Saturday, 27 February 2010

Found - 1


Found while going through some old notes. Something I did using an Apple Mac over a decade ago.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Where do you work?

'I do my intellectual work within myself and once with other people, it's more or less irrelevant to me that they're intelligent, as long as they are kind, sincere, etc.'

Marcel Proust

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Hegel's Bike


I saw this interesting juxtaposition of commemorative plaque and bicycle in Heidelberg in January 2006 and couldn't resist taking a photograph. Exactly why I find it so interesting and exactly what this juxtaposition really means to me is a mystery even to myself. It is perhaps something to do with the visual association of the profound (philosopher) and the mundane (bicycle). What is more, something about the clearly modern staircase to the side of the building makes me think of Hegel as living in an upstairs flat – a suggestion as fanciful as thinking of him riding a (yet to be invented) bicycle.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

To a Daughter Never Seen

A poem by J.M. Collard

If I should never see you in this world.
If war's inconsequence should claim me, too.
God grant me this.
That I may come to you when you're asleep,
With tiny fingers curled around your pillow,
With the moon's white rays making a halo 'round your golden hair.
Give me an hour to let me watch you there.
Midway between this life and death's dark waste.
And then perhaps when many years have passed,
You will recall a long forgotten dream,
Of how a stranger came when you were fast asleep,
And stooped and kissed your curly head.
And as you think of me there'll be a gleam of light,
Upon the valley of the dead.


I first heard this poem, some years ago on Radio 4's 'Poetry Please'. I found it so moving that I transcribed it from a recording I made of the repeat broadcast. Thus, the layout may not be exactly as originally intended.
Apparently, this poem is taken from 'War Poems of the Middle East (1940-1946)', although I'm not sure if that is the correct title; I have been unable to trace the book. Neither have I been able to find out anything about J.M. Collard. The feeling one gets from the poem is that he perished, claimed by 'war's inconsequence'; there is such a sense of prophetic foreboding. (I do very much hope that I am wrong though and that he and his daughter finally met and lived long and happy lives after the war.)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Friday, 12 February 2010

To ponder …

'Few things are as unique as a new idea.'


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Although it will do them no good, many people want to be remembered long after they are dead; they want, it seems, to leave some sort of legacy. For some, nothing short of a monument will do. However, monuments collapse and memories fade and even if one's name is not forgotten, what is remembered is not the person that once bore that name but merely some distant impression of who they might have been.

Better, perhaps, is to have had a good idea and leave that as one's legacy. Leave that in the minds of one's fellow human beings so that it might enrich their lives for generations to come. Better that than try to make the future look back at some character from the past; a character that they will never really know for sure.

Sunday, 7 February 2010


'We work to become, not to acquire.'

Elbert Hubbard

Friday, 5 February 2010

The world as if mirrored

Even though there are things I do with my right hand, I consider myself to be naturally left-handed. Certainly, I write with my left hand. A couple of years ago, I made a serious attempt to learn to write with my right hand. This was for no other reason than for the fun of it. Everything went OK but after a while I stopped trying; I just got out of the habit.
Recently, I had another go at writing with my right hand. My writing is still rather spidery but legible. I certainly have not miraculously become a right-hander in the interim. What is particularly interesting though is the feeling inside my head when I am writing with my right (or should that be 'wrong') hand.
I have a feeling of disconnection from the world; a feeling of being 'mirrored' or of 'mirrored-ness' – if that makes any sense. It's an odd feeling and not one that I can, perhaps, fully describe. However, I shall persevere with learning to write with my right hand. I now have two reasons to do so: just for the fun of it and now, the need to explore this strange feeling I get when I am writing with my wrong hand.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010