February spawned a monster


Don't link to this unless you can gaze into the abyss and still manage to put one foot in front of the other..... There is a scream unlike any other A scream that lasts a lifetime It starts at birth when light and cold Strip away everything And it ends When upon the canvas of an innocent mind Is written "Witness the extent of human potential" And I want to wrap this fragile girl In a cocoon woven from every tear Shed for her And I want to whisper "Such evil could not exist without an even greater goodness" But my own tongue turns on me and spits..... There is a scream unlike any other For when it ends, no sound will ever be heard again.

Style Invitational


I'm sure this has been blogged to death already, but it was in this morning's paper so it's topical over here, okay? Although some of them are pretty good, I reckon the perspicacious individuals who from time to time grace my blog with their benevolent presence, are capable of far better.

The Washington Post's Style Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year's winners.

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an ass.


Sometimes at night I part the curtains and stare at the leaden clouds as they rumble across the dark sky....and the sound they make is How To Disappear Completely. For a few blessed yet fleeting seconds, I think I might know something, or realize something or somehow be closer to earth and God and the human soul, but I am afraid. In the same way that I have an uneasy feeling in parks and when I look at the grass and the creatures it houses therein. Perhaps my fear is that I am so apart that I will be looking from the outside at even this oldest and most inherent part of existence.

Good Omens.......?


Do you think I should worry about how the rest of my day will play out if I only noticed in morning traffic that I have two different shoes on? Perhaps it is due to this, and so I have in fact no control over it, I am simply another number in the grand equation........ .......sort of reminds me of this INDISPUTABLE proof the G Dubya is, in fact, the antichrist. I would kill to have the kind of free time these guys must have.......

I am increasingly ashamed of the gender I have the misfortune of belonging to....


The superbly sagacious and wonderfully wicked entity that dwells at beezlebabe, has posted her unflinching response to a young gentleman who took out a full page personal ad..... An open letter to every sensuous...single...intelligent Tampa Bay woman, still searching for "Mr. Right!" I know I cannot apologize on behalf of all mankind, but for what it's worth, I"M SO SORRY!!!!!!!

And so we join our intrepid adventurer as he bravely brings us his latest report, from the heart of extremely hostile enemy territory, as the darkness slowly gathers all to its breast................. You guessed it, it's "I'll sign my name to anything 'cause I'm too dumb and lazy to do 30 seconds of research" time!!!!!! *********************** Do not mock Jesus! If you are not interested, and do not have the 4 minutes it will take to do this, please don't complain when God does not have time for you, because He is far busier than we are. Hi folks, At the risk of a bit of inconvenience, I'm forwarding this to all I think would appreciate it too. Please help us prevent such offences against our Lord. It will take you 4 minutes! A disgusting film set to appear in America later this year depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals! As a play, this has already been in theatres for a while. It's called "Corpus Christi" which means "The Christ Body." It's a revolting mockery of our Lord. But we can make a difference. That's why I am sending this e-mail to you. Will you please add your name to the bottom of the list at the end of this e-mail? If you do, we will be able to prevent this film from showing in America and South Africa. Hey, it's worth a shot! Apparently, some regions in Europe have already banned the film. All we need is a lot of signatures! Remember, Jesus said "Deny me on earth and I'll deny you before my Father". Hit forward, and when it comes up, delete any e-mail addresses, fill in whom you want to send it to,scroll down to the last name (mine) and add yours to the list . When it reaches 500 please send to: " mailto:laughwhileyouburn@pearlygates.net " Thanks & regards, (name withheld so the embarrassment does not kill them) *********************** Now let's see. Firstly, this movie doesn't even exist, its actually a play by Terrence McNally. Secondly, this hoax mail has been around since early 2000. Thirdly, if God created man and bestowed upon him the gift of 'free will', then STOP TRYING TO CENSOR EVERY FUCKING MOVIE/BOOK/VIDEO/SONG THAT YOU DON"T AGREE WITH!!!!!!!!! If you disagree with it, then don't watch/read/hear it. To the person who sent this, you took 4 minutes of your time to read this, yet you could not spare the 15 seconds it took for me to Google this and identify it as bull. You signed your name to it!?!?!?! You actually read the first line condemning to hell anyone who doesn't read it, and then didn't collapse on the floor laughing when he followed that condemnation up with "Hi folks"!?!?!?!?! Read this and this for the real story that took place 6 years ago. The moral of today's story? It's alright to enage in "threats to kill the staff, burn down the theatre and "exterminate" McNally", as long as you are righteous or whatever the controversy is insults your god, even though "He is far busier than we are" and yet somehow finds the time to be insulted by the writings of some insignificant human. Well, we live and learn.

A Fable.


An attempt to pen a fable using the traditional tenets and style of fantasy and children’s literature, yet hopefully conveying a slight twist in the denouement. Your comments, in any form, would be greatly appreciated. ********************************** Qanisqineq Though the men and women of the land of Ihnenes were as different from each other as night is from day, they were bound together by a single memory. It shone in some like the light of a newborn star, whilst in others it was as hazy as their first view of the world. But nonetheless, it was there, shimmering through them. The memory of a time when the land prospered; when each drop of sweat from the backs of sun-scorched labourers made a hundred valleys fertile, every furrowed brow of the land's greatest thinkers limited only by the edge of the universe, and pride flowed abundantly, filling every crevice, streamed through every vain. How was it possible that this place was once so blessed? The Light of Qanisqineq! Or so this mystical artifact had come to be known, though no one could remember where it came from or how it came to be in the Rillivane Temple. Its light could be felt in the furthest reaches of the land; it's surface crackling with unbridled energy. Fear too had been banished from the land; if no hand could grasp The Light, who could ever take it from them? But one day, someone did. A very evil man (or a very wise man, the debate still rages on among the people) plucked The Light from among them and placed it on the highest peak of Mount Kraag. With no light to hold it at bay, the shadow of Mount Kraag fell across the land. Chaos crept like a ragged beggar from the discarded corners of their minds, throwing off his musty cloak, the reek of uncertainty permeating their every thought. At night, with the stars ever eager, they could still behold the taunting glimmer of The Light. And this destroyed the people: that now The Light of Qanisqineq leered at them. "Claim me...", it whispered, but they knew they could not. Hearts empty, their thoughts drifting as small leaves on an infinite lake; from the moment they awoke to the moment sleep set them free from their living nightmare, all they could do was stare at the precipice. Men of renown journeyed from far and wide; champions for the cause of the people of Ihnenes. Armed with protection bought from the wisest of mages, the mastery earned from dragons slain and the resolve born of nights adrift on an endless sea. The means to grasp The Light? Why some had gloves woven from the rarest of fabrics, imbued with resistance to fear, immunity from heat. Others had fantastical mechanical arms, charmed bags....one had even caused quite a stir amongst the locals with his supernovaspectrascope. And as dawn spread her wings across the land, they watched each hero set off for Mt. Kraag. At first, many gathered to welcome the adventurers back, eyes ablaze with hope. But the eager welcome was never deserved. Hope transformed to dejection and the days between returning heroes stretched on. Dust still greeted the occasional lonely figure, but they were no longer the figures of champions, only desperate men. It was in this bleak time, certainly no time for a child to grow up, that a very special child was born. She was 'special' in the eyes of the people too; any child who could walk through the city smiling and dancing must be different! They would be polite as she passed by, but her absence was filled with consoling words for the parents of such a difficult child. In the coolness of the evening, while men and women courted misery, she could be found whispering to the wind, allowing the light of the stars to dance on her fingertips. Soon, envy replaced the polite smiles. They wept, each tear a desperate plea; could they not also be so afflicted, to be as simple as the girl, ignorant of how deprived the own lives were? Of all seasons, winter was the hardest. The nights were darker, clearer and The Light of Qanisqineq glowed more brilliantly than the sun. The sky became a theatre for its light, a pantomime of that almost forgotten time when Ihnenes was on the lips of men in all corners of the world. Shutters were closed and doors bolted. No one cared to notice a small figure as it made its way out of the city, cloak wrapped tightly, hood up against the wind. But an old man passed the figure whilst collecting firewood. It was a dark spot against the vast ocean of white, but he knew who it was. Barely noticing the wood clattering against his feet, he rushed back. It was the girl! Minutes later, the silence of the town had been shattered. Murmurs slowly grew in expanse and strength. Expectant faces popped out of windows like newly sprouted blades of grass and clattering footsteps echoed off the cobblestones. Frowns turned like sour milk to looks of astonishment; had the girl's dementia finally driven her away? But no one gave words to the suspicions they all nurtured. Could she really be drawn by The Light? A voice scattered amongst them like a startled flock of birds. Everyone turned to see the source of the shout pointing. His arm seemed set in stone, directing their open-mouthed gasps to Mt. Kraag. The Light! It seemed to be moving! Dare they even consider the possibility? With trembling eyes, they followed the light as it descended from the mountain like a falling star. It had happened! Madness had at last begun its siege upon the people, a mighty and overpowering army, hallucination its greatest general. But if this was indeed madness, the people wished it would remain with them forever. This sudden rush of hope and anticipation threatened to drown them, but rather that then continue in their hellish reality. As if to herald their final moments, the light approached rapidly. It was now just below the horizon; they closed their eyes, awaiting madness' final kiss. Eyes blinked open......only to be greeted by the sight of a small girl, making her way up the winding path as if this were no particular day. And in her tiny hands, cradled like a new born baby, was The Light of Qanisqineq. Some cried out. Others opened their mouths to speak, but their lips just flapped open and shut like dying fish. Most just fell to their knees, faces streaked with tears. The girl stood among them, The Light held aloft, the one true beacon. If they looked hard enough, they could almost see the promise of the glory to return reflected in its perfect surface. The girl closed her fingers and the Light blinked out of existence, as if it had only been an optical illusion. A grim stillness seeped from the ground, into their feet, through their bodies, melting into their bones. It was as silent as before the world was created. Then, a voice like the sound of a butterfly's wings resonated in the still air. "To what will you look now?" And with that, the girl turned and made her way home. Without The Light of Qanisqineq to gaze upon, the people began to look to each other. When one spoke, the other listened. As they learned from each other, so they grew in an understanding of themselves. The prosperity of ages past never returned to the land, but the people did not want it so. Ihnenes was not reborn the city of reverence among men, but the people did not care. They were happy. And at night they would whisper to the wind, the light of the stars dancing on their fingertips. **********************************


So after much debate and in answer to the question posed by a friend, and in no particular order, my top 5 music videos (in deference to Rob Gordon): 1. Just - Radiohead (will post link as soon as I can track one down) 2. Coffee & TV - Blur 3. Judith - A Perfect Circle (simple, powerful, masterfully edited....and when Paz ties her hair up during the interlude, that moment just slays me everytime) 4. Sugarwater - Cibo Matto (Michael Gondry, shot in one take, brilliant) 5. Much Against Everyone's Advice - Soulwax (can't find a link that isn't broken, but their latest effort is equally impressive) And now that you are all dying to correct me, berate me for a masterpiece I have overlooked or PRAISE ME FOR MY EXQUISITE TASTE AND INSIGHT, you may commence.........

I'm watching Toni Collette's character driving through a barren and magnificent outback, she turns to her Japanese companion and asks, "Do you love your wife?" "No need to say it. If I say it, it will make it true...." And I know the concept of words possessing an intrinsic, almost magical quality is by no means a new one. Ursula Le Guin dealt with it, hours have been spent researching it and it is evident in many cultures, such as this one. Roger Stevens has written an achingly honest piece on the fickleness of identity. So where do you imagine this perception arose from. Where does the wellspring originate? Does the Myth of Babel hold any truths? Is this why we obsess over diagnosis? What do I have? Name my addiction, my disease, my affliction. I can only fight it once I know it's name. Perhaps I should consult a second opinion........

Slowly the cracks start to appear......


As I am sure you have by now all formulated an image of me as calm, collected, imperturbable, unflappable....serene even, I feel it my obligation as a pursuer of truth to regale you with the following: (this is by no means an effort to deprecate myself before anyone else gets the chance to) Saturday afternoon, the local cineplex. In attendance are myself, Mrs TenMiles, Dunc and his wife, or more familiarly, the 'evil one' (you know I love you Mrs Sims!). Tickets snipped, popcorn and various other derivatives ready for tactical deployment, we enter the foyer. But first, we embark on a pilgrimage to the Temple, to pray and give an offering to the God of Settled Loins. Ever since missing a critical five minutes of Eternal Sunshine, I have remained a faithful convert. Curse you, jumbo-sized coke! Mrs TenMiles and the 'evil one' veer left, Dunc and I to the facilities opposite. Since true friends do not let something as insignificant as seperate urinals come between them and a good conversation, I continue to prattle on, pausing only to ascertain that his exit will coincide with mine. And that's when it happens. A stranger deftly inserts himself, with the skill of an overzealous granny intent on delivering little Billy's knitted birthday sweater, between myself and Dunc. I however, in that tranquil oasis that often accompanies a good jabbering, have failed to notice. It is only after five paces later and the question "What do you think about the new Corpse Bride?" that I glance to my right.......... At first I thought the gods of fortune had smiled upon me and the stranger had not heard, but not only were their smiles untraceable (as evidenced by the stranger's panicked gestures to cinema security five minutes later), moreover the gods were in a jesting mood. For a few seconds, I was so proud of myself. When I noticed that the other member of my conversation was not Dunc, I barely battered an eyelid, noticed that he was a few paces behind, carefully adjusted my stride and was on the verge of continuing the discussion as if nothing had happened.....but the gods had slightly different plans. For at the very moment some stranger was wondering who this psychopath was, Mrs TenMiles and the 'evil one' had exited...and in an instant they had both summed up the situation, noted my predicament and were now laughing uproariously in a twisted duet. But I am bigger than my bruised ego, I can laugh at myself...hahahahaha....see? I don't even mind the fact that this will certainly provide all concerned with enough witticisms for months to come. I have bear no ill feeling toward anyone!.......the fact that the movie we ended up seeing was The Grudge is purely coincidental..... Fast-forward to four hours later. The same foursome are enjoying a delicious dinner on Dunc's veranda, when he gets up to close the sliding door to keep the dogs at bay. I still remember thinking to myself, "He's closed the sliding door, don't forget to open it when you go to the kitchen...." In due course, I decide to quench my thirst (didn't have a jumbo coke, remember!), so I politely excuse myself. And since I'm such a polite young gentleman, I clear some plates from the table as well. I probably should have felt the gentle pulling of my puppet strings, but yet again my blathering distracted me..... I can only hope that I get a share of the profits the two of them are raking in as they invite the masses to come and see the mysterious face that has left an imprint in their sliding door. Some say it is the face of an angel, others a martyred saint...... Some of us now know better....... And for those still wondering what Corpse Bride is.

Hatred is sometimes a sweet emotion....


Originally uploaded by forgottenmachine.

bet you're surfing one twice this big....
Originally uploaded by forgottenmachine.
Matthew, beloved son to Nick and Gina, younger brother to Justin, passed away peacefully over the weekend, his youthful defiance at the sudden onset of cancer achingly snuffed out.

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels'
hierarchies? and even if one of them suddenly
pressed me against his heart, I would perish
in the embrace of his stronger existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
which we are barely able to endure and are awed
because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
Each single angel is terrifying.
And so I force myself, swallow and hold back
the surging call of my dark sobbing.
Oh, to whom can we turn for help?
Not angels, not humans;
and even the knowing animals are aware that we feel
little secure and at home in our interpreted world.
There remains perhaps some tree on a hillside
daily for us to see; yesterday's street remains for us
stayed, moved in with us and showed no signs of leaving.
Oh, and the night, the night, when the wind
full of cosmic space invades our frightened faces.
Whom would it not remain for -that longed-after,
gently disenchanting night, painfully there for the
solitary heart to achieve?

In the end the early departed have no longer
need of us. One is gently weaned from things
of this world as a child outgrows the need
of its mother's breast. But we who have need
of those great mysteries, we for whom grief is
so often the source of spiritual growth,
could we exist without them?
Is the legend vain that tells of music's beginning
in the midst of the mourning for Linos?
the daring first sounds of song piercing
the barren numbness, and how in that stunned space
an almost godlike youth suddenly left forever,
and the emptiness felt for the first time
those harmonious vibrations which now enrapture
and comfort and help us.

-Ranier Maria Rilke

Drum roll please...


Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls of all ages, gather round....it's this weeks episode of "I got it via email so it must be true!" Settle down now, I know you're all excited. Can he top last week's inferno? Let's wait and see..... * * * * * *

Subject: Fw: if u delete this u'r heartless

"The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible" Dear Reader I am a single mother of four kids: ages five, three and a half, 17 month, and two week old baby girl. God has blessed me with three beautiful, healthy children. Until recently things were going great for us, even though we struggled financially at times (my part-time job was not e! nough to support us). Then, the tragedy struck on January 13th. My oldest, Matt, got hit by a car while playing outside. ( The driver never got fined - it was a hit and run). After agonizingly long weeks of hospitalization, we did not think he would live but thank godness is he alive right now ... but barely. He is still in the hospital in the comatose condition. Doctors say he will be a vegetable for the rest of his live, for as long as he lives and even if he does come out of the coma - his brain is too damaged for him to lead a normal life. My insurance coverage run out and I can't afford hospital bills. Right now I owe a hospital over 500,000 dollars so far. ! ! Shortly, after the accident has happened, my 87 year old grandmother, with whom I was really close (she raised me as a child), suffered a stroke and could not live on her own anymore. I took her in. All that happened while I was pregnant with Carissa. Because of all this severe stress that I've been through, Carissa was not only a premie but was born with Down's syndrome as well as chronic colitis. She is also missing fingernails on her right hand. She is in the hospital as well because she needs to be monitored 24/7. Right now I am at the lowest point of my life: I don't have a job - taking care of three sick family members that are so dear to me is a full time job -! I can't afford to pay for my tiny appartment, my car got taken away because no payment, not to mention the debt with a hospital! I know you are not obligated to do anything: you are free to delete this email without giving it a second thought, but please listen to the cry from mothers heart! We had worked out a deal with AOL where for every 12 forwards I will get 15 cents. Please, don't harden your heart, send this email to everyone on your list. This is crucial for our survival!! God bless you all! Sincerely, * * * * * * *

Maybe I should just be quiet.....

Premiering at the Berlin Film Festival tonight....


Man to Man Originally uploaded by forgottenmachine.
Directed by Regis Wargnier (Indochine) and starring Joseph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas. Was just listening to the South African producer, Izi Codron, discussing this film. As seems to be the norm these days, I find myself intrigued yet resigned to the fact that it will more than likely not meet expectations.......oh to be an optimist for just one day..... Will track down any reviews tomorrow.... synopsis


The Lizard King's reveals BMF #69........it's Milkman Dan! So I thought it fitting to reveal one of my favourite Max Cannon strips. It reminds me just how much I miss my Astro Creep:2000 album (was stolen a while back....bastards...)

com·pre·hen·sion Audio pronunciation of "comprehension") (kmpr-hnshn) n.

    1. The act or fact of grasping the meaning, nature, or importance of; understanding.
    2. The knowledge that is acquired in this way.
  1. Capacity to include.
  2. Logic. The sum of meanings and corresponding implications inherent in a term.
I comprehend why crime exists. Crime is theft, fraud, perjury, defamation. I comprehend why brutality exists. Brutality is rape, murder. I can even, to a lesser degree, comprehend stalkers, serial killers, matricide, fratricide, genocide. But this, this I cannot comprehend. This is not criminal, this is not an act caused by madness. This chills me to a cellular level. "Evil is a moral entity and not a created one, an eternal and not a perishable entity: it existed before the world; it constituted the monstrous, the execrable being who was also to fashion such a hideous world. It will hence exist after the creatures which people this world. " - Marquis De Sade

Revenge of the Fifth


Originally uploaded by forgottenmachine.
Thought it an appropriate test for my first Flicker post........


three powerful words... So who would your top 5 be? Link via Rob's Blog

Thanks Nica for this link. "Committing yourself is a way of finding out who you are. A man finds his identity by identifying. A man's identity is not best thought of as the way in which he is separated from his fellows but the way in which he is united with them." ~ Robert Terwilliger The expression of identity has never before been as accessible as it is in this moment in time. In the same breath, never before have we been able to identify with such a plethora of "circles, cliques and social coteries". We pierce, tattoo, clothe, paint, walk, talk......whole cultures are abducted and transformed in our undying efforts to escape definition, yet define ourselves. We identify things of aesthetic value, such as Hanzi script, and incorporate them into out carefully constructed avatars. And we do so often without understanding, with no respect or appreciation for what it is our grubby little mitts are now clutching. And I want to be angry, I want to rip out the nipple ring of that pseudo-tribal hipster and ask him if he even knows how and why piercings originated. But a few thoughts stop me cold in my tirade. Does the act of claiming these practices from other cultures not redefine what they are? Hanzi is no longer the product of skill and discipline, but rather a shade, a faded adornment.....it is no longer Hanzi. Rather than insulting the culture from which it was plundered, I am sure they find it fairly amusing. Secondly, am I not just as guilty a thief? The origins of my theft may not be as obvious, but that makes me no less of a thief. I am what I eat, what I read, what I watch..............this comment formed in my mind simply as a remark on image, but as I have typed and retyped, I sense there is something else, something specific that I need to say, but it slips through my fingers and darts into the shadows at the first sign of light. I must be patient, must not scare it away. I will set a careful trap, formulate a temptation too great to withstand, in the dead of night I will coax it forth with gentle words and promises of glory......so look for this post to be somewhat rehashed tomorrow morning! In the meantime: "Most of all we hate collective identity: every day of your pathetic life you are being put into a little box by society by the way you look or the bands you listen to. Collective identity sucks. Be an individual, don't make it easy to be dismissed in a sentence" ~ Matt Spinks

Bartender, a round of groovy weekends for me and my friends.....


Since Bush has recently delivered his State of the Nation address, I thought a story about the Big Bad Wolf would go down nicely. And who better to read it than the coolest man to walk the planet. And a quote for the weekend: "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." -Richard Feynman

So it seems I may just have to start a weekly series on the fun facts that can be obtained through the joys of religious spamming. As you might remember, last week's episode taught us that little boys named Billy can control the weather. This weeks exciting edition can be found here......yes, someone actually emailed the link to me. Those who possess a strong enough constitution to read further than the first few lines will also learn fun facts such as: The great 'pit' [hell] would only need to be about 100 miles or less in diameter to contain, with much room to spare, all the forty billion or so people who have ever lived, assuming their 'spiritual' bodies are the same size as their physical bodies. In Mark 9:46, Jesus Christ says about hell: "Where THEIR WORM dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."......... Scientists recently discovered cracks on the ocean floor where fire was leaking out. Do you know what they found around these fire-breathing vents in the crust? Eight-foot long worms, found no other place in the world! Ah well, I hope they get cable......or even just Sluggy! (from the drop down menu, select Book One: Is It Not Nifty) Oh wait.....just remembered they said Ted Turner would be there.....

The secret marriage vow is never spoken......


I drove past one of the public gardens in a local suburb, particularly well known as THE spot to have wedding pictures taken. I have driven past so often and seen so many brides, invariably hidden by hundreds of layers of every shade of white, that I don't even bother looking anymore. Yet on this day I happened to glance, and was greeted by the saddest of faces....such sadness that were I to look for a second longer I would feel it welling up in my lungs, forcing the breath from my body.... Michael Ende, a name in our collective memories only for his penning of The Never-ending Story, less famously wrote a collection of stories based on etchings his father had done. Vivid, imaginative and surreal, I found a copy of the book in my local library more than ten years ago, and many of the stories still linger in my mind, a slightly disquieting residue. One of the fables, if my memory is to be trusted (which is not often), proceeds as follows. * * * * * * * A young groom, eagerly attired, stands before a doorway, which in turn looks out onto a landscape of sun-scarred desert, aureate sands stretching to a blinding, azure sky. His faceless guide turns to him. "It is time, we must press forward with great haste." "She will be radiant, won't she?" The groom's eyes are aflame with expectancy. "How long will the journey take?" "Not long, provided we...." But the groom has already stepped through the doorway and so the faceless man must follow. As the groom sets foot onto the searing sand, he is accosted by a screeching figure. Matted, medusa-like hair frames a withered face and vacant eyes. Her voice is a grating of stones, her tongue unable to remember the nuances of speech. But the direction of her arm is unwavering, her spindly fingers extending a brittle, dead flower toward the groom. The groom barely even registers her interruption; he is purpose driven, his desire inexorable. It is only when the groom is almost over the next sand dune, that the guide looks away from the old woman and follows. Perhaps it is fortunate that the man has no face, I am not sure we were meant to understand such emotion. To the groom, it felt as if they had been wandering for days. Each time he asked the guide how much further it was to their destination, his quiet response would indicate perhaps over the next dune. Surrounded by shimmering hallucinations, the heat a murdering companion, the groom slowly began to doubt he would ever arrive....... In a similar room, a luminous young bride gazes through a doorway. "Will he be here soon? I have dreamed of him every night...." "Soon, yes. But you must be patient." The faceless man turns to speak again, but the young bride snatches a flower from his hand and races through the doorway, her bare feet kicking up tiny golden specks of sands. She is almost tripped up by a broken figure slumped just outside the door, his suit in tatters. He tries to call out to her, but his throat is as dry as the desert around him. "I must go to him! We will meet just over the next dune, I can sense it!" The faceless man steps through in the wake of her excited cries. He stops for a moment to glance at the old man, but the vapid eyes that greet his show no hint of recognition. * * * * * * * A thousand apologies to Michael Ende for butchering his tale, but the gist of it is there. I cannot recall for sure whether the guide has no face, but I'm pretty sure. The original ending is far more powerful, but I didn't want to attempt it without the story in front of me. Here is a link to another of the stories from the book.


The wheel re-invented. It's what else he may have been right about that scares me......or delights, not sure which yet... (apologies to those who may find the above rather cryptic)

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  • I'm forgottenmachine
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ATOM 0.3

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