Author Topic: Strange Connections  (Read 51122 times)

Offline Lynne

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #60 on: December 15, 2006, 08:57:36 pm »
hm...ok here is my contribution (for right now)

maybe what you are hunting is not in front of you. maybe you are going the wrong way? when you are lost you don't keep going. You stop, find a safe place, and let yourself be found.

Jess,

Good thoughts.  I think you may be onto something here.  (Nice analogy with the woods, btw.)  I'm no expert, for sure, and this sounds nearly mystical or fatalistiic or something, but the times in my life when I have been truly happy, things just seemed to go the 'right' way without causing me undue struggle.  I am not saying it wasn't *work*, because it was - but it was productive work where you see/feel tangiible results.  Alternately, when I feel like I'm not on-track, it's like there is roadblock after roadblock tossed in my path.  For every step forward, there are three back.  What is that saying?  Something like 'Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.'  Is the universe trying to tell us the right direction and we're too stubborn to listen?

-Lynne
"Laß sein. Laß sein."

injest

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #61 on: December 15, 2006, 09:30:53 pm »
or even ourselves....we lie to ourselves a lot better than we lie to others.

Offline Lynne

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #62 on: December 15, 2006, 09:43:23 pm »
or even ourselves....we lie to ourselves a lot better than we lie to others.

Sure enough!
"Laß sein. Laß sein."

Offline Daniel

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #63 on: December 15, 2006, 11:25:24 pm »
**gasp**

Mystical wisdom from the mouths of two beautiful people... I am in ecstasy. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me. I have much to respond with, but perhaps only a little which I can put into words.

The forest... I have seen this image so many times myself. But one of my favorite allusions to the dark wood in which Dante found himself lost in the Divine Comedy is this one from Loreena McKennitt. Lynne, you may recognize the words from her track, "Dante's Prayer" on the CD "The Book of Secrets"

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and fire

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me
Please remember me

There are rarely times when I do not feel as though I am on-track. ((I think that if I had I might have killed myself a long time ago.... but that is perhaps a different story.)) Indeed, I have titled this thread Strange Connections (in part) because of the continual on-trackness that I have experienced throughout my life. Everything in my life is connected, all of my interests (though you might think they are different) have a common underflow. It has always been my hope that I should one day be able to immerse myself entirely into that flow, to swim below the sparkling surface waters and discover the deeper truths that are hidden there. It was with this approach that I connected to Brokeback Mountain, and with a host of other sources available to me.  I have every intention of writing about my specific experiences in this regard, and I have called it the PRISMATIC PATH.

Prismatic, because it takes the light and sound, the color and musical thrum, of all the individual things around me and makes them sparkle in their million tiny awarenesses. Path, because these tiny awarenesses collectively add up to a greater awareness.... one which I can only barely glimpse.
Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #64 on: December 16, 2006, 12:31:38 am »
I am listening right now, at this very moment, to Loreena McKennitt's new music. "Caravanserai" from An Ancient Muse...

It's absolutely empowering, and the upper part of my heart I can feel opening in a painful blossom of self awareness. The upper part, the inspired part, not the lower part, where sorrow and depression wreak their vengeance.  I'm not certain how to explain this experience.... although there is one thing I find a little odd with some of Loreena's music...

It's not always very easy to understand exactly what she is singng... I wonder now if this is done on purpose. There are many tracks where I would swear she is singing something and it turns out to be something completely different...

For instance, in "Caravanserai"

------

The tents grew smaller as we rode away
On earth that tells of many passing days
Beyond the valleys in the searing heat
Until we reached the caravanserai

Calling, yearning, pulling, home to you
Calling, yearning, pulling, home to you

-------

When she sings "caravanserai" I hear "paragon so bright". It gives it an almost entirely different meaning.... I still think she does that intentionally, but what do I know. And then I hear both in my head once I know the truth and watch the light bounce around between mirrors until I finally find the source (or catch a glimpse of it anyway).



« Last Edit: December 16, 2006, 12:37:31 am by Daniel »
Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

injest

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #65 on: December 16, 2006, 12:44:37 am »
Daniel...I know that feeling you are talking about...with your heart.

always when I am alone and usually when it is quiet..

but we don't LIVE alone or in quiet. Don't forget that you live in the PHYSICAL world too...not just in the emotional and mental world.


Offline Daniel

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #66 on: December 16, 2006, 12:46:07 am »
We could not experience the lifting of heart and spirit without the physicality of the body in which they are lifted.

But I feel like you are trying to suggest something which you may have to be a little more specific about.  Perhaps I shall sleep on it and reply again in the morning.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2006, 12:49:17 am by Daniel »
Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

injest

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #67 on: December 16, 2006, 12:55:49 am »
I will think and post a better response before I leave tonight...

Offline Daniel

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #68 on: December 18, 2006, 09:54:37 pm »
Today, my mom came over and we had a christmas gift wrapping party. Personally, I think she feels she lacks the artistic eye to wrap presents beautifully. I admit that her combination of green and white striped paper with the red plastic ribbon did seem a little garrish. I suggested a green velvet ribbon with silver edges instead, and she seemed happier with that approach.

My gifts were all in a red and copper persian design paper with irridescent copper-gold ribbon. I was a little upset that I didn't have any floral wire in the house to make proper bows, but I just used the shoestring bow.

While we wrapped our christmas presents, we listened to chrismas carols and then later on I put in my McKennit CDs. She's heard them before, but today she acted as though she were hearing them for the first time. I guess sometimes we forget.  She was deeply moved by her voice; then she wanted to know why everything was so melancholy.

"Not everything she sings is melancholy." I responded. "Some of it is more mystic."  I immediately wondered if the correct word should have been "mystical", then shook my head and pushed that thought aside.

"It seems as though her music is mourning a lost memory, or perhaps trying to recall something we have almost completely forgotten."  I smiled as I recalled how desperately I had wanted someone to understand Loreena's music from the same aspect I had. I agreed with her, but then we lost that connection as she moved on to her traditional conversations of gossip and social elitism. So I am glad that someone connected with me, even if it was only for a short instant, and it leads me to believe that my quest to find someone who can connect with me is not a worthless one.

Sometime later in that same conversation, she turned to me and asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I think it might have been because of the brief connection that we had earlier that I told her the complete truth.

"The process of giving is a little complicated... but basically I do not feel that we should give if we feel compelled or obliged to do it. Gifting.... true gifting requires a connection of consciousness so profound, that I cannot describe it well. I may want something for Christmas, but I'm not going to force you to get it for me by telling you what I want."  I think part of this Christmas philosophy originated in my young childhood, when I learned not to ask for anything from my parents, who were financially destitute. I was always pleasantly surprised by whatever gifts, be they toys or books, my parents could afford for me. The absence of expectation. This is the core of the true giving spirit, and is also at the core of the ability to receive a gift with true joy and compassion.

So much of the commercial identity has transformed Christmas. The other day, I assisted two women at the Jewelry counter, who were purchasing gifts for themselves. Instead of trying to find a gift that represented their inner connection to one another, their husbands had thrown money at the problem. It deeply saddened me, and I am beginning to think I do not fit in well with the corporate or retail industry.  But then again, I have never fit in well anywhere.

Why do we consume what we consume?
Why do we believe what we believe?
Why do we accept what we accept?
You have a body, a mind, and a soul.... You have a responsibility.

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Strange Connections
« Reply #69 on: December 18, 2006, 10:54:34 pm »
Loreena McKennit's new CD is entitled "An Ancient Muse" and makes reference to Homer's invocation to the muses in the telling of his tales. What is arguably one of the greatest Homeric epic is of course the Iliad, which was portrayed relatively correctly in the film "Troy", a film which was ultimately unsatisfying because it does not portray the homosexual relationship between Achilles and his shield-bearer Patrocles. To a reader of the Iliad, the absence of this passionate union takes out the main source for Achilles' anger, so in the film he looks like an idiot, or worse, just a plain ***hole.

Troy was such a disaster.  Never let a man named 'Wolfgang' do Greek mythology.  Almost every single actor starring had the chops to handle the story, but they turned it into a mishmash of Western action hero nonsense.  It still aches of 'what might have been' whenever Eric Bana and Sean Bean are on the screen.

Quote
I suppose this can be compared with "Alexander", the theatrical release that painted a human standard so Homeric that the American audience had difficulty connecting with it and which spawned a Director's Cut where the scenes make even less sense than the theatrical version. In other words, I suppose there are some things that should remain in the written or oral traditions because they make the most sense there and not converted to a theatrical rendition.

Overall, both films failed to incorporate the ancient Greek or Hellenistic ideals that made the stories so great for their time period, and wondrous for those that can grasp even the barest hints of those ideals: masculine softness, emotionally complex subtlety, a ponderous or inquisitive nature, and the most important one of all, human fallibility.  The films paint the Greek and Hellenistic armies as savage, trained warriors and while some may have had a little military training, it is more likely that the armies would have been composed of civilian conscripts.  This is made very clear in the Homeric epics, where he does what he can to paint the warriors' private and civilian lives in addition to their military ones.  These are not bloodthirsty savages but gentle country folk being forced by their kings to fight against those who were previously trading partners and competitors.

I loved Alexander and still do.  I wrote extensively on the movie while on IMDb a now bygone spring two years ago.  To research the era, culture and Alexander himself and to try to make a movie about him, is a near impossible task.  To film the man's life would have filled a full mini-series of movies.

The man needed a movie made about him, but Alexander lived in a culture so far distant from current Western society that one may as well be making a sci-fi movie about aliens from another planet as get a modern American audience to understand.

One has to try to win an audience's empathy or understanding for Alexander himself.  A man who loved warfare.  A man who conquered entire regions for no other reason than for the power and wealth it brought him.  People who surrendered to him were given generous terms, people who dared to want their freedom were slaughtered down to the women and children at times.  Or else the women and children were sold into slavery.

Alexander lived in the Classical/Hellenstic age, where Greek/Macedonian society thought little wrong with men who loved men and women and boys.  Where sexual relationships with children was the norm.  Where buying a sexual slave was just another 'luxury' in life to aspire to.

And all of this was perfectly acceptable.

John Doe moviegoer, raised in an era of Enlightenment, has to sympathize with Alexander somehow.

I'm normally a blunt person, but when a male friend asked me what history thought Pausanias' motive was in assasinating Phillip, Alexander's father, I found myself tripping over the explanation of what I had read, though in the reading, it was perfectly in line with the culture, but taking it out of context to explain to a friend, had me fumbling.

To bring an ancient civilization to life for film - if done as accurately as possible - risks alienating an entire modern audience.

To have brought Troy to life, hewn as close to the story as possible, would have had Sean Bean as Odysseus, throwing the infant son of Hector (Eric Bana) off the walls of Troy (I can't recall for certain, but wasn't that in the 'Iliad'?) and still somehow convince a modern audience to consider Odysseus a great hero.  The scene where Achilles denies Hector a decent burial and mocks him is pretty much the tone of how Achilles would have acted in the 'Iliad'.

Human sacrifice would have to be rationalized because they did do it and you can, if you think like they do.  I think it was Polyxena who was slaughtered at Achille's pyre, simply because he had wanted her in life and she was by then a royal prisoner.

It is a difficult task to bring ancient civilizations to life with their different cultural values and social mores and not make them the 'bad guys' as apparently Mel is doing with his Apocalypto.

The HBO series 'Rome' does a lot better job.  The two main characters are casual killers, one a recreational rapist, brutal xenophobic soldiers sold on the superiority of Rome and Romans and male status and both are quite willing slaveholders, yet they are also loving family men and fathers, great hearted friends you can't help but like.

Perhaps the show is more palatable to an audience because they only hint at homosexuality (except where women are concerned  :P ) and gloss quickly over the sexual slavery and pederasty with throw away lines and scenes.  But perhaps that's the show's strength as well.  It shows these things as normal everyday things and doesn't make much fuss about it.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2006, 11:55:53 pm by delalluvia »