somewhere in the dusty trail

If you have any inclination to do Outward Bound, then definitely go for it. The experience is amazing but you need to be open to it; it’s not so much about what you are doing as how you are doing it, and the people you are with. If you don’t have any inclination to do Outward Bound, then don’t. It’s a self-selecting sample, after all. Also: the fitter you are in advance, the better.

I’m still not reading any news. Which means there is little to blog about, since I’m not that into blogging about my life, such as it is. The domain is coming up for renewal. I’m not sure there’s a lot of point in continuing with the site. Also finding it hard to justify the hosting costs.

I’m not even sure why I would go back to paying attention in the way I have been. The patterns and trends are well in place. A close monitoring of the unfolding catastrophe benefits what exactly? May as well spend the time gaining skills that will be handy when the shit hits the fan.

Today I will start reading the draft of the non-fiction book. Depending on how that goes, and the meeting later today regarding the doco, I can make the next life-decision. Yet more change a-coming.

Hard to believe This Charming Mystery was only a couple of months ago; it feels like another life. This year has turned my world inside out and round and round and it’s not over yet. But winter is the time of letting go, drawing in tight what matters, and dropping the inessential; Spring is just around the corner, despite the gray and rain, and expansion will come again. Everything to its time. The point is to make use of it while we have the chance. Ain’t nothing lasting in this world.

recommunicado

I am back from Outward Bound, and contactable again.

OBwas awesome and exhausting. Still processing it.

incommunicado

Tomorrow I am off on Outward Bound and will be incommunicado for a week or so.

more Ventura

I still haven’t been reading news, though am peripherally aware of a bunch of stuff, since Ed listens to the radio.

Anyway. I just read a bunch of Michael Ventura’s recent columns. I strongly recommend reading these two:

$4 a gallon redux

Issues ’08: The Situation

This guy is so far ahead of the curve, and his ability to link what is going on worldwide and what it will mean for real people is consistently amazing. Read him now to avoid nasty surprises later.

Hit'n'Miss Aotearoa #10: Nicky Hager

Wow. The podcasting has got a bit dusty. Despite having literally hundreds of bootlegs lying around. Oh well.

And now for something completely different. But strangely closer to what I originally had in mind for the podcasts.

This audio is investigative journalist Nicky Hager, author of The Hollow Men, Seeds of Distrust, Secrets and Lies, etc, giving a talk at Drinking Liberally last month. He talks about the nature and conduct of politics in NZ at the present time, the election, and so on.

Feel free to spread the link around. Bandwidth exists to be eaten. It’s all pretty relevant stuff.

(There is also the Q&A he did afterwards, which may actually be longer. Is anyone interested in that?)

If only there had been someone there he could have turned to and said: “Let’s get out of here.” But they all sat there in another world, talking feverishly about nothing, approving and protesting, each one delighted with the sound his own ideas made when they were turned into words.

Let it come down, Paul Bowles

update-o-rama (may contain unseemly chest-beating)

Those who know me and have paid any attention to my mutterings over the past few years may recall rumours of a non-fiction book I was going to write sometime maybe. Some may recall specific vague mutterings about “consciousness, language, belief and the nature of reality, and how they interact” as a general subject area.

A month ago when I announced a refocus and subsequent absence of blogging it was to focus on that book.

Today I finished a rough rough draft of the non-fiction book.

In the past 31 days I have written approximately 65000 words. (There was also an application for post-production funding which ended up being 5000 words, and a total pain, in the mix.) During that time I have taken one day off due to nervous exhaustion/collapse. I’m getting close to that point again, so it is well that I can take a bit of a break.

When I first sketched out the schedule, it seemed pretty unlikely. Somehow it came off. Aided somewhat by my Outward Bound course being cancelled, which allowed me to relax and stretch out the final few days, rather than panic them into a couple of days; but I’ve only gone three days over.

All in all, I’m a little stunned right now. This book is kind of a major long term thing. Like culmination-of-work-and-thought-as-an-adult-so-far territory. (Although, having said that, I now know what my next non-fiction book needs to be.) There was a lot of self-doubt to get over. I mean, really, who the hell am I to write a non-fiction book, to stand up and say what’s real? Especially in what is in essence a book of philosophy dealing with fundamental questions. So sitting down and just cranking a draft out was probably the ideal way to do it. There was no time for second guessing. It’s also quite heartening that the material was there to come out. I think I cited maybe 5% of what I’ve actually read.

Something liberating I realised before writing was that even if everything I wrote could be proved false, that is useful to the process I am engaged in.

Of course, I haven’t read it yet, so maybe it’s gibberish. But the process is the thing. The past few days, writing the concluding chapter, stuff came together in a new way. I developed new insight; no, I expressed insight that I recognised from the words of others in my own language, on my own terms, and understood the truth of what I was saying. The understanding is part of me now.

The word is not the thing. Knowledge is not understanding. You have to do it yourself.

So yeah. At this point it feels like the fundamental argument I am making is sound. The basic structure is right. The book can be made a lot prettier and more coherent, but that is rewriting’s job. I’ve got a fair idea what I need to read up on, and what bits need fleshing out. All in all, it has been a hell of a ride. Intense and ridiculously hardcore, but lots of fun, too. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to do this.

Apologies to anyone I’ve interacted with (or was supposed to interact with) in the last month. I suspect my head has been… elsewhere.

Now I go to bed with cookies and mindless entertainments. I may be some time. Bring me women, wine, grapes, and chocolate.