Chopin, Paris, Bradbury, happiness

Chopin tomb
Paris, October 2017, and his music in the air.

OCTOBER 16th 2018 — I visited Chopin’s tomb at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris a bit over a year ago.

And the greatest thing was that there was his music in the air just then, just like in an episode of THE RAY BRADBURY THEATER that had a scene actually filmed there: “On the Orient, North”. Someone was playing it from their phone. I almost couldn’t believe it.

Also wonderful was how the apartment I rented happened to be located literally just down the street from this cemetery (and I mean, Paris is huge), which I always knew I would want to visit. But I didn’t even realize this when arranging for the flat. It was the only one open to me, really.

It was on rue du Chemin-Vert (“Street of the Green Path”). And in Paris I experienced some of the happiest moments of my life. I treasure some of those memories.

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These things will apply to everyone I will ever meet

Vision

From two or three years ago.

OCTOBER 14th 2018 — Never let anyone compromise your principles.

You are the one who would pay the price of living with that, perhaps for the rest of your life. It’s not worth it, whatever the situation.

And there are people who will appreciate and perhaps even love you precisely for refusing to lie or say false things.

I have decided to do what I can to live up to that ideal of never saying anything to anyone that could not stand as the last thing I said to them, should I rejoin eternity soon after that.

I will never play a single game with another person’s heart. It’s not what we’re here for.

* * *

I will never be one of those people making others feel there is something they need to change about themselves in order to be good enough. In order for me to like them.

Don’t listen to those people. That is a road that will never end.

You will never get lasting validation from them, and even if you did, it would be for all the wrong, manipulative reasons, and would be taken away the next time that person felt peevish — or the smallness of their own heart.

If I or others like you and your company just the way you are, you are already more than good enough, and wonderful.

This life is too precious and fleeting and fragile for anything more closed-minded than this.

My interest in music

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A music room in the City Library of Jyväskylä, Finland, summer 2017.

SEPTEMBER 27th 2018 — Things have been moving in this direction for me for a long time, and it’s now true to say that music is my most absorbing pursuit and interest. It’s become much more than a hobby.

I’ve come to feel that music is the highest language. I don’t mean this as a quaint metaphor but the literal way of it. More can be expressed with music than words, and it can go further, and there is more beauty for me in a few well chosen words, such as good lyrics or lines of poetry, than a whole novel.

And it has gotten to the point where I would prefer to be pursuing music full time, which is what I do in my free time already.

I am so aware that life is a limited thing. I would prefer being able to pursue only things that have my fullest interest, and that has become music and other arts that involve the possibility of performance, rather than what I have been doing so far with my life, in terms of studies and work.

I will keep doing as much as possible on my own, but I wish I had someplace I could go study and learn music among professionals. A school or apprenticeship of some kind.

Transposing

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From 2015.

SEPTEMBER 27th 2018 — I have been writing so much music lately, including many variations, that I found myself transposing in my sleep.

Awaking from fitful sleep, due to the construction crew outside doing the Hammerklavier, to seeing notes moving down or up and Cs become As and so on.

But not complaining. I see it as a glimpse into my subconscious, pushing my transposing stat up in background mode.

Dream

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From May 2018.

SEPTEMBER 11th 2018 — Last night I had maybe the saddest dream I remember having.

There was an unusual humanlike creature whose head was covered all over in fabric, a bit like a scarecrow’s head but with looser cloth. He could talk and he was kind and gentle.

Accidentally someone else we were with in the dream fell on him so that this other person’s elbow landed on the creature’s head. He went quiet though he was still moving a bit, but we were shocked and asked if he was okay.

He didn’t answer directly, just moved his head under the cloth a bit. I imagined what terrible injury must have happened and in a way it was worse because it could not be seen, only imagined. We had never even seen his real face under the fabric.

Then he asked to be taken out onto the ice, a frozen lake outside. We knew he was dying and he knew it. It was a terrible accident and not the other person’s fault, but it was too late to be helped.

I woke up and in the same moment burst into tears.

Like Jung pointed out, everything that happens in dreams is a psychological reality. The experience of a dream is real and has real effects. Same with stories.

And when something affects us deeply, there is always an inner reason.

Bradbury country

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THE RAY BRADBURY THEATER 1.01: “Marionettes, Inc.” (1985).

SEPTEMBER 10th 2018 — What is Bradbury country? It’s a place where the magic of life and childhood are still possible. Where the elements and outwardly simple, primal sensory experiences can still get to you. The night means something, and the wind, and all the repeated rituals of life.

The first image and sound of the first episode of THE RAY BRADBURY THEATER after Mr. Bradbury’s introduction:

Boiling eggs, closely followed by brewing coffee and toasting toast. I can’t begin to say how refreshing it was to me to see and hear these things. I could taste and smell the eggs, the coffee, the toast.

I was reminded of the good things in life, the things we would miss most if we were shot out into space, never to return.

Where in our filmed fiction these days do we even see or hear these things anymore? And when we do, nearly always they are no more than halfhearted daubs of color to lend the thinnest surface gloss to a story without real human warmth.

In Bradbury and other fiction I can love, these things are primal, self-sufficient experiences that need no other justification. They may serve some story functions, but that’s not really why they’re there. They’re there because in these things our love of life finds expression. We share.

But that’s already getting too far into analysis. Better to just experience and savor when we can.

Why am I so preoccupied with what I call human warmth? And why the same with thoughts concerning childhood?

The questions are nonsensical to me, because I cannot imagine a human being I could love or even like who cared nothing for human warmth, and no artist or kind person worth much of our time has lost touch with or stopped caring about childhood — their own, and that of others.

And a person with a reasonably healthy and developed mind who did not concern himself or herself at all with thoughts and hopes of making the world a better one for children to grow up in could perhaps be called something of a monster.

When I came to Iceland again, one day I was alone pushing a cart in a supermarket,  feeling sad for reasons I won’t even try to put into words — and remembering the amazing scenes with Sarah Palmer at a grocery store in the TWIN PEAKS Season 3 trailer and episodes — and suddenly I heard a child’s voice that made my eyes sting.

It was so clear from that voice that this child was growing up in a caring family, in a world that is largely safe and where real childhood is still possible.

I had not heard that anywhere since my own childhood. Not in Finland and not in Paris.

It is a quality that I see and hear here, in passing, all the time. But I don’t remember it from Finland since I was a kid myself.

And like I’ve said, I believe there can be no greater gift you can give in this life than giving a child a safe, happy, good childhood and start in life.

We are here now — but one day we won’t be. We have to care and do what we can.

Sometimes I have days or nights when I feel I am on the very edge of the cliff. In my life, in better days, and on better nights, I have been lucky enough to be the recipient of great human warmth in many forms.

Words, deeds, from people very close and from people very far and even personally unknown to me. They all found some ways to pour some of their warmth out into this world, to pass it forward, and to give some of it to others.

When I feel on the edge of that cliff, I must remind myself that even if a wind were to gust up and blow me over that edge, I should try to turn around and hurl as much of my warmth back into the world as I can, even in that last moment — like a wizard casting their life energy as a final message and protection and strength over those with life still ahead of them.

I am not a wizard, but I care. Whether in art or daily life, if we find ways to do that, we are helping.

Welcome

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Faxaflói (Faxa Bay), with waters of the Atlantic, northwest Reykjavík, Aug. 2018.

SEPTEMBER 8th 2018 — I came to Iceland to escape from a life I had outgrown and to run towards beauty and meaning.

My first visit to Iceland in 2016, for six very special weeks, left an indelible mark on me. Iceland and Icelanders captured my heart.

I started learning from them what was missing from my life.

I learned that the most beautiful things in life are human warmth and family and friendship and caring. Icelanders have these values in their hearts. They have to, living in one of the harsher climates on this earth.

I grew to love that climate too. The wind and the rain, and the occasional moments of sunlight and rainbows, have a way of cleansing your soul of unnecessary perplexities that other countries foster.

And I learned that more than anything else I want in this life to share my life with a special someone and to start a family with them. I am alone, understand, but this is my dream. There can be nothing more beautiful in this life than giving a child a good, safe childhood and start in life.

And it was driven for good into my soul, even more than before, that art and creativity in all their forms are things I need and want to have in my life as much as possible.

So I came to Iceland and started formally studying Icelandic so I could live in the most special place on earth — a land of youth and beauty and a land where childhood is still possible, Bradbury country and my own remembered childhood country (though that was elsewhere and the feeling no longer exists there, but does here), where the magic has not been driven away — and I came to create music and stories and poetry, some of them in Icelandic.

I hope to one day find what I am looking for. I followed my heart here and even though as I write this I have experienced a terrible personal blow, I have to try to keep going. In this blog I will talk about all the things I am doing and pursuing, especially creatively.

I wanted to put my dreams into words, so the rough winds of the moment wouldn’t sweep them away into eternity. And perhaps someone will read them one day.

Is there enough magic out there in the moonlight, a character in FIELD OF DREAMS asks, to make that dream come true?