In search of lost time

“Everything is maya, nothing is real.”
– Sri Shantibindo

I opened one of my diaries from the seventies, which seemed real enough, dust & slightly musty smell and all, and read bits and pieces about things I’d done, read, seen, felt, about people I’d spent time with, now mostly having a hard time to put a face to their name. Back then I’d felt compelled to write this stuff down, to prevent a lengthy recherche du temps perdu for sure. Perhaps I’d had vague thoughts of one day writing my own search of lost time based on these details. Except that their primary effect now was to bore me, so that I closed the diary after a few minutes.

But maybe I’m given to boredom too easily. Even Proust had the same effect on me when I picked up À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, bought at the train station in Brive-la-Gaillarde, hoping it would get me through several hours of waiting for a night train.

The small station was mostly quiet in the evening. I ate the sandwich I’d bought earlier, washed it down with a bottle of beer and picked up the book, which held my attention for maybe fifteen minutes. I consulted the ending to determine whether it was worth wading through the rest and decided it wasn’t. The book is on my shelf to this very day – I’ve made several other attempts to read it since then, taking glimpses here and there – always with the same result. This record of time lost is so sprawling it indeed seems time lost, and I’m not going to lose any of mine on it.

But of the evening in Brive-la-Gaillarde I remember, without consulting a diary, that later on I watched a drunk and very agitated woman of about 25 spitting on the floor in the narrow passage to the platforms to demonstrate her displeasure with the man who had gone through there, leaving her after a long, loud argument punctuated with excited gestures and numerous expletives. She spat until she had the whole passage well covered.

Enough said about time, and the retrieval of its remnants. It’s all maya.

– Niebla (© 2020)

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Rome, Easter Sunday 2020

A dog barks somewhere
in the neighborhood. Otherwise
everything locked down.

– Niebla (© 2020)

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Many years ago

For N. B.

I played you my newly burnt CD with Kanika Banerjee songs

You said She sounds like a dying goat and laughed and laughed

– Niebla (© 2019)

Kanika Banerjee (1924 – 2000) was an Indian Rabindra Sangeet singer.

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If it’s not religion …

“If it’s not religion, they find other reasons – social status, envy, greed, skin color, dress code or dietary habits – to discriminate against each other, kill each other and make war. That’s human nature for you. We are programmed that way.”

– Sri Shantibindo in one of his more pessimistic moods

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And the Lord spoke

“Let there be a Big Bang”

(So now we know that both the Bible and Science are right)

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You are the call and the answer

“You look pathetic with your fangs half-bared, preparing to moan. I get your drift anytime.”
“Pathetic is not in my vocabulary. Self-image is not in my vocabulary. When I see myself in the mirror, I think it’s some other cat.”
Sometimes I find myself talking to the cat and then answering in a fill-in-the-blanks way because all I tend to get is some meow or facial expression that reveals some mild kind of curiosity at most.

– Niebla (© 2019)

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A good day in the creative department

Salas, Throne: “Spent some time perfecting what could become a new line of reptiles on planet Earth. Worked on details, e.g. water ingress prevention through the nostrils. This after Trito told me that this could be improved, noting with some satisfaction that his latest frog line had no such issues.”

– Niebla (© 2018)

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On finding oneself

“I’ve been finding myself for many years and keep discovering an elusive character.”

– Sri Shantibindo

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Jasmin - photo by J. Beilharz

I wish I could record
the fragrance of its flowers
and send it to everyone.

– Niebla (© 2018)

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So God said to Lucifer, “You will have to pretend to disobey me while you do exactly as I say.”
“And for all practical and theological purposes this meeting never took place.”
“I’m not comfortable with this, and you know it. But it is your will, and thy will be done, on earth, etc.”
“Good. Now that’s settled swear by God you won’t disclose this to anyone.”
“Sworn by you.”

– Niebla (© 2018)

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