In Search of A/The Point of Life

‘LIST OF THINGS THAT QUICKEN THE HEART’: Closing the year (2010) with an other Chris Marker quote (1983), this time after Sei Shonagon (1002)

(Over)stretching ourselves in preparation for more mindbodyblowing trans-dimensional running in 2011

(Over) stretching ourselves to get geared up for more mindbodyblowing trans-dimensional runs (2 layers of socks) in the new year 2011.

Chris Marker, San Soleil, 1983: ‘Shonagon had a passion for lists: the list of ‘elegant things,’ ‘distressing things,’ or even of ‘things not worth doing.’ One day she got the idea of drawing up a list of ‘things that quicken the heart.’ Not a bad criterion I realise when I’m filming …’

Sei Shonagon’s elegant and evocative list, The Pillow Book, 1002 (italics ours): ‘Sparrow feeding their young. To pass a place where babies are playing. To sleep in a room where some fine incense has been burnt. To notice that one’s elegant Chinese mirror has become a little cloudy. To see a gentleman stop his carriage before one’s gage and instruct his attendants to announce his arrival. To wash one’s hair, make one’s toilet, and put on scented robes; even if not a soul sees one, these preparations still produce an inner pleasure. It is not and one is expecting a visitor. Suddenly one is startled by the sound of rain-drops, which the wind blows against the shutters.’

Kaidie’s list, post Xmas, 2010, on the cusp (cusp – what a lovely word) of an other new year, 2011:
1.    The moment of realisation that our legs have been working in perfect synchronicity with our arms, mind, emotions, environment, weather, and that we had been un-self-conscious of this happening; that we have fully inhabited, embodied and embedded running.
2.    The moment of realisation that we have been living+working+playing in the city of Nondon, and that we had been un-self-conscious of it; that we have fully inhabited, embodied and embedded ourselves in this great city.
3.    When beginning to structure and write a new chapter (it soon gets extremely laboured and tedious, and is nothing but meticulous building, or precise shearing and stripping of, block by block, bit by bit).
4.    Experiencing the transition/cut between from the black-and-white opening sequence of Tarkovsky’s Mirror (of a man overcoming his stutter) and the first scene of the film proper a-washed in luscious green.
5.    Experiencing the transition/cut between the closing sequence of Marker’s Sans Soleil and the final credits (of 3 children on a road in Iceland); the moment when the woman moves in La Jetee (1962).
6.    Experiencing the first notes of Glenn Gould’s rendition of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and, with the assistance of good earphones, the melancholic-ecstasy in Gould humming/singing.
7.    When water from the very hot shower first hits our skin after we emerge from the lukewarm swimming pool (afterwards, it is merely utilitarian).
8.    In the first 30 seconds of acquisition, licking the foamy head off a very hot cappuccino thickly dusted with cocoa (but as soon as the bubbles fizzle off, so too, does our interest).
9.    The moment of falling into a deranged, swirling, topsyturvy, eternal, divine love at first bite with toro sashimi shrewdly laced with fresh wasabi (how it stings!); ditto, at first sight and bite, with Sainsbury’s bakery’s 99p cheese twist (or that pecan and maple pastry thing 79p) (Our heart quicken, and misses a few beats. Gulp.)
10.    The sudden / brief moment of mutual recognition of something of a spark of sorts happening (before it/whateveritis falls into numbing patterns that we run away from, and move on, hollering, ‘Enough!’, because we do not have the stamina or interest to sustain such a spark; that a spark is such only because it is momentary; anything longer than momentary ceases to be such).

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