the wolfsangel especially convoluted.

Definitely look into it some more before you get a tattoo of it or any other runic symbol. There are no cut-and-dry answers when it comes to runes. This makes them both great and terrible for tattoos. You may love the self-overcoming interpretation of the symbol, but if you're superstitious then the knowledge that other meanings of the wolfsangel may not be so advantageous could very well eat at you. This trade-off, however, is part and parcel of dealing with the Aesir. No favor from our gods is without its price.
Of course it is to be understood that the "Sieg" rune is actually Sowulu - or Sol - that is Sun. And the bit about "Nietzschean self-overcoming" is priceless - as they say in the mastercard commercials, heh - but it's true.
I also just read some stuff in russian about a pagan slav god in the form of a wolf (Volkh) who was a war god of protection in combat. It was said that leading warriors would assume its shape in battle. I suppose this makes a lot of sense since in that climate the wolf was the fiercest animal - just as the tiger was the fiersest in other parts of the world.

Actually this symbol looks very similar to Eihwaz - which is the rune of double-edged protection by association with the yew tree whose poisonous nature ensured its longevity. It is also the tree of Yggdrasil, or the axis of the world that connects Life and Death - in that sense it is also the rune of initiation into the mystery of the world (today we'd say "existence").

So let us forget the Nazis for a moment - and also let's not forget that hate and violence and wolves and wars are not just some old folk story: it's one of the forces in human life, both creative and destructive. It's there.

I've been freezing to death all day long here (for some reason even the down-jacket didn't help much) but finally tv delivered some comforting cinematic visions - can't remember what that film is called but it stars Barbara Streisand and Nick Nolte. The whole psychoanalyzing story is totally shitty but the performances are truly human - or maybe it's the idea of having such a manly piece of meat as Nolte playing an implausibly raped boy? It becomes him somehow :-0

In any case I really liked watching those two fools dancing together the crazy dance of deceitful talk. This film is full of shit but there is one actor on that set who actually knows it all the way - and it's Nick, not Barbara.


Don't ask me how this lead to all the stuff about Seneca...

Lust and Fate.

I was rumaging in the archives of this blog of mine and found a quote by another famous blogger in this part of the world, Pansexual Sodomite (that's his nom de plume, heh):

"After I left home my timidities started dropping away. Simply being able to live as I wished uncramped my mind. One of the often-unperceived decisions some of us face is when we unknowingly decide to live for ourselves or in fear of others."

By which he means he was finally able to live his gay-lust openly - but I mostly like the second part, about "unperceived" and "unknowing" decisions. He caught something here as it were on film - a parcel of the kind of reality that we mostly "unperceive" yet it's nothing less that the joints of life, where it all comes together and how it moves.

That fear-of-others is also one of those deep unperceived things - it just sits in there and makes it impossible to get lose or make a step or take a breath. Ah shit. The man was lucky in his constitution: it was *lust* that pulled the bad tooth out.

Nihilism is the natural philosophy of those who have nothing - including nothing to say. Except blasting against all that emptiness. Nietzsche rejoyced in the fact that he was able to finally overcome his nihilism. The joy was premature - I think.

L'emploi du temps.

I've seen a totally wonderful depressing film the other day - in English it was released in 2002 as "Time Out": it's about a middle-class family man who loses his job and hides this fact from his family and friends. And to a certain big extent - from himself. Could have been a pretty flat scenario but the french managed to make it into a sort of existential fresco: inner freedom - social world - meaning.

Something in the sphere of "Death of a salesman" but subtler and more hopeless if possible (the man isn't even given the option of suicide).

Of course the main story is not about economic conditions and joblessness. It's about something quite human: a barrage of lies (including moral deviance) as a means of creating some long-lost freedom from all the life-long expectations one's been chained to (therefore the english title is already an interpretation of the real meaning of the film - the original french title is scarier in its blandness). This perfectly desperate attempt at freedom is seen as madness. Are you surprised? There are too many reviews at rotten-tomatoes but this bit is enough and does not miss the mark:

"From a deceptively simple premise, this deeply moving French drama develops a startling story that works both as a detailed personal portrait and as a rather frightening examination of modern times."

Right - it sure startled me. I was convinced it was going to be some boring french film about some bourgeois couple having troubles. Boy was I wrong. The film was about me - even though I don't work and quit my jobs instead of losing them and don't have children or a social circle to lie to. But I am still lying - to myself first and foremost. And I am lying because I have no choice - I don't even know what my truth is, so what else can I do but lie?

This film is about that sort of lying - spectacularly precise and merciless. And it does not end in suicide, just as in that real life of quiet hellishness.

Meditations on roman wisdom.

One reason I can never do anything for any length of time: ibi patria ubi bene - which simply means: home is anywhere I feel good. Doesn't happen much. Which closely relates to my favorite hobo-philosopher saying: omnia mea mecum porto - all my stuff i carry with me.

Seneca once put down a young friend who was talking about leaving Rome and finding some relief elsewhere: no use going, you'll carry all your problems with you. Which is an old truth and Seneca was the master of timeless cliches, no doubt about it. It is also Seneca who popularized for all times to come another perfectly roman saying: volentem fata ducunt, nolentem trahunt - fates lead the willing and drag the unwilling. If this sounds pessimistic, that's because Seneca was a stoic and thus a vintage pessimist - he hadn't met Freud and saw psychological unease as a matter of bad moral choices and basic impatience with the ways of the world ruled by Fate.

Omnia mea mecum porto is a saying of resistance.
Fata volentem ducunt, nolentem trahunt is a saying of obedience.
Ibi patria ubi bene is a saying of liberation.

All in the stoic sense of struggle for a personal stance in a world without much freedom - a very limited sort of existence but valliant to the end.

Seneca's letters are striking because all his talk is basically about limitation - and how to be content with little and possibly less than little. It's a pretty suffocating collection of epistolary wisdom, not inspiring for a bit, but totally memorable: it's like a grave-stone - it has staying power because it speaks of certain well-observed truths and a certain way of life that has been the lot of many a human who lived life in this world. The corner stone of roman philosophy is willpower - Seneca slit his veins in the bathtub when he felt his stately career was over. Roman suicide as the culmination of roman philosophy is not a fluke of destiny - it's the pinnacle of self-possession and personal stance in an endlessly limited world of fate and honor.

The reason I suddenly remembered Seneca is because it's so close to what we live today. I have to wonder what Jesus died for - or what all this wonderful universal-love christianity has gone to. I think it really tried to pull men out of this rut of personal stance and running in regular circles in the courtyard of fate - without any success whatsoever, apparently. Everybody's back in the yard and everybody's running in circles again. Today it's sometimes called the rat-race - but it was never any different, rat-race or le parcours du combattant, or Camus. Or Seneca.

Wait another century and it will be Seneca all over again - as the ultimate genius of his times. Today it's Camus with his empty stare, tomorrow it will be Seneca with his utter patience. I mean, what else can it be when the whole human universe is nothing but a small prison-yard with very, very high walls?

Of course I am not really preoccupied with what it will be a century from now - I won't be there to live it. But I live it already and as anyone else outta here I carry the seeds of the future in that vision of mine - it's a very human characteristic to be somewhat universal, despite all the personal smallness of it. Seneca did not die in his bathtub to impress posterity (though with him you never know) - but he certainly expressed the wisdom of his day well enough for it to have carried on despite all the changing circumstances. He was somehow universal in that bathtub of his.

So what happened then - and why is it still happening to me?

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Portentious statements:

A single synchronistic event can change a person's life forever.

I don't know how long I've got to stick around for anything to ever "change my life forever". Seems improbable. Should have visited WTC on 9/11 I guess - travelling is a good thing :-0

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