To be unreadable is freedom. Of a sort.
No Phone Elegy
I am overjoyed to have experienced being hooked and tethered to my smartphone. Now, whenever I go for a walk without my phone, I am overwhelmed by how vivid, how three-dimensional, how high-resolution, how multi-sensory reality is. An ant crawling across the moss, a leaf flying on the wind, a brook babbling to itself. All now appear so much more beautiful and precious to me.
I would not have known the joy of living in the moment without the contrast of the pinging ringing all-notifying ever-glowing red-dot-unread-message phone.
My apologies if I am often unreachable. I probably do not have my phone with me.
The neighbourhood had become small, shabby, and shrunken with years. Its owners were given promises and paper to pave their way away. They left with their belongings: their chattel and their chariots and their cherished mobiles. But not all did they take along.
Much was left behind, and the abandoned chattel walked the now quiet streets of the neighbourhood. The breakers of brick and eaters of earth rolled up, ready to turn the tapestry of town into a canvas for construction.
They were kind, the breakers and the eaters, so they sent in the chattel hunters first. With nets and tranquillizers they rounded up the left behind and took them to the impound. Fourteen days each chattel was given, a notice sent to owners first, then to other habitants. Here, these chattel, were found in the hollow neighbourhood. Had they been left by accident? By design? Would somebody else take up the role of owner?
For many days new chattel rolled in from the empty place, then the hunters were finished. Few owners came for their chattel. Few new owners were found. The fifteenth day rolled in, the euthanized corpses of the first day’s chattel rolled out stiff in plastic bags, ready for the fire house, for their ash to feed the fields.
Fear and horror and dread stalked the chattels in their cels in that impound. The food tasted of cinders, the water of acid, the dreams were stalked by hunters and flames.
On the fourteenth day, a chattel was granted reprieve.
A new home, new owners, life to continue, not end.
The price: bondage and leash, four walls, no freedom to roam, stomach cut open, ovaries and womb removed, stitches to remind the chattel of her lifeprice.
It feels rough to sterilize a rescue dog.
Noble Gas Siberian Pleistocene Unicorn
I launched a substack for stories and pictures, for those who prefer my tales and depictions without my games. Only took me six months to go from first placeholder post to second actual post. A roaring success!
Fall in Korea has two seasons. The Hueling, when a painted riot of colour descends on the mixed deciduous and coniferous forests. Featherwhite grasses, buttercup yellow ginkgos, glistening orange cherries, deep yellow chestnuts, ochre planes, crimson and scarlet maples, evergreen pines. And a scattering of all between.
This year’s Hueling was lovely.
Then there is the Greying, when the leaves are gone, and the sky whispers “winter, winter, winter.”
We are in the Greying now. It is less lovely.
Soon it will be winter, and I will have to take in the plants off the balconies lest the sap in their veins turns to water-stone* and they die.
A Witticism Hard to Translate
On Twitter, I overheard a witticism in Slovenian:
“Slovenija se cepi na cepce in cepljene.”
Eng.: “Slovenia splits into the vacuous and the vaccinated.”
Its translation doesn’t work well. In Slovenian, the stem “cep-“features in both the verbs “to vaccinate” and “to split”. The tool for splitting grains (releasing the edible kernels), a simple flail, acquired the name “cepec”; because the tool is simple, heavy, blunt, and rather clumsy, it also came to refer to a “simple or foolish person”. And, well, “cepljen” is simply “a vaccinated person”, from how the skin was split for the original smallpox vaccines.
The witticism, besides being a nice bit of wordplay, also works as black humour in this pandemic time, where about half (53%) of the Slovenian population is vaccinated against covid, and the other half vaccinated against vaccination.
I would be wary of sharing this witticism without comment. I would never want to imply anyone is a fool.
A Man Thrashing Grain
Years ago, I was walking past a barn. A cloud of chaff flew out, the corn was piled into sacks.
My companion nodded and said, “Only God and Statistics can judge the wisdom and moral correctness of an action.”
I nodded and said, “But the corn is caught, and the chaff flies free.”
He nodded and said, “And no fresh grass springs from the wind-scattered chaff.”
I nodded and said, “An easy choice, corn and chaff.”
He nodded and said, “You’d think.”
We both nodded and said no more.
The cloud continued to fly behind us.
I watched Cowboy Bebop for the first time in its original anime format.
It was very nice.
I don’t think I’ll watch it again for a few years.
The original is quite nice and perfect in its way.
No Fly Gone
Wife came to me and said, “This winter, I’ve got plenty of holidays. Shall we visit your Heimat together?”
I want very much to see my Mother again. My friends and my river, my town and my hills, my graves and my relatives.
I replied, “Now the land is split, then it will be shut. Two months shut in last year was enough. I fear it will be a Zoom Christmas again.”
I thought a bit longer.
I added, “It’s also a good excuse to have a holiday just for ourselves. Perhaps somewhere tropical without a devastating disease wave.”
It was by accident.
So long with so much time to watch myself. What I do, what I eat, what I drink. And what those deeds and foods and draughts will do. No distractions of friends and habit, and I found I couldn’t seem but face up to the facts.
I’d already given up the nicotines a while back, the ethanols and monosaccharides now. And I don’t even miss them. What’s next. Caffeines?
What’s left then?
Getting high off life, like Kenny?
Sugarmountain’s renaming his attention harvester corporation Meta.
I guess it worked. It’s distracted the media who don’t know what to say about Meta or Facebook now.
It’s just metafacebook, though.
Perhaps that’s the joke?
A Joke of Nationalism
My nation is on the rocks. Its story holed below the waterline.
With the ship of state so struck, what institution claims more auctoritas than I could claim myself? What helmsman should I defer to now, when the leviathan flops and twitches, beached and breached?
With myth revealed as myth, it’s clear: no better or worse than a myth I could write myself.
Good night, good weekend,
P.S. – … and a music for your evening song.