Peas and queues

The important thing about the vase is the emptiness it can hold. But what about tiles? They hold whole kitchens.

Talking of cuisine, with a large proportion of the world’s population starving, we in Europe have apparently lost touch with the idea of seasonal alimentation, and want to eat everything all year round. This is not 100% true in France because the arrival of certain products is still in evidence, asparagus, for instance. At the weekly market, on Monday mornings here, some small growers still sell their own produce.
I know I should wait till the right time to mention this, I’m definitely off season, (what does “off-side” mean?), but I was very surprised to find that the khaki, an orange fruit that ripens here in August, is called persimmon in English.

persimmon took me to Persepolis,

which took me to entropy (reminds me of lithops.)

“In thermodynamics, entropy is a measure of the unavailability of a system's energy to do work.”

I knew there was a word for it. So much depends on how you define "work".

The word "entropy" is derived from the Greek εντροπία "a turning toward" (εν- "in" + τροπή "a turning"), and is symbolized by S in physics.

Now where did that S come from? Lacan’s subject before it was barred from pottering about?

More tiles. Photos by Robert Grezes.



Whenever I come across a new word for the first time, I invariably come across it again very soon afterwards. It’s that second time that makes me want to think about it. Funny how the first and second times are always so close together…
Sybarite is the latest word. It means "a voluptuary”. Something like a hedonist with luxury thrown in.
I came across it in a blog. I was reading the blog because I had been very impressed by a concert. Reese, aka Yves-Henry Guillonnet, is a first rate musician, and he was playing guitar in a duo with a certain Manu who has the sexiest voice I have heard in a long time. Their compositions were subtle, interesting, tender, cocasse, and amusing. In a word, they were brilliant! Unfortunately they have not yet released the recording of the gig, but they will, one day.

It was Saturday 10th May, and there were two concerts of interest on the same evening! The odds against this happening in (or, rather, around) a place like Lombez are mind-boggling. The first concert was at aperitif time and it was Vicky La Sardine (top picture), a friend who writes her own songs and plays them accompanied by an accordionist. She is also an excellent performer, and had a bit of success with a comedy act at one stage.

The second occurrence of sybarite came today, in a crit of the film by Claude Lelouch, “And Now Ladies and Gentlemen, please”. I watched it last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I fell asleep the first time I watched it, but I was very tired… Part of the reason I like it is because Patricia Kaas sings some of the songs I’m practicing now for my piano/voice duo with Bertil Sylvander. Bertil’s day job is running a clown school, at La Robin, and we are working on some nice jazz standards and improvising. I hope he doesn’t want us to wear red noses… (Ha ha! They're not that kind of clowns - "Send them in", I hear you say). Yesterday we worked on “Que reste-t-il de nos amours” and I switched blithely from that to "I wish you bliss, but more than thiss...". When I watched the film last night, you guessed, that’s what Patricia Kaas does, starts off in French and switches to English... well, at least I know where I got that idea from... a lot of the time I am convinced my ideas are original and all it means is that my memory is not as good as it could be…

Which is another thing I like about the film – the main characters are suffering from amnesia and at the end the line between phantasme, reality and memory becomes very hazy...


Lemons from Algeria

In the news, London. A young barrister starts shooting out of his window, without opening it. He didn’t hit anyone, or aim at anyone, although he fired shots into his neighbours’ homes. What was he aiming at? The police returned fire and killed him. Suicide using the police as a means?

These lemons are from Algeria. There is a long story about them. It is taking a long time to write.

In my post on 15/04/07 I included a short excerpt from “Diary of an Analysand” which is not a diary but a collection of pieces of writing about the psychoanalytic journey – ending with Why? What follows is what followed.

I don’t know why. In truth I was a wanderer, wandering. I was a wanderer seeking something I had never found and until I found it, there was no way of knowing what it was I was looking for. All I knew was that it was something I had not yet found. The unknown. An unknown me, my god.

And there was something about not deliberately going somewhere to avoid missing the undeliberate, magical destination. It had to be happened upon as if by chance. A miracle. I was wandering around earth waiting for a lightning beam to strike me and make me what I was, what I wanted to become. I was expecting to be actuated from the outside. But that’s not how I perceived it. I perceived myself as self-sufficient. I didn’t want anything from anybody. I didn’t want anything from anybody except consecration from the Big Unknowable Other. The Big Unknowable Other that held the secret to my realisation. The BUO had to tell me that I was on the right track by not being on any track, by avoiding all tracks.

I believed that was what it meant to be alive, to not follow a direction laid down by anybody, even myself. My only direction was to keep on, go on, reach as far as I could without having a direction. Like an organism that tries to get as far away from its point of origin as possible, for no other reason than to find out what it is like as far away from home as it is possible to get. For no reason other than to be able to say “I went as far as I could, I went all the way” even though ‘all the way’ didn’t mean anything till I had found the end of the road, found the end of my road, reached the outer limits of my movement. And that could never happen, because I knew I would drop off the end of the earth. I would die lost, running round the globe for the Nth time, happy at never having been in the same place twice, happy that there was enough earth to make this possible.

I don’t know even now what is important. The means of transport I used, the places I ended up in simply through not wanting to be in another place, the discoveries. I don’t know if any detail is more important than any others. I suppose the only thing that is important and that allows me to think about all that is the fact that I finally stumbled on a destination. I finally found myself with a direction. Tobruk, for better or worse, temporary or permanent, pointing like an iron shaving under a magnet. Magnetised.

Before this, I was a short circuit, emitter and receiver – oh I had plenty of energy. I certainly emitted, loud and clear, but I was not happy with what I received. The short circuit was not satisfactory but I did not know why. Why was always my weak point. Why not? Everything was arbitrary, anyway, or so I thought, so I felt, and I did not ask to be an emitter and a receiver, I did not ask to come into existence, at least, if I did ask to come into existence, if I was the one who had actually chosen the time and place and circumstances of my birth, I had no recollection of it and came into life completely and utterly surprised by the whole thing. Unarmed. Naked. Confused.

I still am confused, but I’m no longer naked or unarmed. I’m still an emitter and a receiver, but I’ve found the tuning button. Or I have added a tuning button. Or the tuning button magically appeared, came into existence without knowing why, like me. In any case, there is now a tuning button and I can’t imagine why there wasn’t one before. Surely we should all be born with access to our tuning buttons? My only conclusion is once again that I am a freak of nature. No tuning button, then tuning button appears. There was no tuning button because I had not discovered the concept of tuning. Tuning in; tuning out. I did it automatically, frustrated at all that interference. Static. Crackle. I wasn’t doing it properly. My parameters were wrong. I was a 20th century adult, using the parameters of some kind of prehistoric protozoa.