bitter tea

There are times
when the grayness of the world
fills us like bitter tea.

dreams are forgotten
the moment we wake
a day that slips past us
and never can we believe who we are

only then do we stir from our slumber
like a lazy cat we look for food
some sustenance for the soul

eager to understand the
stars and skies of other lands
we wander out and across time
but what do we really find?

that in the end we seek
only that which we already have
our journey’s a vanity
our hunger merely a desire
to be loved.

Isobel, I miss you.

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Malmo (and time)

I sit here waiting to go to the train to Copenhagen from Malmo Sweden, where I have been for the past few days at a film festival showing my work. The first night I was here I felt like it was pointless and that I should have stayed in London. But after getting out and meeting some filmmakers I realized that this is what I am supposed to be doing. Wandering about in the world of film.

Malmo is a strange and changing place. Once an industrial port it is now becoming a thriving cultural center. Many young artists from Copenhagen (which is 20 minutes away by train) live here as it is much less expensive. There is also a growing Arabic population here, one of the largest in the northern EU. Good clubs, theaters, and galleries make this town a future point of artistic reference in EU culture.

As time moves slowly around me I feel the center of my being settling here in the EU. Slowly the shifting tides move my soul, a blessing to be away from television culture and consumer entertainment. The only thing I miss these days is my daughter, but soon she will be here with me and I will have everything I need. Until then it is just work and making things and being.

London (thus far)

Tomorrow morning I go to Malmo Sweden for a screening of Chronicle and a short Q&A. Travel will be good, even if I am not looking forward to airports it will force me to have a new perspective.

I have been wandering around London by night and spending most of my days in preparation of the upcoming Performance in March. A few short excursions into productivity have including filming both and Eddie Prevost improvisation workshop and a live performance by 9! one of Eddie’s groups. Astounding stuf, large group improvisation at its most spectacular.

London to me seems like an old pair of worn shoes that you keep taking to have resoled because they have become a part of who you are. It is constantly being added to but still somehow as old as it ever was. Comfortable, known; its streets are a maze through time. I wander them going to theaters, sitting in churches, exploring alleys and finding out if this place is real or just some fantasy I am living inside.

I wonder about the hundreds of amazing minds that have inhabited this city, about the monsters and the madness that leaks still in the evenings out across Whitechapel and Hackney. Why do they come here? What draws one eventually to be here in this place?

I feel something coming out, something I am doing that is different and yet somehow the same. A familiar path by which I am expressing some forgotten phrase or idea. It comes from me but is not of me, a channeling of the new from the old; of dream into the real and back.

Aleister Crowley

So I find myself on this, the first day of the Year of the Rat, in London. Wondering about the things I have to do, the projects I have taken on and the creations I must bring forth into the world. It is like spring here in the UK – warm and sunny this afternoon with birds singing and enjoying the spots of cloud that wander by overhead.

In preparation for my performance in March I have been studying the works of Aleister Crowley, particularly his Eight Lectures on Yoga. This book is probably his most insightful, speaking radically about things that would be misinterpreted in his writings even now in the occult community. Anyone approaching Crowley’s works should start with Eight Lectures before anything else.

In particular this phrase stands out to me as if it were in bold letters:

“The complete and joyous awakening from the lifelong and unbroken nightmare of physical discomfort is impossible to describe.”

I know that the perception of Crowley as a Satanist and black magician is one he is guilty of having perpetrated himself but having delved into his work again and again since my childhood I am often struck that most don’t see through this charade to the core of his real teaching. He is merely a westerner presenting concepts of the east to the fragile minds of the bourgeois 20th century sycophants that surrounded him (and who he preyed upon for support and entertainment).

But in any serious attempt to understand his work one must draw a distinction between the man and the philosophy. His actions were those of his upbringing, yet his ideas and concepts were often things he himself could not live up to or realize. Such is the weakness of the body when confronted with the strength of the mind.

Too often Crowley is painted as some dark wizard, particularly by the media, in order to add weight to some nonsensical entertainment that attaches itself to his name. (Musicians have been guilty of this more than most.) Yet his radical approach to theater, ritual, mental and physical experimentation, sexuality and identity was far ahead of its time.

He was in essence a man born a century before he should have been. Had he arrived now, in the early part of the 21st century, his ideas would be taken as commonplace and not shocking at all. Who would care about his openly bisexual stance, his practice of yoga and ritual magick, his drug use? (These things are part of everyday life in the entertainment industry.)

I hope in time that the facile shroud of darkness will fall away and reveal Crowley as a man of enlightened cultural perspectives and not focus solely on the hedonistic practices of his daily life. There is much to learn in his work, yet only one who can see past the disguise of the dark magus and disregard the idiocy that surrounds his image will ever understand the work of the “wickedest man in the world.”

dollar signs

As I prepare once more to cross the water I find myself scurrying to complete every task I have set myself. A professional procrastinator I work best under these tight deadlines. Knowing I have to get it done or else. And somehow as I approach the time to go I find myself with less and less to do, every note crossed off my list, every appointment met.

But I have been thinking a lot about life in America and how long it can go on this way. It would seem that most people do not even notice what is going on. To them a dollar is still a dollar. I actually got into a conversation with someone the other night who said that there was nothing wrong with the US, its economy or its policies.

I had to get up and leave. Its not that I am offended by someone who does not see that the US is doing bad things to the world, its just that if one is a conservative/republican then they should see the dollar signs and the state of the economy. When did republicans go from being business people to religious idiots who believe whatever the TV tells them is true? What happened to the GOP that supported our economic state? The Republican party is still for corporations, yet somehow it has become this smoke and mirrors act using moral ideals to pry the last dollars from the hands of its ridiculous supporters.

I never thought I would miss Reagan, but at least you knew where you stood with that GOP.

Over the past five years the dollar has slipped in value to below that of the Canadian dollar. As our currency’s trade value is weakening our stand in the world (power, not popularity – which has always sucked) is falling. Remember what happened to Russia? They still have nuclear weapons but without money they are not a super power.

We are living in the dying days of the American Empire. I feel like Josephus watching the decline of the Roman Empire. How can the people of the United States be so blind as to not see that what is happening is the ruin of the US?

As I have told people over the holidays that I am preparing to move to the EU everyone asks why? What is so good about the EU that you want to leave here? My answer is “Really? You don?t know?” Maybe if they educated people in schools in the US then they would understand why it is so fucked up here. But by keeping America uninformed and addicted to reality TV the political infrastructure can continue to ply its wares through deception and greed. Bringing the end to a way of life that everyone takes for granted.

A bit of a history lesson is here: empires all fall. Time brings a close to every global power. Rome, China, Portugal, Britain, Spain – all were once as big as you can imagine. Maybe China will have a go next at ruling the world.

I hope they have dental.