Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Not just wings and white robes

I know not, oh I know not, what joys await us there,
What radiancy of glory, what bliss beyond compare.

The hymn-writer is vague about heaven which isn’t surprising since, as a friendly and tolerant Catholic told me “we may not know the mind of God”. But we may use our imagination. In fact we must, otherwise heaven is simply earth without ageing and financial problems. Here are some of my secular heavens.

A warm person-free passage of sea over a coral reef where, as I swim, I recall every piece of music I have ever heard, give it its exact name, split it into movements where these exist, and play the best versions extant in my head.
The moment when I realised how a graph showing the characteristics of a thermionic valve (a hysteresis curve) matched the associated maths AND having Auden write a vilanelle describing this.
Travelling back to a geography lesson at Bradford Grammar School, seizing the master, trussing him and thrashing him with a red-hot riding crop, requiring him simultaneously to recite Paradise Lost.
Revisiting in our Scirocco a gorge on the Loire full of early morning September mist with Brendel playing the Andante Favori on the tape player AND being able to repeat this experience without it ever palling.
Needing a couplet to end a Shakespearean sonnet, seeing its shape dimly ahead and knowing it’s excavatable. Calling in Auden again.
Watching a fifties film noir, Flaxey Martin, where the star, the gorgeous Virginia Mayo, is suddenly transformed and is able to act.
Attending a church service based on a form of Christianity which retains the morality, the beauty and the narrative power of the New Testament but ditches the mysticism (resurrection, etc), the sado-masochism of Calvary and the omnipotence of Jahweh. Music by JSB
HELL follows (and will probably be more fun).

Novel progress 1/4/10. Ch. 19: 0 words. Chs. 1 - 18: 82,369 words. Comments: Hatch and Hester - the past is another country.