Monthly Archives: January 2011

Nikola Tesla…

…was nearly seven foot tall and a man of mystery. He lived a long life and died a natural death. A Serb, who became a US citizen in 18 91, he was an elegant man, spending freely when he had the money and falling into penury at various stages of his life. He was apparently asexual, possibly homosexual; an obsessive with a great gift for friendship. He was heralded in his time as a man of brilliance, a maverick who could be said to have created the foundation for radio. Yet his name these days is not as well known as contemporaries such as Marconi, Westinghouse and Edison. This was because he worked alone, at a time when corporations were forming around the new physics.

When he died a lot of his papers were taken into custody by the US Security forces, where they are locked to this day. He was a lover of feral pigeons and fed them freely in the parks of New York. If he was ailing, as he often was, they were his first priority. There was something decidedly odd about Tesla, though he was charismatic and attractive and gave the sort of presentations that attracted thousands. He was a cosmic thinker and a maverick scientist;  a man born out of his time, whose brilliance has even to this day not quite found its niche. He was in fact my kind of man.

Tesla worked alone with loyal helpers, stitching together a world view that is only today coming fully to light. In a flash he saw the universe composed of a symphony of alternating currents, with the harmonies played in a vast range of octaves. He saw the earth as the awesome conductor of resonance. The work he did at Colorado Springs on a magnifying transmitter and ELF (extra low frequency) resonance is still not fully in the public domain. Yet it is affecting our lives today with increasing insistence. All creatures with homing devices in their brains are affected by what Tesla knew at the end of the last century. Birds and bees and frogs are dying in their millions because of man’s ignorance of the awesome power of ELF resonance.

In 1943 the US supreme Court ruled that it was Tesla who had anticipated all the others with fundamental patents. He accepted his brushing aside with grace and dignity, saying, “Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using 17 of my patents.” Marconi received the  Nobel Prize for physics in 1909.

The waves that Tesla worked with only become pronounced at very low frequencies. They are used today in weaponry and in the secrecy much loved by conspiracy theorists.  Magnificent and doomed, he came to conclusions that were not a part of the global plan. He worked like an alchemist, using unearthly influences thats seemed to radiate from the alembic…as if drawn from interstellar space. It was as if he saw in the highjacking of his work our collective doom. He delighted in the drama and magic of electricity and was more interested in the effects than utility. Nikola Tesla was the man who invented the coil that still bears his name. Without it the atom would not have been smashed.  Swept away by the tsunami of reductionism, his grand ideas have waited on high ground for their moment to arrive. It is I suspect quite close now.

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Found Objects

I have been twenty years at this rockface, chipping away year on year, searching for treasures that come to light every now and again and which cumulatively add up to the fulfilled, contented existence I live today. I am not alone. I am guided to certain places and given different tools to use on a regular basis. A lot of these come to me through found objects.

Sometimes they are practical, like the smart bottle green wool rug that I found on the pavement outside my gate a few days after I collected Tottie from the Dog’s Home. Or the umbrella plant that I found on a skip and brought home to nurture back to health that has given me years of pleasure. Or the silky cushion I found when I needed one for my aching back. And books, loads of books that have come to hand, just as I needed the information contained in them to move myself forward.

It is not so much the objects themselves that are important but the feeling that they provoke in my body when I come across them. It is a kind of excitement, a sense of connection and a wash of hope; all at the same time. I refer to it as ‘a hit’ and I love it because it has replaced a Hardy-esque feeling of isolation, with an almost religious certainty about being part of a greater scheme and having a (albeit modest) part to play in that scheme. I should point out that it is not religious feeling-more spiritual and that there is a subtle but important distinction between the two that I wont go into here.

If I get such a frisson of meaning from found objects, I can only deduce that there is something that I lost back there on the road. Often I have stood at a porthole to the fifth dimension and wondered at the view I get of the place where and/or exist as one. This is a place where one’s experiences are refracted with new meaning. A place where a couple of two pound Royal Worcester plates or an old book of Medici prints whisper ‘You are loved. Look what you have been sent to show you how much.”

Salvation often came to me in the winter gloom of the Oxfam Bookshop in the Village. Then suddenly the portal closed and since that moment I’ve not had one hit there. The power is mischievous, like a will o’ the wisp. Wherever it pops up it is a surprise and I give praise. Once I was lost but now am found. Profound words and not mine. That’s the feeling.

I have been reflecting of late on the subject of fate and destiny and the distinction between the two. This afternoon, while walking Tottie I was distracted from my intended trajectory by her desire to have a shit. I bagged it and walked to the dog bin, thus avoiding a face-on collision with The Boy, hand in hand with his new woman. This almost certainly was fate, helping me in my resolve to erase him totally from my life, while leaving the memories sweet. Destiny is  what is predetermined ahead of me, which may or may not be a journeyman tapping his fingers and toes, waiting for me to catch up. If that’s not my destiny, it could be one of a hundred variations on the theme of life, all or any leading to my one sure destiny, death.

Some time ago, on my destined road, I found a Chinese penny glittering in the sun. I picked it up and pocketed it, ‘finders keepers’ being my motto. Later that day I came across a copy of the I Ching in the Oxfam bookshop. How serendipitous! So began a radically new relationship with life. Fate placed the I Ching in my way; it was my destiny to pick it up and incorporate its wisdom in my life.

Today I have just finished reading a potboiler called The Rule of Four. The four in the title being the four directions (north,south,east and west)which decode a cypher that will identify an underground cellar containing a whole bunch of Renaissance artifacts. It was not a good literary experience, but it got me thinking about another rule of four, the one that leads to 64 (4cubed or 4x4x4) This number being the link between the hexagrams of the I Ching and the number of codons in DNA. Now there’s a mystery worth turning pages for. Too bad I’m too busy enjoying life to write it.

They Call it Alabaster

My friend Minky lived the New York life as a performance artist, until she joined a commune in Utah and started growing melons. She is a beautiful, vibrant woman, who is nurturing and fun to be with, yet she hasn’t been married for ten years. Why? Well, she thinks the idea of marriage is an outmoded concept.

I’ve been thinking about the subject this week, mainly because I was taken by a poem on Wednesday. This sometimes happens. I was going about my business,  buying cashmere on sale, and the assistant, in answer to my question,”What colour is that?” replied, “They call it alabaster.” And there it was, my poetic hit.

The poem that emerged from the feeling of alabaster was Arctic and, I was startled to see, the underlying theme was marriage. This is something that I know about, having taken my vows three times in fits of youthful optimism. Yet looking back on my life, I realise that the times that I have been happiest have been in between the marriages.

I do believe there is a lot of nonsense talked about marriage. One report showed that in health terms getting married ranked with giving up smoking. What on earth does that mean?  Nowadays the assertion that marriage makes you healthier is starting to look rather ropey. Indeed immune system tests show that if you fight with a loved one the immune system suffers badly. Hostility is bad for the body. The stresses of modern life; making ends meet financially and sorting the division of labour make the presence of hostility a given in modern marriage.

The trouble with marriage is that is moves quickly beyond the delicious romance of early relating. On the bus coming back from my cashmere buying expedition,I sat behind a middle-aged couple wearing matching rings and chattering away. They were laughing into each other’s eyes. I was struck by this because it seemed so unusual. In my experience stony silence is the norm along with the absence of presence. Alone together. I’m sure there are many making committed relationships work in some form or another. Indeed Kate Figes in her book Couples concludes that ‘committed relationships offer us the best crucible there is for psychological growth, contentment and a sense of self and place.’

I seem to have that crucible in my life, without a partner. But I could be wrong. So, knowing that this has got me into trouble at least three times before, I’m still looking. Such is the power of the cultural imperative!

If the ideal is the marriage of true minds,  where would I be likely to find that? In Fez maybe, at The Festival of Sacred Music. So I’ve booked my hotel room at the Hotel Splendid, which is small and cute rather than splendid and I’m off in June. If it’s to be, I will find it there. Playing poker with the Universe. If I come back with only the sound of Sufi in my ears, it wont be a wasted week and knowing that there is no journeyman will release me to get on with the business of living the last but one great adventure without distractions.

Oh the Shoes, the Shoes.

Well, that subject isn’t going to go without a fuss. There was a woman in Tesco Metro this morning in royal blue court shoes. It gave me a Madeleine moment.  I was 14 and shopping with my mother, in Newport of all places. We bought a coat and shoes. The coat was royal blue with a half belt at the back-nothing memorable there. But oh the shoes, the shoes.

They were absolutely plain navy blue in leather that caressed my feet like an imaginary lover. They had what was known then as a Louis heel- that is a heel so subtle that my mother wouldn’t have seen that it was a heel at all and banned them as ‘unsuitable for a girl of your age’. Yet when I walked in them I knew them as high heels and I glimpsed the future in the feeling.

A woman’s walk is more than locomotion. It is an erotic instrument. Because her genitals are internal, a woman has a close- legged stride that creates a sensuous vibrato to her body parts with each step. In high heels that is: there is little sensuous vibrato going on in my Fitflops.

Yet there is more to this question of foot erotica than attracting the male. Feet are also capable of communicating secret messages both to the self and to the other. The late Salvatore Ferragamo, who was always more of an artist than an artisan shoemaker used to say that feet spoke to him, giving  him the character of the woman herself. Feet seem to have a heart of their own. The foot is a vital outpost of the brain, picking up and sending back a flow of electromagnetic signals. It is the contact with reality, the ground and gravity. It is the way to a woman’s inner core. No wonder it needs to be protected by the finest, softest, most caressing fabric available.

Remember the encounter between Cleopatra and Mark Antony? He came to talk to her about Caesar but when she touched his thigh with her naked foot he covered it with kisses and declared that, “Now I am not prone to argue.” Nor was she I bet.

So this afternoon I decided to face up to the state of my sex life in shoes. I got every pair out of the cupboards, boxes and drawers where they live and arranged them in a sort of wheel around my chair. There weren’t that many. Fifteen pairs in total. Five sexy, five neutral, and five downright antisexual. ‘You can tell a woman is getting old when she’s more concerned about the fit of her shoes than the fit of her sweaters.’ Oh dear.

But my right foot throbs with the result of foot constriction over the years, as I aimed to enhance my personal attractiveness by wearing shoes that made my feet look smaller, rather than shoes that fitted me. Thus for years I obeyed the innate thrust of vanity, as I created an illusion that served no purpose other than the erotic. The sad thing is I had no idea at the time that this is what I was doing.

Now I know, it is unlikely that I will ever don the sort of delicious footwear pictured above. The toes pointed inwards, to show dainty unsteadiness, the ribbons suggesting bondage. Shoes that say what will never again be said by me. ‘Oops silly shoes, fallen over again. Can you help steady me?’  No not likely.  Maybe I’ll need help when I trip over a wonky paving stone but it will be nothing to do with my footwear.

But I’ll never forget the feeling before the semiotic truth dawned like the loss of innocence.

The Meaning of Shoes

Lest you start to think that I am getting too intense, let me introduce you to my life in shoes. I love shoes. One of the first savage rows I had with my mother, heralding the approach of adolescence, kicked off when she forbade me,because it was raining, to wear my new Clark’s sandals to school. I find that when it comes to the subject of shoes, sense goes out of the window.

I can still close my eyes and feel the cool embrace of a pair of turquoise leather naked sandals I had in my early twenties, or the little green suede booties that I wore with jeans until they fell apart. What about the long red suede boots with high heels that saw me through my first sexual adventures? I can map my long life in shoes and boots that I have loved. I have bled for them and now I carry the scars of their presence in a bunion that plucks when there is a storm in the air. Shoes have been an important part of the drama of my life and now it seems they are mapping something else.

One of the downsides of growing older is that I can’t wear the shoes that gave me pleasure in my youth. The reasons for this are legion. The main one is that as I age my spine needs all the help it can get to hold straight. High heels now throw me forward so that I walk like a duck. No longer do I have the spine flexible enough to dance backwards or to spin on my heels. And I have never been happier. Is there I ask myself a connection between these two things?

The answer to that question is yes! When I was sixteen and bought a pair of white high heels to show off the tight white skirt I had just bought, I had my first real experience of what it felt like to be a woman. In that outfit I learned how to perform for the male and draw, almost without further effort, an erotically enthralled audience. This went on for years and I relished both the performance and the effect. After all sex has a lot more power than sense. The foot is a vital member of the erogenous family and the shoe is an important sexual signal. So down the years I went signalling like mad until some time in the last decade the signals became intermittent. I became less willing to undergo the discomfort of the sexy shoe and as my shoes became less vocal, so I as a woman became more invisible.  And happier.

I can change this at any moment, I know. I can exchange my Fitflops for peep-po sandals any day of the week. Spring is on its way (albeit very slowly) and I can dream up an erotic enticement any time, if I want to. In the meantime there is always the vacuum cleaner. A foot massage by Henry is one of the most erotic sensations I have ever experienced and is free from all that hard work associated in pleasing a man.

Just a thought…

Joining the Dots

As you know I love living in The Warren, which doesn’t seem to stop me from thinking about moving. Ditto men. I love my single state and relish leaping into my princess bed each night, snuggling down into pillows lying in a single heap and breathing a sigh of relief at my solitary colonisation of the space. But that doesn’t seem to stop me from daily scanning the horizon in search of my journeyman and wondering what on earth is keeping him. Paradox, it would seem, is at the centre of our relationship with the Cosmos. An easy relationship with it no doubt lies at the heart of contented living. It is not a question of choosing this or that but rather embracing wholeheartedly this/that. The Chinese have never had any trouble with this concept, which no doubt is why the I Ching is an oriental rather than an occidental tome.

Mae-Wan Ho is a Chinese scientist with impeccable credentials. She is the editor and Art Director of Science in Society, the only radical science magazine on earth. http://www.i-sis.org.uk  She is a woman of indefatigable energy who, as well as producing the magazine, has written some groundbreaking books, such as The Rainbow and the Worm, a fine guide to the coming scientific revolution.

In this winter’s issue( No. 48) the cover points to articles on Water’s Secret Symphonies and A Science of Homeopathy? Note the question mark. Where else in the UK can you get wholehearted scientific debate on the subject of homeopathy? The media and vampire science may scoff but there is no stopping the revolution and Mai Wan Ho is out there in front waving her bandana. She has picked up on the work of of Luc Montagnier, recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize for the discovery of HIV. Now his research team have found electromagnetic signals consistently produced in dilute solutions of the HIV virus DNA in water.

There in one sentence you have the three protagonists in the upcoming revolution; DNA, water and EM signals. Montagnier and his team have tracked down the source of EM signals and have found that they survive in nanostructures, even after the DNA solutions are highly diluted, possibly to the point where no molecule of the original DNA is present. Yay!

If you are interested, buy the mag. and read the articles. This is important stuff. If not Google images diatoms and take a look at deep structure. The precision and beauty of form remind me of something. Ah I know. It’s crop circles.