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Off the Cliff

The rodents are running hurrah! hurrah!

9 January
External Services:
  • basara@eol.ca
  • flemmings@livejournal.com
F(xxxxxxx) + (little rodents with teeth who follow their unthinking instincts, overbreed, and then all jump over a cliff together.) What else would I call it?

Note on friending: Friend away.
Note on defriending: Defriend away. No, what I mean is, I use a very low resolution. Large pictures, graph bars, odd pieces of code etc will break my friends' page. Generally I just defriend whoever has the page breaker until their entry drops down to skip=30, then I refriend. Pure presbyopia, nothing personal.

Useful quotes:

A certain hermit once said, 'There is one thing that even I, who have no worldly entanglements, would be sorry to give up, the beauty of the sky.'
-Tsurezuregusa/ Essays in Idleness

You ask me when I am coming. I do not know
I dream of your mountains and autumn pools brimming all night with the rain
Oh when shall we be trimming wicks again, together in your western window?
When shall I be hearing your voice again, all night in the rain?

-Li Shang Yin
translated by Witter Bynner

C'est pourquoi il y a d'honnêtes gens qui étudient les poids et mesures des Assyriens, ou la procédure civile en Egypte sous les Lagides, ce qui est une grande preuve de la mélancolie de vivre.
--Anatole France

"Qu'est-ce que la confession vous a enseigné des hommes?"
"Vous savez, la confession n'apprend rien parce que dès que l'on confesse, on est un autre, il y a la Grâce. Et pourtant... D'abord les gens sont beaucoup plus malheureux qu'on ne croit... et puis..."
Il leva ses bras de bûcheron dans la nuit pleine d'étoiles:
"Et puis, le fond de tout, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de grandes personnes."
--André Malraux

Book lovers... may not want the books to read immediately, or at all; they want them to possess, to range on their shelves, to have at command. They want books as a Turk is thought to want concubines -- not to be hastily deflowered, but to be kept at their master's call, and enjoyed more often in thought than in reality.
-- Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost

To wake, alive in this world
What happiness!
Winter rain
--Kuroyanagi Shouha

They ask me why I live in the green mountains.
I smile and don't reply; my heart's at ease.
Peach blossoms flow downstream, leaving no trace-
And there are other earths and skies than these.
--Li Bai, trans. Vikram Seth


Gionshōja no kane no koe,
Shogyōmujō no hibiki ari.
Sarasōju no hana no iro,
Jōshahissui no kotowari wo arawasu
--Heike Monogatari


Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade I piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

--Carol Ann Duffy

I've never read John M. Ford's books, but I've always had the impression he was one of those writers who - I was going to write "don't really expect readers to 'get it'", but a more accurate characterization is probably "habitually overshoot the level of subtlety required to avoid cheesy obviousness".