Once Bitten...

*** I have resumed re-writing & posting those updates which Google had lost some months back. Once I'm finished with my April "butterflies" project I will unveil my new blog over at Wordpress. *** Much love to all, bobby 2011-09-14

Inspiration, joy, beauty, Oneness, the spark of recognition...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Day235 - Pirates! and the Pin-hole Galaxy

I rose and climbed onto deck, glad to have found my sea legs. After my previous sickly ocean outing in November, I demanded of myself to harden up and not allow illness to get a look in. It appeared to have worked.

That morning and into afternoon, we climbed the island's hills and soaked in the sun - amazing vistas in 360º - an island of native bush and wildlife, rodent-free and well cared-for, far enough away from technology to be far enough away from trouble.

Surprizingly, I found myself preferring the company of teenagers over adults, possibly demonstrating further proof of the a manchild I've always been. Since around age 12 I've felt 18. I wonder if this will continue into The Wrinkly Years.

If taken as indicative of the overall population, one would conclude by the sample present that adults are indeed very boring, and quite happily so - resigned to some level of comfortable bliss in mediocrity. Happy though they are - and happy I for them - it still turns my stomach to think of myself ever being this way, not through the want of a feeling of superiority, but rather a knowledge of a difference in destiny. Some are born to this. Some are born to other.

Hope came in the form of the New Year's Eve Pirate Party, looming over the hills on the other side of the island. Doubly-delicious in that the event benefits the conservation and protection of the local habitat.

We left in the dark with a single torch in 1 of 6 hands, not knowing quite what to expect - the feeling of adventure entering our chests like an abstraction of chemically-fueled Tolkien-cum-Lewis heroes. My heart raced.

As we descended the final hill, we found ourselves at the rear of the stage, a swarm of kidult pirates and comely wenches smiling, laughing, dancing - a packed event. Like commandos in the night, we crossed the dry floodbreak and ninja'd through the flax, dashing all at once towards to throng, while the nearest security guard was busily absorbed in his phone, before quickly injecting ourselves into the crowd.

As the night progressed we interacted with a colourful cast of characters, including humorous conversation, dancing and imbibing of water with bouncy backpackers, one sporting a perfectly appropriate Irish accent and a desire to show me where x marks the spot. How much more piratey can an accent get, but which also begs the question: why are all pirates Irish?

My head was elsewhere this night - possibly light years above myself in the amazing star-spattered and clear sky. I declined the invitation to find buried treasure and was promptly ordered to walk the plank, giggling all the way.

Misadventure ensued as I lost my shipmates, and wandered in the moonless dark with only starlight to guide my way back. Taking bush paths, doubling-back and stumbling in the dark, I met other lost souls and tag along with them, joining their caravan, the yellow crescent moon eventually rising and helping to guide us back.

Having missed the dinghy's return to ship, I could have swam but instead lay there in the late, wee hours, absorbed in the visible galaxy. Even if I were tired, I would've stayed awake, just to soak in another section of sky.

I eventually closed my eyes, on the beach under the stars, born of dust.


Placebo - Space Monkey

we're sown together
she’s born to mesmerise
beside, astride her
I die inside her


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day234 - Pre-Pirates! and the Luminescent Swirl

I met the girls and we made our way 4 hours north to the pickup point where we loaded ourselves onto the boat. It was an ex-racing yacht, and the Glory Wall spoke of many adventures past, around my birthplace in the Pacific and neighboring seas.

We sailed leisurely to the island and anchored, ferrying items to the campsite, however it was to be my privilege that day to spend the night on the ocean, being rocked to sleep by those expansive, endless arms.

After a barbeque on the beach, much talking and other tomfoolery, we navigated the moonless night, jumped in the dinghy and headed back, discovering to our amazement that a phosphorescent algae bloom was lighting up the bottom of the vessel as we drove on through the waves, like a neon dreamscape, leaving bubbles of light in our wake.

Tired, but far too awed to sleep, we boarded and cast lines. Still struck in amazement of the luminosity that lay dormant beneath us, until our sinkers dropped in like endlessly-stretched glow-sticks at an undersea rave, brimming with the mating dances of mermaids, inducing their mermen to love.

And then the schools came.

The beauty of several hundred brightly-lit fish in the darkness of the night-time ocean, swarming around and beneath us, in swirls of light usually only seen in the cosmos - and then only at great distance and over a 14 billion year time-lapse of activity, condensed into mere seconds - could not be understated.

Our cameras couldn't capture what our eyes naturally achieved, but in the process of trying, the flash from one snap lit up the sea, stunning then scattering the bright shoals in all directions, like a piscine supernova. The fireworks came early this year, and could only eclipse those to follow.

As I absorbed, I counted myself as one of the Fortunates: to have experienced and to have shared in. We stayed up until we were filled - in fact brimming - then reluctantly set down to sleep, yet as satisfied and inspired as one can ever be.

An absolute highlight of my lifetime, and such a beautiful note to sing, as the end of the year closed in.


Placebo - Infra-red


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day232 - Junky

I awoke in a fine frame, a smile on my face. Within minutes of rising I noticed an ache across my body, wherever flesh met with bone - my corporeal early warning sign of fatigue and potential flu.

On holiday, with no time for illness, I shrugged it off and hit the beach. While NZ is beautiful, and especially so the Coromandel Peninsula, I feel somewhat spoiled by the amazing beaches of my current adopted home of Oz. Still, I had a chance to lay out and soak rays while exploring a book I am only 50 pages into but have fallen in love with already.

Upon returning from the beach I became weak, slightly dizzy. All I wanted to do was set myself in a perpetual full-body stretch, but never once was I in pain or discomfort - just in need of that stretch and a lie down, with no intention of ever again rising.

My hosts looked after me well, setting me up in my own room, rather than the living room airbed I had used the nights prior, feeding me tablets washed down with cool, sweet ginger ale, and laying damp cloths over my forehead.

I laid there in the afternoon, soaking in the rural air for several hours, over which time I listened to an author-narrated book Junky by William S. Burroughs.

The titular character, born into wealth and a constant flow of security from a trust fund, chose his addiction - in part to experience adversity of which his life had been devoid. I've seen this scenario before - in the non-fiction section that resides just outside my window - and while I understand the thinking behind, I still consider it such a selfish waste of self.

Nevertheless, it was an interesting read. During one of his kick withdrawals he talked about lying in bed, weak, spaced, body in need - in my ill state I felt his words acutely. It was quite possibly the best time for me to have read this particular story - a flu being the closest feeling to addiction withdrawals I hope to ever experience.

While not taken with his simplistic writing style, an occasional poetic gem gleamed through:

"A mild degree of junk sickness always brought me the magic of childhood. It never fails, like a shot", wherein he is transported back to laying on his mother's bed, watching streetlights move across the wall as the traffic passes; train whistles; faint piano drifting down the street; burning leaves. While never knowing - or wanting to know - heroin withdrawal, I know this feeling of revisited magic. I go there sometimes, and break from the beauty that is Now.

Also raised was the concept of relegating a thought or idea to a "mental blind spot" - in the novel the example given is that to here is where a junky will relegate his habit's progress. This is the root of self-denial, but moreso dangerous due to the difficulty of recovering a hidden thought once buried. One must rely on cross-indexing to trawl the archives, but if these indexes are too buried, what hope is there of remembering at all?

I love pondering while in a fever-ish or flu-ish state. Every thought an almost-Koan.

painting: Félicien Rops


Placebo - Haemoglobin


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day223 - 7th Circuit

Last night I caught up with an old friend who I hadn't seen in 7 years; a lifetime.

It was if those years had never passed.


Placebo - Special K


Friday, December 17, 2010

Day222 - 2:22

2AM - the perfect time to share one of my favourite paintings.

The image fits the way I think, how I see the world; beauty in a strobed reality, nothing existing in any singular point in time, but spread across points in a suspended blur, for multitiudes to share in.

"The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act." - Marcel Duchamp


For me, right now - during this particular snapshot - the song below accompanies the painting so beautifully - a marriage of sound and vision, giving birth to a well of inspiration.

Placebo - Drag

In the wee hours this song would not rest, swirling around in my head as is often the case with music - exciting me to wake, enticing me to create, no matter the time of day.

You’re always ahead of the game
I drag behind
You never get caught in the rain
When I’m drenched to the bone every time
You’re the first one to swim across the Seine
I lag behind
You’re always ahead of the game
While I drag behind

You’re always ahead of the pack
I drag behind
You posses every trait that I lack
By coincidence or by design
You’re the monkey I’ve got on my back
That tells me to shine
You’re always ahead of the pack
While I drag behind

You’re always ahead of the rest
When I’m always on time
You got A's on your algebra tests
I failed and they kept me behind
I just gotta get off my chest
That I think you’re divine
You’re always ahead of the rest
While I drag behind


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day221 - Eat, Pray, Love, Bounce

As with most books, I read Eat, Pray, Love via audio, in this case read by the author, adding a bonus of explicit inflections and tone, where otherwise imagination would have filled in, correctly or not.

While I sometimes enjoy holding a paper book in my hand, there's a tendency while doing this for my eyes to become weary, tired, making me a very unproductive reader, re-reading paragraphs and losing myself in a half-dazed somnolence. So often I prefer audio books, even though they can take longer to get through, if read in uninterrupted sessions. The beauty of audio is it's portable - I read before bed, during morning yoga, while waiting for an appointment, and often while travelling - situations where it's not always possible to focus on a tangible book.

The afternoon that I finished EPL, I blew through The final chapters. I arrived home with only a few left until the end, as I lay on the sofa and closed my eyes, tears came, emotion whelmed, I enjoyed so much.

It's by no means a flawless book, and I wanted to verbally slap the author at a couple of points (all in good humour), but overall it was an excellent - and most importantly - inspiring read.

I loved the idea - while renting a place in Bali and to prosthetically assist with her lack of local flora knowledge - that the author created names for all the flowers in the garden :) This tickled me violet.

Another passage that had impact on me was the epiphanic moment when she realised (to paraphrase) "everything's going to be alright, why did life seem so hard, how could I forget that the universe provides". This comforted me so much, especially in this year - the best of my own life - in which I had become so engrossed and embedded in others (not said with any regret whatsoever, mind) that I'd forgotten a part of my independence and simultaneous Oneness. I needed the reminder.

Some of my favourite brain-ticklers / consciousness-raisers:

"Guilt is your ego's way of tricking you into thinking you've made moral progress."

In short, fuck guilt. A useless emotion when all acts are done with love & pure intention.

"When the karma of a relationship is done only love remains."

A reason why I retain close ties with lovers past - this is the foundation of what once was, no matter the reason for it being no longer an expressionable act. Focus on the beauty, the love that blossomed for a time.

"To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life."

Poignant, especially this year... I've felt unbalanced at times, but knowingly so and enjoying every moment, for each moment of unique experience brings creativity and inspiration - of which I live, strive for.

"It is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it's born."

I love the concept. You are yourself because of yourself. Your future self determines the actions of your present self. Cyclical, ordered (admidst chaos) and complete.

...and my favourite:

"Sometimes you count the days, sometimes you weigh them."

But upon finishing, I found 2 things most interesting:
-Other than this blog post, I feel no need for reflection on the book - it's all pretty clear and easily absorbed, which is likely part of it's widespread appeal. I compare this to how I felt after reading my favorite novel The Great Gatsby, and the difference is stark - I had to retire from reading _anything_ for a spell after that particular tome of awesomeness;
-I was also drawn immediately afterwards to read something that was a bit more detailed in language - more poetic, less prosaic - so I came back to my old friend Moby Dick, and enjoyed an immediate deep breath of stimulated relaxation.

I have no plans to ever see the movie.


Various types of medications are mentioned in EPL. Without spoiling the story, I'm glad I've managed to get this far, largely med-free. This is a scourge upon the face of a pharmicutically-beleaguered America. Awesome vid, 6A:64:

Placebo - Meds


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day220 - Arrr, An Anecdote

One I've told a few times before...

Back when I wore my hair long, I would don a bandana when hitting the gym. On the way back one day, I stopped off at the supermarket in full workout garb. In the checkout queue a young boy looked up at me in amazement - a look on his face half excited, half frightened as he tugged his mother's hand and asked, "Mummy, is that a pirate?".

I winked & smiled at him.

The mother shuffled slightly, evidently embarrased, the kid remained uncertain, and me?

I was just happy to be mistaken for a pirate.



A fine example of an amazing tone accompanied by such a beautiful voice that Lucille emits as she is stroked lovingly by her man:

BB King - King of Blues [live - instrumental]

(In the interest of continuing your BB King eductation... you know who you are)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Day215 - Shiverspine

Muse and beautiful lights, chills up and down my spine.

Blown away by musicianship, sound quality and lightshow - the best since Justin Timberlake a year or so earlier - I sat in awe, pure enjoyment, tears were shed.

A small shadow passed amongst the joy - a rare occasion to be disappointed in missing the opening act. If only Biffy Clyro had been named on the bill, ticketing site, ticket stub, anywhere... we wouldn't have been so cavalier about arriving closer to Muse's start time and booked a pre-dinner with friends.

C'est la vie.

One of the better shows I've seen. Worth the price of admission.


Another band high on my must-see Live Lust List, currently enjoying significant airplay around the house:

Placebo - Song To Say Goodbye


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day214 - Wonderland

Mid-morning one spring Sunday I laid in bed, at the perfect temperature, sated from the events of the night before - a whirlwind of concrete adventure, music and free-flowing fun - now comfortable in this foreign environment, having stayed with a friend, laying on my back staring at the clear sky, far enough from home to notice, but not to care any further.

Through the air came soothing waves from a neighbour's sound system, playing an album that carried me with it as I listened to the entirety, and carries me to this day, back to that country, back to that house, back to that bed, back to that moment.

For that hour at least, it seemed as though the humans in the vicinity were in unison, relaxed and calm, as if it were New Year's Day and no one dare stir but those who understand and know - repeated here for me to hold, retell and share - the beauty of that unique of all days.


Simply Red - Wonderland


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day213 - Stars

I sleep beneath them every night: the stars that line the skirting where wall and ceiling meet. Yet on moonless nights only they shine, like twin constellations; luminous snakes.

The blue-tinged fairy lights re-dispense the Sun's rays - stored earlier - in slow release. By morning the cells will be depleted, ready to renew.

As I lay here in the glow - the light glow of light - I recall beautiful memories, wistful thoughts, and sweet sounds such as these:

Simply Red - Stars

What I would give for a voice half as beautiful.


I have stars.


Day212 - Easy

3+ hours of Eagles: flawless performances, amazing vocals (especially for men of their age), timeless songs.

Some of the most expensive concert tickets I've ever bought, but I feel as though I got my money's worth.

Of the hundreds of live shows I've seen, this was on my Top 5 Musical Lust List.

Another box checked, in fine gold ink.

Still buzzing.



The live harmonizing on this song was as good as the studio version from 1972, linked for your pleasure:

Eagles - Take It Easy


Monday, December 6, 2010

Day211 - Beautiful Placebo

I sat in the sun today, waterside, listening to the wind, forearms on my knees, watching the slightest diamonds of sweat form briefly, dorsally, between my fingers and wrists, glistening like and unlike the ancient east coast sands, before evaporating with the gentle breeze from the ocean.

My hands were sparkling; beautiful.


I'd forgotten how much I love this band:

Placebo - Days Before You Came

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