January 17, 2010

Random babblings: Seasons roll on by

And I'm lost behind
Words I'll never find.
And I'm left behind,
As seasons roll on by...*

Still can't string together anything pithy, but feeling the urge to blog anyway.  In the mood for weirdness today... 

Watched The Libertine again last night.  The prelude to the film is only partially accurate:  I do find Wilmot repellent but, like Sade, still fascinating.  I wouldn't like him as a person, but greatly admire him as an idea.  Probably his best known (read: most notorious) work is A Ramble in St. James's Park (I'm not quoting it here, I don't want my blog reported.  Follow the link if you're curious).  What compelled the man to write such obscenity-filled bawdiness?  Especially considering that he could turn around and pen something like this:

After Death nothing is, and nothing, death,
The utmost limit of a gasp of breath.
Let the ambitious zealot lay aside
His hopes of heaven, whose faith is but his pride;
Let slavish souls lay by their fear
Nor be concerned which way nor where
After this life they shall be hurled.
Dead, we become the lumber of the world,
And to that mass of matter shall be swept
Where things destroyed with things unborn are kept.
Devouring time swallows us whole.
Impartial death confounds body and soul.
For Hell and the foul fiend that rules
God's everlasting fiery jails
(Devised by rogues, dreaded by fools),
With his grim, grisly dog that keeps the door,
Are senseless stories, idle tales,
Dreams, whimsey's, and no more. 

Was it a desire to shock?  Or a compulsion to honesty so intense it became perverse?  As the character of Wilmot says in the film, "I don't mean to upset people, but I must speak my mind. For what's in my mind is far more interesting than what's outside my mind."  Though whether what was in his mind was as interesting to the rest of us is, of course, entirely subjective.
Ellicott Cemetery, Ellicott City MD

Spent a rainy January afternoon today wandering cemeteries outside of Baltimore, then reading Sherlock Holmes while chewing on mussels at Bertha's.  If you're a Holmes purist like I am, don't bother with the new Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Jr. film unless you can convince yourself that it's not really Sherlock Holmes, it's just an action flick set in Victorian London with characters who solve crimes and share the same names as Conan Doyle's creations.  Just go back and re-read the stories.  Or, watch for the Granada TV series starring Jeremy Brett on public television.

Came home to follow a blog post from The Crow to Sam&Sara Motel and thence to She Is (best. URL. ever.).  Probably not the direction that was intended from the original post, but thoroughly appropriate to my mood.  The images at the latter two put me in mind of Maynard James Keenan and A Perfect Circle, which is fitting after being in Baltimore earlier.

Driving from Ellicott City through Catonsville and into western B'more, there were so many images I was dying to stop and photograph. So much of the architecture in these neighborhoods indicates that their hey-day was during the early decades of the 20th century. There's so much terrific detail to so many of the rowhouses, individual homes, and storefronts that, though bordering on decrepit now, it's obvious that these areas were once beautiful, vibrant places to live. I get excited at the things I see driving by and want to stop and capture them, save images of them before it's too late, but these are not necessarily appropriate neighborhoods for me be wandering around with a camera. Sure, the idea of being mugged crosses my mind, but it's more a matter of consideration and delicacy. A friend with whom I rode the Gwynns Fall trail summed it up well when we stopped in one of the grittier neighborhoods to snap a shot: Traveling through these neighborhoods is not visiting the zoo.  She's very right.  I would not ever want to offend anyone who lives in such areas by "playing tourist". They live with the grime and crime and grim reality of it. Would my recording the sights that catch my eye in these areas be a compliment or an insult to them? There can be beauty in decay, but do you see it if you're stuck in it every day?

If I should be short on words
And long on things to say,
Could you crawl into my world
And take me worlds away?*

* Chris Cornell, Seasons


Chrys said...

Hey! Glad to see you on here, and I loved your post, especially the description of your time at cemeteries and reading, sounds kinda perfect.

And lovely tie-in with "Seasons." Ohhh, back when CC was so brilliant...

KaliDurga said...

Hey there! The use of Seasons was actually kind of ironic, as I've felt lately that I've had nothing much to say but yesterday ended up with a bit of something after all. But I was also thinking about the dead winter season and how it affects me (cold, rain, early darkness, etc), and how I can't wait for it to roll on by.

And, yeah, I had the same thought about Cornell as I was listening to that song on the way home from B'more. Just added to the melancholy mood...

Stargazerleo said...

I echo the Seasons sentiment, it seems so 'seasonal' right now (pardon the pun) regarding CC's work.

You too, have given me links to check out. I've never heard of Libertine or Wilmot. I'm still trying to figure out that She Is link, but I like it.

Not being a Sherlock Holmes afficionado, I have to say I enjoyed the movie. I had nothing literal to compare it to, and I adore Robert Downey, Jr. so it was a no-brainer for me.

KaliDurga said...

I think that, as action movies go, it was a good film. It was certainly visually terrific. I very much liked Jude Law's Watson, but was a little disappointed in Downey. But that was probably because I had a preconceived notion of Holmes based on the stories and Jeremy Brett's portrayal. The idea of Holmes as a grimy, besotted brawler was offensive to me. And the original character was intellectual to the point of disdaining women and relationships, so it annoyed the crap out of me that there just had to be that Hollywood romance angle. All that aside, it is certainly a fun flick. I'm glad we didn't see it together, because I would have ruined it for you ;)

Don't watch The Libertine when the girls are home unless you want them picking up some unsavory language. What are you trying to figure out about the She Is link?