Hosting Flaneurs

The chill in the air smells like the last time I fell in love.

Knitted woolen leg warmers donned. Chestnut brown and unraveling from overuse.

My sister gave me three pairs, last year.

“You want, like, Flash Dance legwarmers for your birthday?” she asked.

“Yeah, I am standing on my toes these days.”

An hour ’til I walk to the restaurant.An hour of coffee, words, and nicotine.

I will pluck my heavy comforter (trans. duvet) from storage after work.

I seat a one top.

Coffee?: I ask

I insist on it: he says.

We have that in common.

No cream. Bring white sugar if you have it: he says.

White sugar?: I think.

Kat, do we have white sugar already on the table?: I ask, unsure what white sugar means.

Bleached sugar, you mean?: she asks.

Smiling, I say: dunno. He wants white sugar. Those words.

Well, we have raw sugar, nutrisweet, sweat n’ low, and truevia in packets on the tables. We have Splenda packets here, just in case. Brown sugar for breakfast…:

The dishwasher (who provided his own sobriquet [call me MC BlackCoffee: he told me, when I first started] ) interrupts her.

He wants this: he says, holding a shaker the size of two coffee cups stacked on top of each other.

What kind of sugar do you call this: I ask him.

The good kind: he says.

We need to reevaluate your nickname. Sugared coffee is not black coffee: I tease.

Don’t change the color, does it?: he nods, smiling.

Server T. touches my shoulder: the guy at table six has a book for you.

Oh, word. I was hoping he would make good: I say.

How do you know him? He wasn’t sure if you were the right person. Plus, you just seated him.: he says confused and a bit irritated I had let one guy sit at his four top.

I don’t know him. I didn’t recognize him: I reply.

He shrugs. I smile.

Two nights ago, I discovered this server knew philosophy as well as, if not better than, me. And, he discovered a coworker that could keep up with him. We had discussed the very book table six has brought me. He seemed happy.

~

I met table six when he came in for breakfast a few days before. I noticed him reading a Martin Gardner book.

I dig that guy: I say.

This seventyish year old man looked up at me. I recall one eye not opening all the way, although both eyes appear open today.

I found Hofstadter, Penrose, and Feynman through him: I say.

He stared at me.

He wants to be left alone: I think.

I walk away, after offering: I’ll leave you to enjoy.

As he left, he stopped by my hostess post and asked: how did someone your age find out about these guys.

Well, I was ten years younger in Alabama selling collegiate clothing in a boutique and I got very bored.

~

I go up to table six. He has brought me his second copy of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, thoughtfully wrapped in plastic as it rains heavy. This was a gateway book for me and I lost my copy during my move from AL to WA. I am thrilled a copy has found it’s way back to me.

What kind of restaurant is this? You and my server is a philosophy graduate.: he says, looking quite serious.

One that is open to hiring ex-academic flaneurs: I joke.

I have him sign and date the book.

By the way, your server is also a third degree black belt: I mention.

~

Server T says: Don’t you think it’s funny we were just talking about that book the other night?

Ha, I am surprisingly unsurprised. Things like this happen a lot to people like us, don’t you think?: I respond.

Well, I think there would be some observer bias in such a thought: he says, quite rightly.

But, observer bias is unavoidable by definition because we are observers at every moment. What are your thoughts on metaphysics?: I push him.

I try to avoid metaphysics. Too messy.: he says, walking away.

Yeah, yeah. That’s what all you philosophers say these days. Too messy and too close to mysticism: I call out as much to myself as to him.

It is like that?

Because we are perceivers, that is why?

There is only causation because we create it?

We created the Why?

We have an inborn propensity to see causation. We attribute our perceptions to external causes, but some perceptual representations are internal, for instance, optical illusions.

[Consciousness] is an evolved user-illusion, a system of virtual machines.

David C. Dennett. The Evolution of Minds: from bacteria to Bach. 2017

The voice of knowledge wants to know what everything means, to interpret everything that happens in our lives.

DM Ruiz & DJ Ruiz. 2010, p124 & 13. ISBN 978-1-878424-61-7

happy birthday, Monster.

I’m a bulldog for R.E.M being recognized for the amazing punks they are.

Southern Gothic Punk.

The album Monster turned 25 years old the other day.

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

/I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed
I thought I’d pegged you an idiot’s dream…/

Yeah, /I never understood tha frequency (uh hum)/ either.

/Richard said, “Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy”…

I couldn’t understand/

‘Til recently.

Well, the last time I saw Richard was Detroit in ’68.

And he told me: all romantics meet the same fate.

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? Remaster. Given as a present to listeners,

along with a delightful, contextualization presented by original and remaster producer Scott Linn.

An awesome, quick interview.

He wanted “to take another crack at it.”

I dig both.

Re: Strange Currencies

David Foster Wallace really dug it during one particular book tour.

Read all about from the words of (a very thoughtful) other.

I.e. read it in many fewer words than DFW would have described it in, with hardly any footnotes. Giggle.

This particular anecdote is my favorite from the entire book.

/I don’t know why you’re mean to me./

/The fool might be my middle name./

/Take you there and make you mine./

/These words will be mine./

/I tripped and fell./

/I wanna feel it now./

/You know with love comes strange currencies; and here is my appeal:

I need a chance. A second chance. A third chance. A fourth chance…

[Insert magical, hard to decipher words here]

To catch myself and make it real./

Everything and more.

Parçigal from between time or Circumstance

Background notes:

Parzifal is the “collective tradition of mankind…is not subject to Time or Circumstance.”

Is for those born of the ‘Heart’s Affliction.’

Researching Parzifal led me to the works of C.S. Jones who wrote The Chalice of Ecstasy “to make the points dealt with [in the drama] as comprehensive as possible to the uninitiated enquirer who is prepared to ‘wake and harken the call.’ “

The writing below is an exercise in synthesis.
All quoted text is pulled from The Chalice of Ecstasy.
All quoted text within quotation marks are quotes Jones included in his work.
He also used WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH’s text Parzival as his basis. He does recommend a good translation of the Libretto from R. Wagner’s Parsifal.

Parzival is “written in the keynote of ecstasy” according to Wolfram von Eschenbach and “provides a glimpse of the Eternal Reality.” A key event in the story is Parzival shooting a swan from the sky. The swan represents ecstasy. Parzival should have been condemned for this but is not because of the unique confluence of his circumstances. I like to use the allegory of Parzival which is considered a “living text” as a means of discussing sexuality and gender roles/definition. I also like the idea of the newest incarnation of Parzival being from the perspective of a feminine knight questing for love and understanding with the former.

¤

My ecstasy has indicated I was “born of the ‘Heart’s Affliction.’ “

I found my “way to that spot where they, ‘scarcely move, yet seem to run’ “.

“Having become one with The Way,” I have just come to Tao.

I “discover that the shifting scenes of the world [I] had though so real, will pass [me] by as a pageant until the Vision of the Grail itself is presented to their pure Understanding.” But howl surprised was I to see both you and I.

I fear I believe that all that is written above has occured to me again and again.

I simply continue for long enough to forget and remember it all over again.

A chALice emptied and refilled.

My heart “learned to beat in time and tune with the Soul of the World.”

Rhythm and vibrations are everything we think we know. What is rhythm but

a wave? A wavelength. An S rotated 90% and crossing an axis. Periodicity of the pendulous arm’s swings.

Rhythm is the steady crashing of waves falling.

The entire ocean is every wave.

¤

I feel my being “to be a highly strung musical instrument.”

Fret awaiting fretting. Tuned to the proper tone to be strummed and plucked upon.

A fitt “burn[s] up the veils which hide [me] from Myself.”

It reveals you. A familiar stranger.

Strum me.

“Will runs over [my] strings” and I come to know how to reveal how it is “causing complete and harmonious vibrations.” Do you choose to experience this in your own being? Show me the “unformulated but delightful melody” that is the same song Whitman sang.

The Song of Myself.

I will dance to your song simply because you choose to perform it for me.

I will conduct your currents as you emit them.

I will empty you to refill you.

I am an empty plenum. I contain everything in my nothingness.

I know not the rituals. Yet still I seek to continually “unite the mind to some pure idea by an act of will.” This is the brick wall against which I slam my head “again and again.” The wall where you found me bleeding and dizzy, next to the eggshell pieces of Humpty Dumpty. Alice remembers her name again.

I know not the “Way of Holiness.” I may not impress upon the consciousness of your onlookers.

No-One is the only one that looks upon me thusly.

I am a pure Fool, ignorant and earnest. Before that I was a dummy. I could not speak. I have always been an idiotē.

I have always been the unaffiliated Maverick roaming through the initiated herds, admiring the brands, the symbols emblazoned upon their skin.

My skin is marred by time and circumstance.

My skin is completely unmarked.

Canvas.

¤

“ “There is a Swan whose name is Ecstasy.” “

Also known as you and I.

I “ “wingeth through the blue” and at “[my] coming they push forth the green” “ because I bring spring.

I herald an easter Sunday for your tired soul.

You shot me down from the sky.

And, you did it by virtue of No-One’s weapon but your own.

A Happy Death for me. A Swan’s life born anew in you.

“ “In all the Universe [a] Swan alone in motionlessness, it seems to move as the Sun seems to move; such is the weakness of sight.” “

“ “O fool!”…”Motion is relative; there is nothing that is still.” “ Let me shoot my arrow at you this time. From your “ “ [feathered] breast poured forth blood” “ and I felt ecstatic and you discovered ichor. Now, let me ecstatically enrapture you until your veins flow with it so richly as to sustain this demiurge. You are no longer a Pure Fool because you know. The men that smote you last time will not let you pass again. But, I can sneak you through the gate. Folly is my protector. Let me use it for the protection of the soul of another.

I am ignorant of the rule and the action taken breaking the rule was kindly intended.

(says the little boy who cried ‘Wolf’)

(says the collective mind who was “just taking orders”)

Consequences occur regardless of intention.

Risk is underwritten.

In tension, intension.

Suspension of beginning an action and witnessing the resultant reaction and effects of your affect.

I have been called Artemis, Sagittarius (until the stars changed), centaur and satyr.

I read of the marriage of Christian Rosencrutz. Send them my congratulations and best wishes, please.

Where is the Castle and what of the Tower?

“ “By my word, I know you are Parzival-son of Herat’s Affliction” “-and I have recovered the weapon that you flung off after using it to pluck me down from the sky and into the blue lake.

I have discovered-upon that Might of Love which you used to render me slain. You “succeeded where all others had failed,” dear one.

You say you do “now as yet know [t]he True Name-the Word of [Ewer]-Being, though in the past [you had] been called by many names.”

You mention this: “one thing [you] desired to know and to understand. What is the Grail!”

You have already been told that “ “By no one can it be detected Who by itself is not elected.” “

And, you then did “ “Bestride the Bird of Life [because] thou wouldst know.” “

I desire to know if you came to me by slaying me because you wanted to know or because you wanted to know me. And to what end did you intend this knowledge?

The difference between a means to a desired end and being the end desired.

Dis-ingenuity. Do not be disingenuous, sorrel.

It will make it so much worse for you. Through it you turn three pounds of pleasure into three pounds of misery. Should misery please you, you will never be miserable again, if you act duplicitously or maliciously.

A knight need only be kind. Do not attempt to placate with being nice. Kindness does not impress. It empresses upon. Kindness is a way of being and not an act of valour to be selectively undertaken. Kindness can appear cruel to outsiders.

So, I also ask: are you kind?

I desire to know how you found yourself at the intersection of right now. Face to face with me.

This is the cost of admission. Tell me these things and I shall sneak you through the gate.

I just hope you are as brave as you believe yourself to be. Sometimes it will get dark. You have coronated me a Queen of Magnets. I attract all poles.

Howl I hope it is not just a ceremonial sobriquet, sweet fool.

“We are the ELLIPSE OF THE UNIVERSE.”

Top Quotes from Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco became like a new Hermann Hesse to me, over the last two years.

I have only read Foucault’s Pendulum and On Literature, but these were undertakings filled with amazing rabbit holes.

I recently reread the pages of notes I took from Foucault’s Pendulum. A very hermetic-y work, at least to my unaffiliated eyes.

Here are my favorites.

Believe there is a secret and you will feel like an initiate. It costs nothing…to live as if there were a Plan.

To dismantle the world into two saraband of anagrams.

Le monde est fait pour aboutir a un livre (faux).

Tout se tient.

Books of diabolicals must not innovate.

Yearning for mystery. Initiation is learning never to stop.

The most powerful secret is a secret without content.

Foucault’s Pendulum

Umberto Eco, Author, Eco, Author, William Weaver, Translator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) (656p) ISBN 978-0-15-132765-2. Trade edition.

Quote Like Song Lyrix Stuck in my Head

Eclecticism is self-defeating not because there is only one direction in which it is useful to move, but because there are so many: it is necessary to choose.

THE INTERPRETATION OF CULTURES: Selected Essays. Geertz, Clifford. Basic Books, Inc., Publishers. New York, 1973.

On Music: Glass Bead Game: Master Ludi Quote

Music does not consist in those purely intellectual oscillations and figurations which we have abstracted from it.

Its pleasure consists in its sensuous character.

In the outpouring of breath.

In the beating of time.

Certainly, the spirit is the main thing.

The invention of new instruments,

altering old ones.

The introduction of new keys.

New rules, taboos, regarding construction and harmony, are always mere gestures and superficialities, as our the fashions of nations.

-Hermann Hesse