Happy Birthday B. S. Johnson

Bryan

Born this day 1933.  Died 1973, aged 40.

Depression is a terrible condition.  Suicide a terrible conclusion.  Commercial success a chimera.  This was a man who dragged himself up by the bootstraps and gained himself a university degree.  He was a highly interesting and experimental writer and his legacy is now more recognised than in his lifetime.

If we had a Universal Basic Income would he have revealed even greater potential?  UBI would be especially beneficial in giving artists the leeway to create.

Love-All; by Bryan Stanley Johnson

The decorously informative church
Guide to Sex suggested that any urge
could well be controlled by playing tennis:
and the game provided also “many
harmless opportunities for healthy
social intercourse between the sexes.”

For weeks the drawings in the Guide misled
me as to what went where, but nonetheless
I booked the public courts and learnt the game
with other curious youths of my age:
and later joined a club, to lose six one,
six love, in the first round of the Open.

But the only girl I ever met had
her “energies channelled” far too bloody
“healthily”, and very quickly let me
know that love was merely another means
of saying nil. It was not as though I
became any good at tennis; either.

No Camping

Nocamping

Two paths lie before me,

I may walk either.

One is arduous and steep,

fraught with peril, dark and rocky.

It rises to a high and lofty place.

From there I could gaze upon the world

and breathe deeply of success.

I could marvel at my achievement.

But many have fallen on that path.

They slide into oblivion below

howling pitiful screams.

Others stop along the way

unable to proceed, standing

perched on that inhospitable ledge

like fledgling gulls

about to plunge.

The other path is smoother

along a valley floor.

The scenery is banal

and well trampled.

Life down there is crowded

although it is comfortable and safe.

Too safe perhaps for some.

He who walks that road

will never climb the mountain

and many die at last

never knowing if he could.

So here I stand

in a beautiful spot

where two roads face me.

I wish that I could rest here

the better to make my decision,

it being so important.

But a sign lies on the verge

which forces me to choose

and move along.

.

Copyright D. Clancy (1988)

Success and Failure

suarez

I don’t know what to say really.  Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today.  Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble.  Inch by inch, play by play, till we’re finished.

We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light.  We can climb out of hell.  One inch, at a time.

Now I can’t do it for you. I’m too old. I look around and I see these young faces and I think, I mean, I made every wrong choice a middle aged man could make.  I uh…. I pissed away all my money believe it or not. I chased off anyone who has ever loved me. And lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror.

You know when you get old in life things get taken from you.  That’s, that’s part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff.  You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small.  I mean one half step too late or too early, you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it.  The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch.  We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch. Cause we know when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the fucking difference between WINNING and LOSING between LIVING and DYING.

I’ll tell you this in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch. And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch, because that is what LIVING is. The six inches in front of your face.

Now I can’t make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes. Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you.  You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him.

That’s a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That’s football guys. That’s all it is. Now, whattaya gonna do?

(Al Pacino’s motivational speech from “Any Given Sunday”)

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone:  (R. Rodgers – O. Hammerstein II

When you walk through the storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on, through the wind
Walk on, through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone

10 Steps to Happiness

These 10 simple steps are proven to be effective and will change your life forever.

They are courtesy of Professor Richard Wiseman and his excellent book “:59 seconds; Think a little Change a lot”.

  1.  Every week you should rate your week and write down 3 things that went well.  This will improve your happiness and your health for the next month.  I hope it is a cumulative effect.
  2. Carry a cute baby photo in your wallet (read the book to know why)
  3. Hang a mirror in your kitchen.  When you can see yourself eating, you eat better food and you eat less.
  4. Put a pot plant in your office.  It boosts creativity and reduces stress.
  5. Touch people on the upper arm when you ask them to do something and they are more likely to do it.  But read the book because you can get this one very wrong!  Think “Sexual Harassment” suit!
  6. Write about your relationship and you will make it stronger.  If you write your thoughts about your relationship on paper, the positive language will leak through when you speak with your partner.
  7. If you think someone is lying, shut your eyes and ask them to send it in an email.
  8. Praise effort, not ability.  Instead of saying “aren’t you a clever boy to get first place” say “you really worked hard to get that first place”.
  9. If you want to reach your goals don’t visualise the goal, visualise the steps to get there.  If you are in a sand trap, don’t visualise the golf ball going into the cup, visualise your stroke lifting the ball out of the sand and on to the green.
  10. Write your obituary.  When your friends speak at your funeral, what will they say you did?  If you are not happy with the material, now is the time to change it.  This is how Alfred Nobel moved from making Dynamite to giving prizes for Science and Peace.

The time Before Death; by Kabir

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.

Jump into experience while you are alive!

Think… and think… while you are alive.

What you call “salvation” belongs to the time before death

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,

do you think ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will rejoin with the ecstatic

just because the body is rotten–that is all fantasy.

What is found now is found then.

If you find nothing now,

you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.

if you make love with the divine now, in the next

life you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,

Believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,

it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that

does all the work.

Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.