Achieving certainty

Notes to myself on beginning a painting 
By Ricahard Diebenkorn
Attempt what is not certain.Certainty may or may not come later.It may then be a valuable delusion

Attempt what is not certain. How correct ! If certainty does not come,as was the case with my poetical attempt today,there is at least a promise that it may be a valuable delusion. 

Was my poem a valuable delusion? I don’t believe it to be valuable  now when I  look back. Ab initio, if one knows it to be a delusion, it will not be a valuable delusion.But there is another thing.It may start out as  uncertain but may join other streams of thought within , somewhere along the way and a new certainty may finally emerge. The epigram that comes  at the end of the poem from somewhere seals the thought with a surprising finality.


“Arnold Bennett says that the horror of marriage lies in its “dailiness.” All acuteness of a relationship is rubbed away by this. The truth is more like this: life — say 4 days out of 7 — becomes automatic; but on the 5th day a bead of sensation (between husband and wife) forms which is all the fuller and more sensitive because of the automatic customary unconscious days on either side. That is to say the year is marked by moments of great intensity. Hardy’s “moments of vision.” How can a relationship endure for any length of time except under these conditions?”

A quote from Virginia Wolfe’s A Writer’s Diary taken from the Brainpickings blog.

I like the word “bead” used here. The image that comes to my mind is the little rain droplets forming and travelling on a wire ,until they become a luminous bead to drop down when other droplets come to form a bead and drop down likewise.

I like the usage “dailiness” to describe the circular lives of a husband and wife , bound within the confines of a structured relationship in a family unit consisting of husband, wife and children.

Capsula mundi

Two Italian designers have come up with a design for a bio-degradable egg-like capsule in which a dead body could be buried like a seed and on top of it a tree planted to make a beautiful memorial forest.

I love the idea. For my mother who had died in 2007 , while we cremated her according to the Hindu custom we “planted” a mango tree in her memory in a memorial forest. This is not exactly what is capsula mundi about but something very silmilar.

The idea is to remember our dead not as denizens of a creepy graveyard but as living trees waving in the sprng breeze and may be hosting a cuckoo or two for the current mango season.

Humans are above dogs

In response to the recent mauling death of a four-year-old, the mayor of Bucharest announced that on October 6 residents would have the opportunity to decide whether the city’s stray dogs — estimated to number about 65,000 — should be euthanized. Hundreds in favor of a cull attended a demonstration on Sunday (Sept. 8), including the victim’s grandmother, who said, “I hope for a change for the better – I don’t want to see dogs on the street anymore.” Even Romania’s president, Traian Basescu, is in favor of a law authorizing euthanasia, stating, “Humans are above dogs.”

Really? That is what humans think. What do dogs think?

The logic seems to be that  a human’s life is more precious than a dog’s life. Precious to whom is not material as there is no third party assessing the value of the lives of each species. Pending that humans consider themselves slightly higher in the rank. Human life is precious to humans. So humans make laws suited to their own beliefs furthering their survival.

Euthanasia for healthy dogs? Okay because we have to lull our human conscience into believing that killing the dogs is for their own good!

Like bombing Syria for their own good!

There is no sad music,only bad music

Scientists say there is an essential difference between feeling genuine sadness and understanding the meaning of sadness through art: A song that communicates sadness does not pose an actual threat to our safety. The critical distance created by imitative art may actually help people deal with their own negative emotions. “Emotion experienced by music has no direct danger or harm unlike the emotion experienced in everyday life. Therefore, we can even enjoy unpleasant emotion such as sadness. If we suffer from unpleasant emotion evoked through daily life, sad music might be helpful to alleviate negative emotion.
I do not know what is sad music or happy music. Does the lyric of a vocal composition make it sad or happy? Or is there something inherent in the nuances of sound that make you sad or happy? If that were the case ,would instrumental music make you feel sad or happy?

I think the way the sounds are positioned with respect to each other they create an impact on your cognition and consequently the sensations they create aurally. Just like a fine breeze that produces pleasurable sensations on your cognition through the instrumentality of your skin. All good music gives pleasurable sensations and there is no such thing as sad music,only bad music.

Cynicism is cultivated oneupsmanship

“It’s time, therefore, to reclaim cynicism for the forces of light and truth. Forget about the tired old dichotomies of positive and negative, optimistic and pessimistic. We can’t make things better unless we see quite how bad they are. We can’t do our best unless we guard against our worst. And it’s only by being distrustful that we can distinguish between the trustworthy and the unreliable. To do all this we need intelligent cynicism, which is not so much a blanket negativity, but a searchlight for the truly positive.”

I have a feeling that cynicism is not misanthropy nor a belief that humankind is not capable of any significant advancement . A belief in the hopelessness of all human endeavor does not arise out of a fatalistic pessimism. It is just a studied position that nothing that humans do does really matter in the ultimate analysis.

Surprising that such a position has no ideological basis nor has an origin in the cynic’s own desperate circumstances. How a person becomes a cynic seems a big mystery. Perhaps out of a supercilious attitude cultivated over a period of time to overcome own perceived deficiencies.

Cynicism gives the cynic an intellectual oneupsmanship , a warm afterglow of satisfaction after putting down even the best intellectual arguments put forth by others.Since nothing really matters in the world, whatever others hold forth is plain waffle and does not deserve to be rebutted as an argument or polemic. “Silly asses! they think all this really matters! “ (smirk).The cynic is always perched on the highest of the platforms.

Joint and several

Here we are all, by day; by night we’re hurl’d
By dreams, each one into a several world.

Robert Herrick
A short sweet poem I have always loved.
“Each one into a several world” is a lovely usage. Here several means not many but individually distinct and separate from each other. By day we are all but by night we are hurled into our separate worlds, the world of our dreams.Each one of us has to dream his own dream and enact it all by himself. We have no choice to  choose  our dreams  but are hurled into them  and have to play the part assigned to us in them,pleasant or unpleasant.
“Hurled” is reminiscent of Milton’s “hurled headlong” in Paradise Lost. The fallen angels are hurled headlong into hell.
 Dreams are an extension of  sleep  like death from which there is no waking up.By night  each of us  has to face his several world of dreams alone , unlike by day when we are all together.