02/01 Direct Link
I have the build-up blahs. Luckily, I have Fantasia® High Potency IC Inter-Cellular 100% Pure Tea Shampoo: Super Concentrated, Bursts Into Lather With One Gentle Sudsing; Extricates Excessive Hair Oils; Exuviates (eh?) Flaking Skin From Dry Scalp; and Totally Eliminates The Build-up Blahs. Wahay!! Unfortunately, I still have the build-up blahs. Is this anything to do with the Venus Retrograde (which I note started on Christmas Eve and will end this Friday)? The last time Venus went retro I was handed my biblical certificate of divorce. The time before that the "trial separation."It never gets any easier, does it?
02/02 Direct Link
Time to be a phone babysitter again. I was trying to watch Godfather II while listening to your cornflake-fed baby-talk. I thought of Adam, and his singular wife Eve. Oh lucky, lucky Eve who never had to have eyes in the back of her head, or be equipped with the standard bullshit-cum-lie detector. At what point did woman evolve to need these features? Pretty early on in the history of Genesis I expect. But too late for Mrs. Michael Corleone.

Could any woman be Diane Keaton to Al Pacino in this day and age? I think not. I hope not.
02/03 Direct Link
Venus has gone direct, but watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre I'm rudely reminded of Saturn. It's a bad influence now because it's retrograde.

Oh, no.

The condition of retrogradation is contrary or inharmonious to the regular direction of actual movement in the zodiac, and is, in that respect, evil...


When malefic planets are in retrograde, and Saturn is malefic, their maleficies are increased... Capricorn is ruled by Saturn.

Like Alex I'm a Capricorn.

Oh, no.

Believe it.

There are moments where we cannot believe that what's happening is really true. Pinch yourself and you may find out that it is.
02/04 Direct Link
I dreamt I was flying. Or rather floating. I just curled my knees up to my chest, foetal-style, and floated up, up and along. I was totally in love with the experience, and woke up pained that this is not an aspect of ground-bound, three-dimensional reality. ‘Tis the second occasion I've had such a dream, so it's not exactly a recurring one (more's the pity). This time, though, I was not in the company of cherubims, floating foetal-like.

The dream dictionary states that to dream of flying signifies a sense of freedom where you had initially felt restricted and limited.
02/05 Direct Link
According to the mathematics of numerology, in the 9-year cycle scheme of things, this is my personal year 7. And the Lord rested on the seventh day.

A well-earned sabbatical means time out from the rat race. Take the phone off the hook. Sink into the bubble bath. Throw the world off my shoulders. Rest, curl up under the duvet, keep hitting the snooze button. Take long walks, play spider solitaire, swim in the school of life. Read, study, travel. Read some more. Contemplation, self-reflection, quiet times. Communion with God. Solitude in nature. Spiritual atonement. Every day ... like Sunday.
02/06 Direct Link
There are arrows hand-chalked on the pavement. Pointing forwards (naturally). A straight path. This is the way. To where? ...I've met a lot of people on this road. This road which is my road, my path, my journey. Where are they now? My travelling companions, my humsafars? Not by my side. You meet some people on the way. And then you let them go. But the arrows you must follow. What else can you do? Certainly not dilly-dally down the sidetracks or at the stations. Carry on, along the arrowed path. The long road. To where? A place called home.
02/07 Direct Link
I've been curious about the people that I let go in my last 9-year cycle. Where are they? What are they doing now? Where did their arrows lead them? Thank God for google. I found S, R, C, D, all high achievers, but where's M? She had ‘goingsomewhere' written all over her. I just don't understand. Am I spelling her name wrong? Is she dead? Aha! Spelt her name wrong. Yep, she's achieving.

How do I feel about this? That I don't have enough role models around me. I need to fix myself to some stars and not let go.
02/08 Direct Link
The internet has made me an insomniac. It can find long-lost friends but it can bring bad news too. Venice Manley, a beautiful and talented singer/ voice teacher passed away in 2004. She claimed to be able to make even the tone-deaf sing. Including yours truly. I cried when I hit that high C. She taught me ‘Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child'. She told me that marriage can steal your creativity; that when she divorced she found her voice again.

This room sings --------------- Waking into the light so simple, oh so simple this room sings - Venice Manley (R.I.P)
02/09 Direct Link
I just love the convenience of a corner shop. I hardly ever buy from there, though, as the supermarket is a lot cheaper. But it's on days like these when I'm feeling tired and lazy and the weather is foul that it's a pleasure to hop across to the corner shop. The only problem, apart from everything being more expensive, is the bread. Why does cornershop bread always create gas? I didn't spend all that money on Pilates flattening my stomach to have cornershop bread balloon it up again.

It's good to be on the road back home again - Cornershop
02/10 Direct Link
I've been riding a beast called insomnia and am pleased to say that I've broken it's back. It was a tough beast, but it just needed some pressure along the spine, in three places. To kill the beast this is what you have to do. On the first night stay awake and do not take any naps in the day; have a long, hot soak before bed-time; and should you still need a sedative, take some non-addictive passiflora pills. I'm glad (or maybe not) that I didn't have to resort to Night Nurse (mmmmmm). That zonks me out in seconds.
02/11 Direct Link

Harmony Songs

Om bhoor-bhuvah-svah, Tat savitur vernyam, Bhargo devasya dheemahi, Dhiyo yo nah prachodayaat
O God! Thou art the giver of life, The remover of pains and sorrows, The bestower of happiness, O Creator of the Universe, May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light. May thou guide our intellect in the right direction.

Om Mani Padme Hom
I take refuge in Buddha, Darma and Sangha

La Ilahaa Illah'llah
There is no God but God

Shanthi, Shanthi
Peace, Peace


Gloria In Excelsis Deo
Glory to God in the highest

O Great Spirit... You are inside and all around me.
02/12 Direct Link
Time, like man, [and woman] has three qualities: sathwa, rajas, and thamas (poised serenity, passion and inertia). The day is divided into three parts: 4am to 8am and 4pm to 8pm have the sathwic (equanimous) quality; 8am to 4pm are rajasic (passionate); 8pm and 4am are tamasic (inaction).

By sunrise the choice had been made for me. If the weather was fine I'd go hillwalking. If not, I'd see the film. At 1pm (rajasic time) I watched the Arabic comedy Genie Lady. Samia Gamal was a delight to behold, not only her ‘scintillating' dancing but her rather fine acting too.
02/13 Direct Link
Every Morning I get up and Wash my Brain with Advertising

If we can't find peace within ourselves how will we find peace in the world? Explore the power of chanting as a tool to draw us deeper into ourselves to re-connect with an inner strength and tranquility. Ancient Vedic chants are universal in nature and are said to embody the very essence of God.

In Between is the Best Place to Be

hi crushed darling how are you, I'm just sending you some kisses and a few bear hugs, kiss, shiko

Choose the Deep End, Not the Deep Fried...
02/14 Direct Link
I got an email entitled Yellow Crocus. It was about the story of a humble Christian martyr, Valentinus, who lived under the oppressive rule of the Roman Emperor, Claudius II Gothicus. Good name (for a villain, that is). Anyway, poor Valentinus was thrown into gaol for refusing to do what Romans do when in Rome, namely worship their pagan idols. Long story short, he cured his jailer's blind-from-birth daughter, or rather he prayed for her as he was dragged off to his death. He left her a note, which contained a yellow crocus and the message ‘From your Valentine.' Allegedly.
02/15 Direct Link
Upon searching for Gregorian chants I stumbled upon a gem. Amethystium. This is ethereal gothicus (if I may borrow the Roman emperor's surname) at its most holy. It feeds that part of my spirit still hungering for the dearly departed Cocteaus-esque soundwash. It speaks the same babble-on-Babylon tongue... Odonata Opaque Ilona Enchantment Dreamdance Tinuviel Avalon Calantha Odyssey Fairyland Paean Arcane Voices Ascension Ethereal Lhasa Aphelion Shadow to Light Garden of Sakuntala Exultation Ad Astra Gates of Morpheus Autumn Interlude Elvensong Shibumi Hymnody Withdrawal Berceuse Evermind Arcus Into the Twilight Shadowlands Break of Dawn Innocence Satori Barefoot Reverie Lost Fable Imaginatio...
02/16 Direct Link
La la la la. Singing in public is on a par with jumping out of a plane. Chanting/ harmonising in a group was a first step. Joining the choir would be the second. But singing in public? Okay, we're getting a tad too close to the parachute scenario. No bloody way, JosÃÆ'©! That's room 101 territory. (Excuse me mixing up my metaphors). But... I'm going to do it anyway. I'm going to get my voice back. Feal the fear and do it anyway and all that. Find that inner voicebox. Growl, roar, bleat, whatever I have to. Maybe even holler.
02/17 Direct Link
The only trouble with writing for 100 words is that you don't have the distance from the work in order to judge it objectively and, if necessary, improve it. It could be a recipe for really sloppy writing that you think is cool (at the time of writing). But you blush, blush and blush some more as you read it several months down the line and cry out did I really write that?! Not as in ‘omg that is so good I couldn't possibly have written it' but rather ‘omg that is so bad I can't believe it's online aaaargh!'.
02/18 Direct Link
A long day and a long night. An early start to attend a photography workshop. Yes, I'm going to try faffing about in the darkroom again after many a year, plus learn to use a digital camera. All free of charge. Night-time I decided to (out of a sense of duty?) see Mike Scott perform at the World Peace Concert. I preferred his wee inbetween-song lectures to the songs themselves. To paraphrase B, if Mike has found contentedness, I prefer his non-contented (musical) period. At four hours, the concert was an hour too long. Too much peace can be tiresome.
02/19 Direct Link
Dum - tek tek dum - tek. Dum tek a tek dum - tek. Dum - tek tek dum - tek. Dum tek tek a tek dum tek. Right - right left right - right. Right right left right right - right. Right - right left right - right. Right right right left right right right. My first middle-eastern percussion class (held in a church hall) made me realise that you can't dance without drumming, but neither can you drum without moving your body. Avi, the teacher, ended with the quote: The whole universe is a narrow bridge, and the important thing is not to be afraid. (Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav).
02/20 Direct Link
The belly button is a woman's first scar. People ask, do you need a belly button to have a baby? Others answer, no, you do not need to have a belly button to have a baby. But this begs the question, if you do not have a belly button, then what are you? You are certainly not a daughter of Eve, the White Witch of Narnia might cackle. Others may steer you in the direction of your biology teacher/ parents to learn about the birds and the bees. Jokers may quip that men have belly buttons too. Otherwise called navels.
02/21 Direct Link
The western musical system is based upon 7 notes - those played on a black and white keyboard - with intervals of whole and semitones. Long ago the Roman Catholic church got rid of microtones (intervals of less than a semitone) as they were considered profane. The middle-eastern system, however, incorporates them, both in the singing and the playing of stringed instruments. There is no harmony, just melody (maqam) and rhythm (mizam).

In the absence of those microtones, the west utilizes harmony. This accounts for the infinite variety and possibilities of music in the west, from sacred plainsong to the Rolling Stones.
02/22 Direct Link
Strength and beauty are in your sanctuary...

Today I entered the portals of St. Giles cathedral to hear Sounds of the Eternal, meditative chants interspersed with readings and prayers. Celtic, harmonic and the slightest hint of Sephardic/middle-eastern. I bought the CD even though I couldn't afford it. Therefore it's going to come out of the food budget. (Food for the soul). I'll fast for a week if I have to. It was worth every penny.

Let me hear what you will speak when I turn to you in my heart --------------- I will show you hidden things you have not known
02/23 Direct Link

Ma-ku ra pea ma-ku ra pa Ma-ku ko-e e a whi e ki-te a-ra a-ra tu- pu ma-ku ko-e e a-whi e

Ma-ku ra pea ma-ku ra pa Ma-ku ko-e e a whi e ki-te a-ra a-ra tu- pu ma-ku ko-e e a-whi e

Ma-ku ra pea ma-ku ra pa Ma-ku ko-e e a whi e ki-te a-ra a-ra tu- pu ma-ku ko-e e a-whi e

It is I who will embrace you and assist you in the pathway of your life. I will support you...

(Maku Ra Pea - Maori Blessing)

Strength and beauty are in your sanctuary...

(Psalm 96.6)
02/24 Direct Link
Time to interrupt the peace and spirituality with the Pakistani 4-film filmfest. And what a contrast. One expects the dark and solitude of the cinema auditorium to be a relative haven of, well, darkness and solitude. As it turned out, the organisers mistook the evening for the Oscars, with opening speeches and their own personal paparazzi. The opening film was advertised for 6pm but started at 6:40 (Pakistani time). Thankfully, once the egos were duly satiated, it was well worth waiting for. The Long Night (Raat Chali Hai Jhoom Ke). An apt title for tonight, if ever there was one.
02/25 Direct Link
Suffering from festival burnout... Fave short films from the Asian Diaspora set were the documentary Waiting for Sunrise and the fictional The Elephant Boy... both exploring the harrowing world of Pakistan's street children. Tried to hold back the tears, but couldn't. Unfortunately, the directors of these films weren't present in the discussion panel afterwards... Came home to eat, but couldn't get my butt out for the evening showing of Silent Waters but then I've already seen this on TV.

The Long Night, Waiting for Sunrise, and The Elephant Boy... I critically acclaim them and would give them the Oscars anytime.
02/26 Direct Link
The final day of the Pakistani Filmfest and who do I end up attending it with but none other than my ex. The paparazzi are still prowling around. This could be tricky. Bijli... a male transvestite Pakistani residing in New York dances electrifyingly... if s/he can do that why can't I? The visual and aural collage of Nusrat has left the building brings back uncomfortable ‘our song' memories ... the controversial Reinventing the Taliban was funded by the New York Times, (who backed the Iraq War, ‘nuff said). It's either the Taliban or Coca-Cola. Is there not a third way?
02/27 Direct Link
I will show you the hidden things you have not known
I will show you the hidden things you have not known

Let me hear, let me hear what you will speak when I turn to you in my heart
Let me hear, let me hear what you will speak when I turn to you in my heart

Strength and beauty are in your sanctuary
Strength and beauty are in your sanctuary

You shall be like a garden, like a deep spring where waters never fail
You shall be like a garden, like a deep spring where waters never fail
02/28 Direct Link

Awake! Awake! put on your strength
Awake! Awake! put on your strength
Awake! Awake! put on your strength
Awake! Awake! put on your strength

I love the place your glory abides, your glory, your glory abides
I love the place your glory abides, your glory, your glory abides
I love the place your glory abides, your glory, your glory abides

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you