Keep moving

Now you have survived the cruel war.

Never ask me what this mess was for

Leave the Field of battle, leave your mates

If you don’t start tpo run you won’t escape

You have to find an aim and then your life.

Steal the pointed daggers steal the knives.

Look around and guess the way to go

Over the faint blue mountsains over the snow

Under barbed wire fences, underhand

Through the crazy marsh the sinking sands

In your dream you’ll find your home again

And quite rightly you have earned #ith pain

Stan enjoys Purgatory


Mary woke up on Tuesday feeling dazed.She had been dreaming of Arnold,her student sweet and shy.
I wonder where he is now, she thought.Then she recalled he was in fact a world famous cancer researcher.She hoped he had found a shy sweet partner would it be better if he had found an extraverted jelly kind of wife.
Emile was yowling on the landing despite the large bowl of Superior Cat Food he was standing next to by the bookshelf
I believe that people and animals like not just to eat, but to be fed,Mary thought.Stan used to make the dinner but he always wanted her to serve.

Emile would eat his food after she stroked him.But who would stroke, Mary?This was a hard and topical question because Mary had stopped eating.However, as she was quite large, she could live for a few weeks on water only.So she mused
Mary put on a pair of purple trousers and a lomg lavender coloured top.She gazed into the mirror wondering why three hairdressers had failed to help her style her fair hair.

Now,she recalled Arnold was a Russian Jew by inheritance though he had lived in the USA all his life until taking up research into cancer at the ancient university Mary attended.

If she had married Arnold she could have pretended to be religious,converted and then worn a wig.
Annie came running upstairs.
Whatever are you doing,she yelled.It’s 11 oclock! Her make up was melting despite being Max Doctor’s All Day Creme Mousse
I was wondering if I could find a Jewish man who would marry me, purely legally, just so I could wear a wig.
What a load of tripe,Annie retorted.No wonder you’ve had no breakfast.If the man was religious he could not marry a lapsed Christian. Or an agnostic.
If you want a wig just go online.
You have no imagination,Mary answered,I spend half my time wondering what would happen if I did A,B or C.And what I might wear
And then you do D,Annie joked merrily.Or X.
Where are you going in purple trousers,she continued.You should not wear them at your age.
Do purple trousers have a meaning,asked Mary.I got them in Windsmoor’s sale for £12.
I refrained from buying a jersey jumpsuit as it looked like a burkini and I am a bit nervous now of racists coming into the open.
Very sensible ,Annie told her.I bet the French are jealous because Muslim women and certain Jewish women don’t get skin cancer nearly as often as Christian or agnostic English women.Should we convert?
I don’t think they would like it if it were only to save ourselves from cancer,Mary mused.
True,said Annie,dully


Mary felt hot so they went into the kitchen and made some tea.Annie was wearing snakeskin pyjamas and black patent shoes.
Do you sleep in those pyjamas,Mary asked?
Oh,no.These are day pyjamas or leisure suits ,Annie smiled.They are comfy.You can get them in the market for £2.
Mary heard a strange noise

.Stan ,her late spouse ,appeared in the kitchen carrying a big leather bag,
Hello,he grinned.I’ve just come to say I have bought a detached house in Ealing.
But you are dead,Mary whispered thoughtlessly
Yes,I am a ghost but I have bought the house via Dave.I paid cash.
Why Ealing,Mary asked suspiciously
I like that song,Neasden and it’s quite near on the North Circular.And Ealing is healing!
So that’s where you’ve been while I have been grieving,Mary said.On the North Circular Road enjoying Willie Rushton’s songs as you drive
And besides, I want to re-marry and get a wig.
Well,you can get the wig,Stan told her handing her £4,000 in cash from his pocket.But don’t get married until I am in heaven
When will that be,the ladies asked.
Dunno,he cried.It’s such fun in Purgatory where the ladies are naughty but not actually evil.
And so say all the men.Ah,men

Emile and the superfish: the beginning

Mary looked at herself in the webcam.She was looking very  beautiful as she had washed her pale gold hair and applied some scented oils to it and though she was normally not interested in peering into mirrors she was intrigued by the Webcam.
She was happy as she had just removed Superfish from Stan’s Lenova laptop though she wondered whar else might lurk there…Supershark?Emile had been waiting ever since he heard her say
I am getting the superfish out today,Stan,dear.We can have Onion
Tart for lunch.
I shall wait for the super fish,thought Emile excitedly.I can just imagine what it will taste like… wonderful.
Meanwhile Mary who had never been bold enough to act at school was discovering her potential on mini videos one of which was going to be on Twitter soon. asking people to vote for Labour despite Miliband’s adenoids……But though she seemed bold as she spoke out,it was not her native temperament but a kind of madness that had come over her.
Polemical Poison,one might say.
Shall we have tomato salad,asked Stan sweetly as they had a bag of cherry tomatoes.
Mary did not answer because after making her video she realised her face was lopsided.How horrible,she thought.No wonder it’s evil to look in mirrors too much as it makes one self conscious which is bad.To forget one’s self is the best way to live if you can achieve it without taking heroin or laughing gas.
Gas never made her laugh at the dentist who had committed suicide shortly after removing 4 of her teeth and barely managing to bring her back from the clouds above.
He was a gambler and an alcoholic but her mother had loved him and sent all her children there for treatment.Surely that was unethical thought Mary petulantly.
Even if dad was dead ,consorting with drinken dentists was utterly foolish.What  a pity her mother has lived before the invention of vibrators,though come to think of it the dentist’s drill vibrated angrily at times!I had better push these thoughts away Mary decided and warm up the tart as it were
English has too many ambiguous words.

I am no tart,cried Annie rudely .I do it free.

Well.what would Wittgenstein make of that,thought Mary tp herself

Whereof one cannot charge,,thereof one cannot do !

The Dress and Zip

girl holding white birdcage standing behind trees
Photo by Tú Nguyễn on

Mary was sitting in her coral and teal kitchen  wondering if she needed some new clothes.The weather had been unusually warm  and she  had forgotten where she had
put her summer dresses.A “special place” is easily forgotten
A crash in the hall  meant the post had come.Here was Lands End   sale catalogue
Mary began to look through it though there  not many summer clothes and shorts did not suit her
Then she  found a   lovely blue dress with a draped front
Annie, her neighbour, tapped on the door and came in, a very lovely sight in her orange striped shift dress with matching lipstick and shoes
Hey, Annie, what do you think of  this  blue dress?
Annie had lost her contact lenses so she peered at the description

Elegant 3/4 sleeve dress with
Exposed statement back zip

The zip sounds weird,hard for a woman to so up,Annie said
Is it to attract men, she coninued?
Well, if a man undid it while I was at a dinner party I would be embarrassed,Mary cried
So would the man,said Annie, when he saw you were not wearing a camisole nor a bra
I suppose it’s a kind of flirting or teasing. Mary murmured softly.
She was ignorant of such things since studying Schrodinger’s equation and his dog.

But it’s not an invitation to bare  me to the four winds
Well,  this is the problem,Annie enthused.To some men it would be preciely that.Not to mention gay women
The most odd thing is that Lands End sell more sporty casual clothes
If it were made of towelling you could swim in the river and then put it on, Annie rambled like an old lady who drank too much brandy
I could put it on anyway but would you like a zip on your naked flesh, asked Mary
in her jocose yet feminine way?
No,I like soft fluffy things on my naked  flesh
Well, please don’t mate with a rabbit,Mary ordered
I only want a merino wool or cashmere cardigan and I can’t mate with that.
Don’t you know I am 103?
No, you are 73, Mary said correctly.I think we should call 999 and see what Dave the 
 skilfull  paramedic thinks about the dress
What a waste,mewed Emile who was hiding inside a  large copper pan.With so many people ill it would be wrong.
Since when have you studied  Ethics,Annie asked him
You don’t need to go to Magdalen College to know wasting NHS money is wrong
Well, he keeps us sane and that saves money, she retorted.
You can’t  grumble, the vet is expensive and he doesn’t call to make us tea,
Nor  does he drive to Barnard Castle to test his hearing aids.
So true
Soon Dave ran in wearing a new sundress made of gingham
That looks stunning,Annie told him
I made it myself, he said, smiling
Well,we would like some.Mary haa mislaid all her dresses.
I’ll bring some patterns round.Dave answered shyly
Maybe  when Boris Johnson resigns
We can’t wait.Look at this dress Lands End are selling
It looks uncomfortable Dave repied.Why not wear a sheet with a leather belt to keep it secure?
Why not indeed?
You may get complaints from the neighbours
And so say all of us

Susanne K Langer: a snapshot – The Philosophers’ Magazine Archive



In her Philosophy in a New Key (1942) her intent was to authenticate a new notion of the “rational,” but how she does it is of fundamental importance. The classical tradition, Langer claimed, generally identified the rational with the “logical,” with discursive thought and objectivity. It then had the difficult task of explaining, or explaining away, such important human concerns as art, ritual, myth, and religion. Langer showed that these forms of meaning-making were embodied in vast sets of symbols and symbolic practices with their own distinctive “logic,” a non-discursive logic, quite different from the discursive logic of language and mathematics. They belonged to the domain of “presentational forms,” not “discursive forms,” a key distinction of her work. Presentational forms, Langer showed by an examination of their logic, are not mere effusions of an irrational subjectivity but articulations of the felt sense of things to which they give us unique access. They orient us in the world in the deepest existential manner, effecting participation in vital values and giving us visions, embodied in symbolic images, of our place in the cosmos. Langer, prior to extensive developments in semiotics, showed that they are worthy of philosophical study in their own right. Her work compares favourably in heuristic power with, and complements, C S Peirce’s great attempt to avoid logocentrism. We are a symbolic species at every level and not just language-endowed animals, although Langer held discursive symbols in the highest regard, as did her intellectual companion, Ernst Cassirer.

Langer was a devoted lover and practitioner of the arts, especially music, which she had studied in detail in Philosophy in a New Key. In 1953 she published Feeling and Form, a masterful generalisation and application to all the arts of the theory of music elaborated in that book. Its key idea was that feeling had a distinctive “morphology” that is exemplified in different ways in the different genres of art. Art works, she claimed, give us knowledge of or insight into ways of feeling the world in every shade of its expressiveness. They articulate feeling and are not mere expressions of personal feeling. They are presentational symbols and their meaning-contents are the “primary illusions” peculiar to each art form: virtual space in the pictorial and visual arts, virtual powers in dance, virtual experience and virtual memory in literature, virtual time in music, the ethnic domain in architecture, and so on. Langer showed art to be an authentic symbolic form and her notion of a “morphology of feeling” exhibited in the artwork is a permanent contribution to aesthetics.

In the last twenty-five years of her working life Langer attempted to develop the notion of feeling as a term to cover all the manifestations of minding. The result was Mind (1967-1982), published in three volumes over a fifteen year period, and which remained incomplete, due to her advancing age. It anticipated many of the current concerns in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and philosophy of mind. Its central idea is that feeling is an emergent property of natural processes but that its paradigmatic manifestation is the rise of symbolisation and the proliferation of cultural forms and their attendant conflicts and permutations. Central chapters in this book carry out and reformulate Langer’s central insight and claim: symbolisation and the power of abstraction are the keys to what it means to be human. In a return to and deepening of her initial proposals in her first philosophical work, Langer distinguished between generalising abstraction and presentational abstraction, the two fountainheads of all those frames of meaning in which we live out our lives. It was the working out of the implications of this distinction, present at the beginning of her intellectual journey, that forms the connecting link of her whole remarkable philosophical career.

Robert E Innis is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and author of Susanne Langer in Focus: The Symbolic Mind (Indiana University Press).

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When after death I lie deep in the earth

O happy worm that of  my flesh might eat
When after death I lie in deep in the earth
My bosom,hands and eyes  become your meat

You have no sun as you enjoy your feast
And none is  chosen as we were at birth
O happy worm that of  my flesh might eat

All of us are equal in defeat
None are high or low , what are we worth?
My brain,my hands,my eyes  become worms’ meat

In the soil, we rest  in comfort sweet
Let us all be blessed,God  make no curse
You made the happy worms who   will  us  eat

O  remember the deep  ash from Auschwitz’ heat
The little children killed without Kaddish
Those  hearts ,those hands, those eyes   no worm   could eat

Why should we  be satisfied by wish

When  people burn or starve  beside our dish
O Godly worm that of  my flesh might eat
Let my very self  become your meat

Yet deep in earth, worms silently repair

The Seasons

The season alters imperceptibly;
No point exact which demonstrates the turn.
Yet soon come changes which our eyes can see
Leaves dry and crack, the acers seem to burn.
And so it is with human beings too.
Each day our loved one looks the same to us
And yet the body alters like leaves do.
Small changes made with neither noise nor fuss
.We change into transparent ghosts of self
Thus totter down the avenue of life
Death approaches with its common stealth.
To separate the husband and the wife.
In winter all is black and we despair
Yet deep in earth, worms silently repair

Life is not what’s said but what we heard

Katherines history, Thinkings and poemsvillanelle  September 3, 2019 1 Minute

Life is movement life is song and word
We try to capture life in all its forms
Life is wild as tigers,sweet as birds

Life is what we get yet don’t deserve
The birth of infants and the  food of worms
Life is movement life is song and word

Life is not what’s said but what we heard
Grace comes down like leaves as Autumn turns
Life is wild as tigers,small as birds

Like a boiling pot that must be stirred
We need to watch  for only then we learn
Life is movement life is song and word

Love comes to the empty, is not earned
The heart   like Joan of Arc  is made to burn
Life archaic , everlasting curves

Of our empty fantasy we’re shorn
Like the fields of wheat and barley corn
Life is movement life is song and word
Life is a wild melody   lovelorn

Quiet Mind – Wikiversity

A quiet mind, and human wholeness, are available through controlling discursive thought and developing nondiscursive perception. Like learning to walk or to talk, using the mind well is a matter of patient repeated efforts. This course provides a simple method for controlling discursive thought; and for making nondiscursive awareness your primary perspective, through which discursivity is guided in creating a flourishing life and a flourishing Earth.

Praise these creatures in the grime

Winter weather, frost, grey sky,
See white geese and silver stars.
Two cooing doves with collars red,
Are watching out for seeded bread.

From the sun, low in the sky,
Light falls slantwise to my eyes.
Trees bud, though invisibly,
Nothing that our eyes can see.

Bulbs shoot up from dark cold soil
Where worms and beetles quietly toil.
We take for granted air and sky,
Love the birds we see fly by.

But who can love the worms and slugs
And those creatures we call bugs?
So in our dark cold winter time,
Praise these creatures in the grime.

Without these worms, our crops would die.
No cornfields for us to lie,
Amidst the poppies’   wild red  blooms.
So we forget all winter’s gloom

Praise the snails and bees and ants
For these and spiders, let’s give thanks.
As the lightness needs the dark,
From darkness come life-giving sparks.

Enrich darkness with our gifts.
Look not always to the swift.
Slow and patient like these worms,
Nature’s lowness is my theme