In Search of A/The Point of Life

AS I TURN 6-MONTHS OLD, I REALISE THAT I QUITE ENJOY MY LIFE/LIVES NOW, HERE.

Unbeknownst to me at that time, my visit to Enjoy Cafe is to turn out to be profoundly life-changing. As I turn 6-months old on 12 June 2010, I wash down a dozen of the Aphrodisiac Sausages with Dettol. I am hit – not suddenly, but gradually, nicely, warmly, largo – with a realisation that I quite enjoy my life and lives now, here, in Nondon, in my Life 3.0. I think, and I know, that I enjoy where/when I am, difficult/diverting/frustrating/frivolous as it is. Society celebrates youth, in all its actual and mythological glory/beauty/recklessness/kawaii-ness/innocence (or so-called). I enjoyed being young when I was, but I also enjoy having travelled the journey (detours included) to get here, of being what(ever it is that) I am now, quite tremendously, in all its imperfections/wisdom (or lack thereof)/scars/histories/wear&tear/warts&all. And I enjoy knowing that I am enjoying it.

In all my lives, in Nondon and elsewheres, people have often judged me to be younger than I am. But never once had/have I a desire to deny/lie (although some times I evade, because I some times like to see where it leads me when I am perceived to be more naive than I am, which is not to say that I am with out mature folly). The look of shock (or disgust) by the asker invariably provides me with a (perverse) pleasure. (Allow me to share a couple of incidents with you, my Dear Readers. Incident #1: Last week at Cally Pool: Girl asks me when I step into pool, ‘How old are you?’ Me: ‘Make a guess?’ She: ’19′. I tell her. She looks offended. Keen to restore peace, I ask her: ‘How old are you?’ ’11′, she replies. She is quite a bit taller than me. She looks me up and down. Then, both unclear of how to carry on with the conversation, we swim off in separate directions, in shock. Incident #2: At my local Tesco’s, when asked for my ID, I tell cashier my age. She stares at me, and gets her Supervisor. The women begin staring at me. ‘Perhaps it is what I’m wearing?’, I offer. ‘No, it’s your skin’, supervisor says. ‘Well luckily you are not looking close enough’. So she comes close, barely inches away from me, eyes wide open, examining me. Keen to get my bottle, I endure this unexpected scrutiny for several seconds. ‘What do you eat to look like this?’, she asks, as the cashier beeps my bottle and Tesco’s-branded cheap and nasty cakes. ‘Tesco’s cheap and nasty cakes,’ I reply. Incident #3: He, 18, guessed that I was 22. I said, ‘We could have met when I first came to Nondon, but we might not have recognised each other as you must have been in a pram (and dozy from all that milky binge-drinking).’ I think this is a hilarious image, but he clearly did not.)*

Mind you, I am by no means old, old, but having lived 6 out of my prescribed 32.8-months allowance declares that I am no spring chicken, but a mature summer barbecued pork, sweating in lard. Dripped from the previous years’ roasts.

This image has as its source several text-tree diagrammes generated by Dr. Jamie O'Brien from a programme he designed.

More than ever before, I now enjoy many things physically, intellectually and psychologically. My Life 3.0 reality is an augmented one, but with neither sillycone nor sentimentalism. The best part is that I enjoy knowing how much I am able to enjoy what I am enjoying.  (A sign of smugness perhaps, or an other indication of a profound delusion. Not unike Quixote’s). And this is not a tautological statement (even though we enjoy tautologies and tautologies enjoy us). Though I have always been an introspective person, this seems an other stage of self-awareness and confidence that would have escaped me at an other age. More than ever before, I now know what I want, when I want it, and how to dispense/use/it, at the dosage that works – what specific phrase of a piece of music I wish to listen to, at what volume, for how many number of loops; what particular type of cheese I wish to savour at a particular moment, to be followed by what particular dessert at what dosage; what particular scene of a film I wish to replay in my head, to evoke or force about a particular emotion (and it is invariably a Herzog or Marker or Tarkovsky scene), at what point to wean myself off an obsession, to say ‘Enough!’ and move on; to know the exact demands of a task/race at hand, and pace myself, so that I do not burn out too quickly, so that I stay focused and clear, but allow myself refuelling and treats when the energy levels dip, and then go for a final push, a sprint, a dash, a be-all-end-all exertion, et al. I also enjoy not knowing, and enjoy knowing that I do not know, and enjoy that anticipation, anxiety, excitement, the waiting (Have you read Barthes’ elegant chapter ‘Waiting’, in A Lover’s Discourse?), the feeling silly, and curiosity. I enjoy doing what I am doing. I enjoy what I am being. I enjoy waking up every morning, excited about confronting my challenges. I enjoy a good challenge, as I always have had all my lives, as they give me a good kick, because I enjoy kicking back, hard. I enjoy wanting something and working hard for it. I enjoy achieving. I enjoy leaving. I enjoy arriving. Most of all I enjoy the process of getting there, even if the arrival is anticlimactic. In fact the arrival will invariably be. I enjoy putting in effort. I would have enjoyed not having to put in any effort, of course, but by now I know how I work, how I have to work, so I do, and I enjoy doing that. I enjoy going to bed at night, having fought the demons, windmills, and myselves and looking forward to the next set of challenges the next day. And the next. I enjoy raising the bar (including raising the Snicker bars into my mouth). I enjoy communicating with my friends in Life 2.0. I enjoy knowing you. I enjoy not knowing you. I enjoy that we may never, and/or may never desire to/need to, meet in Life 1.0. I enjoy that we might have met in Life 1.0, but do not out ourselves, because doing so would spoil everything, your idea of Kaidie, and hers, of you. I enjoy that we meet in Life 2.0. I enjoy that we meet at all. I enjoy that we meet, and share, and run together. I enjoy not knowing the fate/s of Kaidie (except that she must expire 09.09.2012). I enjoy that you play a part in Kaidie’s being. I enjoy being invited to unexpected diversions, as invented by my friends, including you, my Dear Readers, my Collaborators, my Co-creators. I enjoy being Kaidie. I enjoy that Kaidie  and Life 3.0 are public properties, and open source systems, and our collective and  subjective imagination. I enjoy trying and testing new things. I enjoy going where I hadn’t/ wouldn’t have. I enjoy running with you. I enjoy having virtual running companions on my 1000-day journey. I enjoy exploring new territories and unknown terrain. I enjoy not knowing. I enjoy being surprised. I enjoy that things are not written. I enjoy that Kaidie can be over written by you. I enjoy that Kaidie can be written off by you, and me, or in spite of me. I enjoy that Kaidie’s story in Life 3.0 cannot be facilitated with out your Web 2.0 assistance and good-old-fashioned imagination. I enjoy that Kaidie is not precious, that she will cease to exist, that she is me, but can be any one, any body, real or imagined, that she is fictive, but that she is me as well, that I am her, that you can be her too. I enjoy the smell of my cocoa-butter moisturiser because it smells like superrich vanilla icecream and I want to eat it but I don’t. I enjoy lying on the grass with B, G, S when the sun is shining. I enjoy walking home from Great Marlborough Street with C, and sighting a deflated football on the street and attempting to kick it, only to laugh at it, as if to mock it, but affectionately and not maliciously. I enjoy walking home with J & A from Smithfields when it is more than 20 degrees. I enjoy walking home with B from St Johns Street. I enjoy tension. I enjoy prolonging tension. I enjoy saying hello to the Hispanic cleaners. I enjoyed walking with B again, looking for food, starving, then stuffing my face with a sandwich that had hummous,  and something else, and asking B if there is anything on my face, but  unfortunately left with no more time to talk more. I enjoy taking time. I enjoy the luxury of time. I enjoy having a short attention span. I enjoy having the physical and mental stamina to endure long journeys/races/lives. I enjoy the sting of wasabi. I enjoy walking at 18 degrees. I enjoy running at 8-12 degrees. I enjoy running in the gym at 16 degrees, because that is the lowest you can go, but the air is still stale and stuffy. I enjoy my shower at 40 degrees. I enjoy swimming in chlorine at 25 degrees. I enjoy my foamy coffee piping hot. I enjoy walking along Commercial Road with G. I enjoyed walking with S along the canal late at night, when I slipped, because I was not wearing my glasses, and where I would not have walked alone at that hour, but together it was lovely, based on a decade of friendship. I enjoyed wandering around Moscow with I as it snowed  and we got lost in the circle line. I enjoyed exploring Perth with J, 2 foreigners and strangers looking for a place to go, with out a map, enjoying being lost, together. I enjoyed walking in Suomenlinna with P in a Summer midnight, when it was still bright, albeit chilly. I enjoyed being submerged in the outdoor onsen, in the mountains, when it was cold and raining, holding an umbrella, pitch black, seeing no thing, but comforted by my friends’ laughter, friends who had brought me here because I was flying off the next day. I enjoyed walking with F in Spore in my previous life, and Paris in my current, even though we have both moved on. I enjoy all my long distance flights. I enjoy not sleeping on my long distance flights. I enjoy flying across timezones, political excuses and economic selfishness.  I enjoyed my 7-hour bus ride with A, with out sleep, and the subsequent croissants for breakfast, during which exactly two thousand bits of pastry were busily flaking onto the dirty trashy subway station ground, so instead of eating all 2 croissants A had only 1.2, or thereabouts, I gathered. I enjoy running, flying, swimming and living alone. I still enjoy swimming because the chlorine endorphins kick in surely and quickly. I enjoyed running in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Beppu, Oxford, Spore and Winterthur. I enjoy getting jealous of Kaidie when B tells me that he might prefer to go out with the Life 2.0, virtual Kaidie than the Life 1.0 me. I enjoy the airconditioning in the British Library and Wellcome Institute. I enjoy sweating when working out. I enjoy being underestimated. I enjoy proving myself. I enjoy proving myself wrong. I enjoy learning. I enjoy perfect pitch and hearing. I enjoy being a little short-sighted, so I see things in a slight blur when too far away. I enjoy fuzzy logic. I enjoy ambiguity. I enjoy dry humour. I enjoyed  playing the piano for 11 years. I enjoy imagining an other life as a concert pianist. I enjoy walking in Regents Fark with A, not knowing where we were going, if any where, but even if no where, that was fine, as it was, as it is. I enjoyed the warmth of my filmmaker-activist friends in Sderot who were passionate about peace. I enjoyed their sincerity and kindness after I endured endless searches  in order to get onto el al opening my bags emptying my hand luggage removing my battery from my laptop showing them my files body searched many times  passports flipped endless questions asked. I enjoy imagining Y running in Hyde Park, although not with me. I enjoy the smell of fresh bread. I enjoy eating at least 1 banana daily. I enjoy salmon and brie. I enjoy champagne with pancakes. I enjoy olives and corn and niceness. I enjoy the smell of B’s hair. I enjoy smells. I enjoy smelling. I enjoy the smell of my coconut shampoo. I enjoyed last Thursday aplenty. I enjoyed Tuesday very much too. I enjoy enjoying the moments of enjoyment when they happen. I enjoy not trying to repeat such moments because of my insatiability. I enjoy training myself to not be nostalgic. I enjoy training myself not to be attached. I enjoy separating mind from matter. I enjoyed saying hello to the many little people at the museum, because they remind me of R, E, K, B, K, S, even though I have not met S and she, and K, and E would not recognise/remember me, that I have to start afresh with them when I next meet them, and I do not know when I will next meet them. I enjoy holding a baby or a toddler. I enjoy not being labelled as selfish for my choices, because I think the choice of reproduction is as selfish. I enjoy i-chatting with R, who knows all its functions by the age of 6. I enjoy silence when I am working. I enjoy working in silence, because I have memorised and mis-memorised how Gould does it and it swims in my head, never mind if it is a distortion of distortions of Beethoven and Bach. I enjoy the ability to be silent when with an other, because it says that we do not need to rubbish talk, even though I enjoy talking rubbish to amuse you, and me, but I enjoy being silent when we are together, because it is in silence that we are in an other space and time that we enclose for us, as and when I desire an enclosure/definition. I enjoy sleeping. I enjoy sleeping for 12 hours for a recharge. I enjoyed watching G’s eyeballs widen because I say rubbish. I always enjoy walking along Farrington Road because it is wide and gently sloped and when I walk there I am in a good mood or walking there puts me in a good mood. I enjoy walking at 6.5kmh when it is sunny. I enjoy wanting. I enjoy running the next morning. I enjoy being cooked for. I enjoy sitting at the back of a motorised bike. I think I will enjoy skydiving, bungee jumping, and deepsea diving. And freefalling. I enjoy doing things with no strings attached. I enjoy sleeping at 2200 and walking up at 0500.  I enjoy running at 0700. I enjoy a disciplined life. I enjoy letting go. I enjoy being focused. I enjoy being distracted. I enjoy having a sense of control. I enjoy having my routines interrupted. I enjoy drawing lists of things to do. I enjoy drawing lists to  remind me to look at my other lists. I enjoy being disrupted. I enjoy pushing myself physically and mentally as a dare to myself. I enjoy surprises. I enjoy being surprised. I enjoy smiling to fellow runners now, when I shied away from it before, but now I do it some times because it is nice when you do laps and encounter the same characters repeatedly, so you smile, and move on. I enjoy smiling and waving back when I run along Euston Road and school girls from the bus smile and wave at me this morning. I enjoyed the 7-second run the man wearing ‘Save The Children’ bright blue t-shirt did with me as I run past Kings Cross yesterday morning. I enjoy running because it calms me down and rids my anxieties, but when A asks, why are you anxious in the first place, I can not answer. I enjoy hearing my heavy breathing as I run, because it reminds me that I am breathing. I enjoy sweating as I run. I enjoy looking forward to food, drinks and not running, when I am running. I enjoy swinging my arms and propelling myself forward as I run. I enjoy running with the minimal things, without water, without ID, with no money, no baggage, no burden, just run. I enjoy running in a city, in any city, because I am no longer seen as an other,  no longer small and exotic,  but having some temporary ownership of the place I am running, and personalising the space I inhabit, and I gaze the city in a different manner, and I am gazed upon in a different manner, I am even taken to be a local and am asked for directions. I enjoy doing a little bouncy gait this morning, with out pain, with out aches, with some speed. I enjoy watching the blister grow on my toe. I enjoy the texture of chaffed skin from rubbing my arm against my running shirt. I enjoy my running clothes scratching my back, creating marks on my back that do not leave, where as I would have been disturbed by any mark or blemish or spot before, but now I accept some, because it comes with this activity. I enjoy taking time to warm up. I enjoy taking time to stretch. I enjoy fartleks when I feel stronger. I enjoy pounding on the treadmill when I am fully focused, because I have to be careful not to drift, because when I did I fell off. I enjoy hitting 14kmh on the treadmill. I enjoy counting when on the treadmill.  I enjoy not counting because I count everything in my life. I enjoy taking calculated risks. I enjoy slow, long-drawn runs when I work at distances. I enjoy running alone in real life. I enjoy testing my limits. I enjoy knowing my limits. I enjoy pushing my limits. I enjoy working with my limits and limitations. I enjoy the prospect of a big bowl of boiled cauliflower/parsnips/broccoli/cougettes after my run. I enjoy that my cheap pink nail polish comes off nearly as soon as I put them on. I always enjoy my 2nd round in the Fark because that is when I am no longer anxious, but simply running, when my head is full of thoughts, and at the same time not thinking of any thing in particular, when my body is most relaxed, and when my GPS will register my faster times, not because I am racing, but because it feels good, and I know now how to make myself feel good by calling upon my running endorphins. I enjoyed a very nice run on Wednesday morning, after a nice Tuesday where no thing and every thing and some thing else happened,  when I moved on the next morning, still tired and still light, but running, unthinkingly, and registered my most enjoyable and fastest 2nd round ever in a non-race condition, 10.2kmh, as opposed to my usual 9.4kmh, not terribly much better in real terms, but mentally, in unreal terms, trust me, it felt good, very good, feeling completely free from any pain, any bother, just relaxed, just 1 foot after the other, not minding the branches poking me, not minding other runners zapping past me, but bouncing on/off my shoes, not as if my shoes are super bouncy,  for, mind you, it was my old Brooks, 1 out of my 3 pairs of running shoes, but this with the sole /soul soon coming off, but still I felt a bounce, a new gait that I never had before Wednesday, and best of all, I was able to control that and bring it on when I felt ready, and I knew that I felt ready, so I ran,  almost bouncing sideways, arms swaying me forward, not minding how funny or ugly or clumsy I  must have appeared, but enjoying the lightness of being, momentarily, in perfect control, and complete-total-freaking-fully let go at the same time. I enjoy discipline. I enjoy being a disciplinarian. I enjoy the dictum of no pain no gain. I enjoy Nondon and cannot imagine doing this, whatever it is that I am doing, any where else. I enjoy long distance calls on Skype. I enjoy running across different dimensions. I enjoy being confused about which dimension I am in, and applying different sets of values, sometimes inappropriately. I enjoy forgetting if I should have been more assertive, or am not humble/polite/modest enough, or am too much of a go-getter. I enjoy forgetting if I am not serious enough, if I am too austere, or if I am too childish. I enjoy having a large repertoire of values to pick and mix, and learning new things in each new dimension that I travel to. I enjoy my life and lives now and do not stop me from enjoying myself. I enjoy this intensity, this being filled, this being fulfilled, being empty, a half full/half empty question, being anxious, being lucid, being heightened, having no excessive things in my life, being frivolous and enjoying silly indulgences. I enjoy being reconciled. I also enjoy not being reconciled, being confused, being consistently inconsistent, being torn between violent opposing thoughts, still struggling with the theory vs. practice problem, being exhausted and wrecked by Kaidie, being Kaidie, not being Kaidie, being besides myself, being shipwrecked, being afloat, not moving my arms or legs until the next swimmer comes along and hits me off the lane, tumbling, falling down, stepping on horse poo, huffing and puffing and neighing as I run, running out of breath, holding my breath underwater, being at one and at the same time many, having many conflicting values, and having many contradictory views, having absolutely no values. I will enjoy my Summer. I enjoy staying focused. I will enjoy the next 26.8 months of my life.

* 13 July 2010: After this post was published, I read of a nice story that captures perfectly the essence of the word serendipity- of a couple who lived in seperate continents, but who were photographed 30 years earlier, in the same picture, but one of them in a pram, in the background, and a complete stranger, of course. They met 15 years ago, and only made the discovery 8 years ago just before their wedding. This sounds like a classic Kaidie scenario (of some hits and plenty of misses that we have with one another, as we traverse across lifetimes) albeit one that has a happy ending (in so far as a unification is read as a positive thing, and if endings are desirable).

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  1. m4sk 22

    your flowering story is a motorflower!

    Jun 11, 2010 @ 11:00


  2. cloud9

    the 12th of June is also my friend J’s b-day! Last year for her b-day we did a special radio show on a pirate online radio. I DJed for the first time and also for the first time I used the name ‘Cloud 9′ (my alter-native-persona/stage name?) — See also what it means to be on cloud 9! http://holonfilmlab.blogspot.com/2009/06/dj-cloud-9-dj-313-on-wireless-fm.html — As J b-day marks roughly my arrival in London 3 years ago, my memory wondered off through the joys and pains of these intense time in London, I mean the Vortex! time runs fast here, numbers match often, people meet in the most extraordinary ways, through coincidences and continual attractive energies. yes Kaidie, they also ask us for ID when buying alcohol or tobacco because we look young and we are 37! and we are happy to be the age we are, have lived what we did so far and keep opened to what may happen here and now and tomorrow and beyond! thank you for sharing with us your enjoyments and joys! always a great joy to read you and see your images. Looking forward to see your mad maps exhibition :)

    x
    cloud 9

    Jun 13, 2010 @ 14:57


  3. m4sk 22

    I read that Barthes chapter again after you mentioned it, it reminds me, as did something Claudia wrote on Facebook, of Walter Benjamin’s essays on bookccollecting, and I decided I need to read it in French…how many languages do you know? and do you find some things are very different in translation?
    M4SK 22 tries very hard to deal in simplified language or none at all, but still there is a trove of meaning in the most reduced sentences, more than in many, like in the way an opening sentence can be an environment, some books you don’t even need to read any further, like Anna Karenina, or the translation of it.

    Jun 14, 2010 @ 16:22


  4. m4sk 22

    Have you read Death In the Afternoon, the epilogue especially?

    Jun 14, 2010 @ 16:35


  5. 3rdlifekaidie

    Dearest Cloud9,
    THANK YOU so much for your contribution (AS USUAL!) My reply is A LITTLE LATE! I apologise. I hope your friend J had a beautiful birthday – how brave of you to play! It must have been thrilling – and even more so if ‘live’. I miss the thrill of playing ‘live’ (not as a DJ, but a VJ of sorts, in one of my previous lives) – making mistakes, making decisions on the spot, being excited and humbled by the audience, being reminded of being alive, really! Now I do my work online (and off), but Web 2.0 does offer some degree of ‘live’ness as well…:) Do you still play? Let us know when you do that again!

    I really like what you say about “people meet in the most extraordinary ways, through coincidences and continual attractive energies”. How true it is! Meeting people on the same wavelengths, as well as meeting people who don’t – to learn, to be inspired, to be challenged, to rethink about ourselves, to re-new ourselves. I think London is capable of that quite a bit, as a thriving mise-en-scene full of all kinds of characters and players. We love it here! And here was how we met as well!:)

    And yes indeed, we are simply, very happy to be the ages that we are!! Like you say we are ageless, whatever age we are :) We shall continue to be happy, and get even happier, and enjoy the best times of our lives!

    Thank you Cloud 9, as always. Stay afloat, stay high :)
    xx Kaidie

    Jul 13, 2010 @ 17:59

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