Monday, 31 March 2008

So many books, so little time...

Quote of the month:

"Why plough doggedly through an indifferent book, when you know you'll die leaving so many great books unread?"
-Linley Boniface, Booknotes, 161, Autumn 2008.

This quote is a slice of perceptive genius, and for a bookworm like myself, something of a manifesto. Why read dross when there is so much gold out there? My bookshelf is half full of books I haven't quite found the time to read yet. Books like The Handmaid's Tale by my beloved Margaret Atwood; The great classic War and Peace; Wild Swans by Jung Chang... the list goes on and numbers up into the thirties. It's not that I don't read, I most certainly do (studying literature at Masters level does require a modicum of reading after all) but my buying of books that I "must have" seems to outstrip my current reading rate! I do, after all, aspire to the likes of Peter Lineham who had to have the foundations of his house strengthened to accomodate his book collection.

In any case, this quote was a good wake up call. There have been times when I have wasted HOURS over a book that I didn't really want to keep reading, but did for reasons that, given this new perspective, now escape me. The next time I find myself checking how many pages I have to go before the end (a sure sign that I'm not enjoying the book) I shall be setting it aside and picking up a book that truly deserves my attention.

Problem is... which one?

Sunday, 23 March 2008

For John

The dull thud of the closing door -
Death has come again
Bringing with it loss and sorrow
Unbearable depths of pain.

Outside the slowly waving branches
Of the bended willow tree weep
They tell of a sadness and a grief
That cuts too near, too deep.

Although many of us will wonder
And never quite understand
You have chosen now to leave us
Going onwards, to that unknown land.

I hope you rest in peace, friend
And you'll find what it is you sought
You will always be remembered here
For all the joy you brought.

R.I.P. John
7 June 1984 - 13 March 2008

Friday, 21 March 2008

The inspirational drought is broken!

I haven't written anything here for ages!

Why? I wondered. I think it was because I ran out of things to say. I had a serious creative drought in the last half of last year, brought about mainly by emotional stress I think. When you're constantly dodging verbal land mines and looking over your shoulder, waiting for the next relational bomb to drop in the landscape of your personal life, it becomes hard to look into the imaginary world and create something. Focusing on survival does that to you. Only the most immediate and most urgent tasks have any priority and everything else seems superfluous.

Anyways, now I have figured out how to add photos, I think this should help jazz things up around here. Here's a couple of photos in which I find inspiration. Both are photos taken in Taiwan during August 2007.

Quiet contemplation in the park.

The Taipei skyline from the 101 observatory deck.

So where to from here? Hopefully I'll be able to find my voice again and move forward with my writing and/or photography!