letters to tao

Saturday, February 11, 2017

back after all these years

Can it be?

does it make any sense?

What do you think?

What do I think? no fuckin' idea. well, that's not so true any more. I seem to have forgotten to keep in touch with you Tao, for many years in a row.

I really meant to reach out, but that's been so hard for the longest time. All my life really. Always seem to be pushing my way through treacle to get shit done. Right now I am doing three different things. (or obviously, not doing three different things properly)

But I have decided that not communicating doesn't do me any good either.

So will I keep writing to you on a regular basis? Can't be sure, after all there are only so many hours in every day, but you are always on my mind, you are always on my mind. (that with a musical background.)

It does feel good to reach out to you though, so here's to us and hours and ours.

Send money and paint.



Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Walking Dead?

Well, I just watched the Walking Dead, the whole first series, streaming on youzee.
Got to say it'll probably stick in my mind for a while.
Then there's been a lot going in and a lot sticking, so I'm going to be like that kid in the Larson cartoon sticking his hand up and saying "please sir, can I be excused, my brain's full"
I also gots to say I'll probably be sticking with the dylan song from the wrap scene at the end more than anything.
I remember a line as
I can't hear my crooked footsteps, I can't see the echos of my (own) name
.
But doing a bit of looking 'round I can see that I heard all wrong

If today was not a crooked highway
If tonight i could finally stand tall
If tomorrow wasn't such a long time
Then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all.
Yes 'n' only if my own true love was waitin'
Yes 'n' if i could hear her heart a-softly poundin'
Only if she was lyin' by me
Then I'd lie in my bed once again.

I can't see my reflection in the waters
I can't speak the sounds that know no pain
I can't hear the echo of my footsteps
I can't remember the sound of my own name.
Yes 'n' only if my own true love was waitin'
Yes if i could hear her heart a-softly poundin'
Only if she was lyin' by me
Then I'd lie in my bed once again.

There's beauty in the silver singin' river
There's beauty in the sunrise in the sky
But none of these and nothin' else can match the beauty
That i remember in my true love's eyes.
Yes 'n' only if my own true love was waitin'
If i could hear her heart a-softly poundin'
Only if she was lyin' by me
Then I'd lie in my bed once again.

Yes 'n' only if my own true love was waitin'
If i could only hear her heart a-softly poundin'
Yes 'n' only if she was lyin' by me
Then I'd lie in my bed once again.
But then that's OK, I just adapted it to my own situation.

It's the last night of the year and the usual is to go round wishing everyone such a great time and a great new year and all that but that's not really me.
Shame ain't it, or maybe shameful. I do really think so and also know I should think so, so think so. arghhhh. I think Dylan seemed to say it pretty well. (credits, go to the first version on this page)


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Well, it seemed too good to be true, didn't it? Two posts in one day, but it was first day back syndrome. Anyway, it's not that much later and here I am again. I am off soon to work, even though it's a public holiday here in Madrid and I think in all of Spain. But since I don't exactly fit into the mainstream, I also don't follow the mainstream on their holidays. Although I have certainly had a light week, compared to usual. Light earnings too, of course. But that's part and parcel. Whatever that really means. And then, later, I have to paint, draw, study and clean my two bikes and do some long put off maintenance on one. The other, just clean it and nothing else. but cleaning them is always a big job, the way I do it. Others don't do it the same way. and some people just go to the service station and use the high pressure hose to wash it down. But I would not recommend that, nor would component manufacturers. Anyway, what an unexciting letter, no Tao. Send money and paint. I should look for a foto for you.
From ridereflections12112011_3
recent, (well, sort of recent, looks like the 12th of November) out on a walk collecting reflections...

Saturday, December 03, 2011

A few more words

added to the previous, as these will be added to in turn, if I can keep up this discipline for more than a few days. I should take advantage of the freedom of being alone in the house, although certainly not in the building, being in Madrid and all. I always wanted to avoid exactly what I have right now. In so many ways, and to start to work on having what I want instead. I 'spose it's knowing what I want that is the problem. Painting, drawing, abstract, realistic, hyper realism, illustration, cute doodling, a children's book, a set of sheets, I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now. Sung with passion and gusto, and completely in tune, to the tune of the analogous Queen song. Well, I just realised that the previous entry in this inauspicious blog, was actually this very same day, the one known as today. Having set the alarm this morning without changing the programmed hour, I was gently awakened by the beep, beep beep, although they are not the strident beeps of so many similar devices, but rather a gentle Chinese rolling balls sort of soft chimes. At least the first ones are that. If you ignore them, well they start to get all upset and in the end they are quite fucking insistent, although I don't really know why the gratuitous swearing there as I never allow the thing to go of for more than a bing or two, unless I have forgotten that I left it plugged in recharging far from my bedside and after batting for it in it's usual spot I finally have to panic and fly out of bed to get to it and shut down it's infernal din, although really it's not that bad. So, the upshot, at least for this stanza is that this morning although I had intended to get up at seven o'clock as I would usually do on a Saturday, I instead was gently woken at five AM and didn't even realise until I had raised myself to a standing position after having asked for ten minutes more once, and only once. I had already dressed, which being Madrid in the start of the winter, is not among the coldest places on Earth, but I bet my long lost childhood friends from places like Blackwater QLD would think it was cold enough. It certainly is cold enough for me. Too fucking cold actually. So once I had realised, the dilemma. Stay up or go back to bed. I imagined (as usual) all that I could get done in such a free gift of hours. So I took my clothes back off and got back in to bed with my Eni chiquitin, who hadn't moved a muscle really. But it wasn't for long. I was playing over in my mind the film about the successful artist, who never stops, and did just that:- never stop. So now it's the end of Saturday and I'm going to post.

Friday, December 02, 2011

giving up

The most difficult part is the thought of losing friends, losing contact, losing friendships. As a child I moved often and in that way lost contact completely with my friends every two years and that is art of me. I never really minded in some ways (at that time) I particularly remember leaving Blackwater for the last time which means I must have been about, let me think about it.. I did the last few months/weeks of grade 6 in the next town Buderim so that makes me 12 or so. Blackwater was where I first learned to ride a bike, at the ripe old age of ten. It was an old, and I mean old at that time, 26er. I think that's what they are called anyway. If I still lived in the same house, perhaps I would know. anyway. It was waaay to big for me to learn on in one sense, and it is probably a criminal offence these days to make your kids learn to ride a bike on one that's too big for them. But don't get me wrong, I think it was perfect to do so, don't let me make you think otherwise. We were mad as hatters then but now we've gone way past what's reasonable. I learned soon enough, blood and gravel rash are powerful motivating forces. I had, or I should say I've had some amazing stacks. I (also particularly) remember, on that same bike, which had apehangers, in a pretty upright position, held on by one of those old goosenecks going over a pothole and breaking aforementioned gooseneck clean in half. As you can imagine I was not long for this upright world at that point and although I seemed to have time to consider whether to study philosophy when I grew up, in that way that time has of , dilating I think the word is, stretching out in those points when disaster becomes inevitable, but hasn't happened yet. Funny enough I can't associate any particular scars to that particular spill, so it probably wasn't too bad. I would have been going all of seven miles an hour I suppose. A few years later in that next town, Buderim I remember touching wheels with my mate ... umm, I can picture him but I can't remember his name. I like to think I was going at 60 kph in this one, and it's pretty likely. I was going flat out downhill. I only had a Malvern Star ten speed, but still, flat out and downhill! Well, OK, it wasn't a particularly steep hill, like some around there, it was probably fifty, knowing what I know now. Still, knowing what I know now I would have bought that Peugeot that was in the bike shop instead of the Malvern Star. And then I am sure I would have become a pro. A domestic to be sure, but a pro cyclist all the same. Well, that's assuming that I met some cyclist around that moment instead of twenty three years later. later, always later. when the fuck am I going to learn to live in the moment. God, it's been a continual quest, but and incredibly unsuccessful. Focus Scotty, it's all about focus. Well, anyway that's an appropriate point at which to recognise that I have gotten a little off track here. I was trying to talk about the fact that I am giving up cycling, as such, or at least given up serious, competitive cycling. I will still be going out on my bike, and in fact I am going to do so this morning but I am no longer going to compete. I am sure I will still ride in the same way, always flat out, but I am not going to be systematically training so I will not be able to always seem to be, to those who quickly leave me behind. It has not been an easy decision, in the sense that I have been going over it in my head for a loooong time, but last Wednesday I was finally able to make it crystal clear. Wednesday morning I received a message cancelling my midday class, which opened up a world of possibilities for the day. I suddenly could blow off my Pilates class, and go out and train on what was a really splendid day, although certainly crisp, by any standards. The thing was, although I blew off the Pilates class, I felt much more desire to paint, than to train. I was torn to train, by my conditioning that it's necessary, and it certainly is necessary for a serious cyclist, but, am I that? A serious cyclist can't also work a long and demanding job if he wants to be a painter. And I am a painter. I have been a painter all my life, and I have spent too long not painting already. Those people who know me know I certainly took myself seriously as a cyclist, especially my second year racing, but I still couldn't change the fact that I started 23 years too late, and even then didn't keep it up seriously. Because I'm a fucking painter not a cyclist. I have to be able to admit that. Apparently I'm also a teacher. If I feel I am doing something as a teacher, then in a lot of ways I don't really mind. I am currently quite excited by a new method of English teaching that I have discovered and am thinking of adapting to the job of English Teacher in Madrid, no experience or Qualifications necessary. I really think it's the missing ingredient in the Madrilenian School of English teaching. I suddenly am imagining, visualising in fact, a chain of schools teaching a form of remedial English that opens up across Spain and indeed the world and sets out to fix the overwhelming problem of English Pronunciation and spelling, and finally making me financially independent in the process. Well, since I really do want to go for a ride this morning with my Saturday friends I will have to love you and leave you for a while so I can take my little buddy out and make it all happen.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hi there, I'm not dead after all

Hey there, Tao, buddy, pal, I know, I know, I haven't been treating you very well lately, nor any of your workmates. And now I've gotten all caught up in looking through the fotos and videos from yesterday and today, so I don't know how well this is going to go either. I'll be back, and indeed here I am. Now, that didn't take long, did it? I have made a selection of fotos and they are now winding there way up the interpipes and when they get there I'll stick a few up here to keep you entertained. I'll just deal with another distraction, that is sitting in front of me, since a good half an hour ago, and then I'll continue. Well, that distraction took 12 hours or so, but again, here I am. What to tell you. Well there's plenty in some ways, but most of it is to complain about what I can hardly stand, so I'm reticent to proceed. But there has been a couple of highlights, I suppose. I entered the Showdown on Saachionline with a work from a while back, one of my favourites. Follow the link. I am just taking advantage of the opportunity to upload a couple more works. My god, how I get sidetracked. (and my god is just a figure of speech, if anything it should be my gods) This could easily become the longest post in the world. In time between starting and finishing anyway. And I haven't actually told you anything yet. That's fucked up.
From ridereflections12112011_1
oh, it's useless, I can't concentrate on this and I'm going to leave it and try and get some drawing done. Sorry mate Big hugs and I promise I'll try again soon Scott

Monday, July 25, 2011

The twenty seven club at 45?

Hey there Tao, told you I would try and get back to you soon.
I'm in a bit of a bind at the moment. Of my own making, to be sure. I am wondering how to explain. Maybe I can't.
It's to do with cycling, and dying, and saving the world and cursing the world and art and cursing the art world and loving the leaves and living the lies and leaving the loves and I'm sure more than that.
I could start at the beginning but where the fuck is that?

From just_the_stuff

I started this saying that I am in a bit of a bind, so I suppose I should articulate the bind, if I can. On the surface level it's about what to do with my cycling. (it goes much deeper, I know that that but maybe I can get to that by a measured process of excavation)
I have been on the threshold of hanging up my bike, as they say in Spanish. I can't justify it to myself anymore, and yet I don't stop. This weekend I did another two hundred and seventy kilometres, with one potentially dangerous blow-out, and with a complete blow out of myself.

Didn't Cadel shine in the end. I have/had long stopped wanting him to win, and yet in the end it was a perfect ending to the best tour in years. And whoever that was that sang the national anthem of aussielandia certainly did a fantastic job, bringing a tear to my eye and making Cadel Evans act like a squirmy idiot, so as not to be seen crying.

But thank god the tour is over. I really wasn't going to watch it this year. It's just such a huge investment of time, but I think if it has ever been worth it, it was this year. It was really inspiring to watch Alberto Contador show us True Grit with those attacks even though he was obviously well off form. And as I noted before the ending was just how it needed to be. Cavendish winning the stage and showing he's well on the way to becoming the winningest rider on the tour ever. George Hincapie becoming the first rider ever to participate in 9 tour wins, with seven while riding for Armstrong, one with Alberto and now one for Cadel.
And in the end a podium with two brothers on it. And Cadel Evans, just when most, including myself had given up on him, coming out to stand on the top step of the Podium, that which he must have pictured everyday for the last ten years or more.

Anyway, back to me, although I am tempted to post this and call it a small triumph to get another missive off to you, but I know I haven't got into anything, even scratch the surface that I mentioned before. I sort of got side-tracked by thinking of the tour, and I could get side-tracked by Amy Winehouse and the 27 club as well. Funny, when I was that age I thought it was the 25 club, or at least I always thought I would be dead by 25, and when I woke up alive at 26 I sort of snapped out of it. Sort of. Wonder what would have happened if I had set 27 as the end point.

According to Alan Watts,
Camus said there is only one serious philosophical question, which is whether or not to commit suicide. I think there are four or five serious philosophical questions. The first one is 'Who started it?' The second is 'Are we going to make it?' The third is 'Where are we going to put it?' The fourth is 'Who's going to clean up?' And the fifth, 'Is it serious?'

And it can be hard to justify not topping oneself, when one walks around with ones eyes open in this culture. Of course the opposite could be said to be true when one walks around with ones eyes open in the world, even the smallest part of what is natural and wild, the forlorn struggle of a tiny "weed" to break through the cracks in the asphalt world we have made and you know that this will go on after this culture has finally played itself out.

Still, cycling, or still cycling. Damn, this stuff is hard.