Yesterday I started AND finished one of PKD's most profound works. I literally could not put it down. Painful, REAL, bittersweet, funny as hell, bizar...moreYesterday I started AND finished one of PKD's most profound works. I literally could not put it down. Painful, REAL, bittersweet, funny as hell, bizarre, brilliant, utterly profound. I always find it hard to write about a PKD experience because they are all life-altering, and I truly mean that. I think most scifi folks love his work before 1974 because it's simply FANTASTIC WRITING. Everything after 1974, I believe, is for the die-hards only. For people like me, who have not only read a lot of his stuff, but all the biographies, all the articles written about him (especially the famous Rolling Stone article), watched more than one documentary, and have actually tried to read his exegesis. I firmly believe in separating the art from the artist. Not every great author out there is as interesting as his works. PKD is a rare exception; and it's not like his life was some fairy tale. His life was a tragedy--desperately poor, plagued with numerous neuroses, enormous relationship problems, and of course drugs (but probably not the ones you think). But he is everyman, and his struggle through life triumphs with the amazing body of work he left behind.
VALIS is a true look into PKD's life about a year before he died. A lot of the details in the book actually happened to him, although you would have to read more than one bio to know that. Without all this background knowledge, I'm afraid this book will seem rather odd to the average reader. But to the average dick-head (PKD fanatic), buckle your seat belts because this is quite a ride.
I asked my friend yesterday, "Is it possible to miss someone you never met?"
My partner in life was involved in a horrible car accident in December 2011. Today it is six months later and THANK GOD he is ok, but we both have age...moreMy partner in life was involved in a horrible car accident in December 2011. Today it is six months later and THANK GOD he is ok, but we both have aged about twenty years. Now that the storm has settled and I can concentrate on every day life again, I am gravitating back to the things that mean the most to me. Because my perspective is now forever changed, the list is short. Besides my wonderful man, I care about dance, yoga, Zen. I am no longer concerned with the 10,000 things--the minutiae of life (i.e. what everyone else is doing/what they think/what society thinks, etc. I am only concerned with what I want to do. It might sound selfish, but this is my life, not a dress rehearsal. (Sometimes near fatal accidents tend to make you feel a little selfish and protective of your life and your loved ones)
Today I re-read this classic in my humble but worthy collection of books about Zen. I think this is the third or fourth reading--I can't be sure. Allan Watts never disappoints me in his talks about something that can't really be talked about. I am so happy it was his voice (among others) that introduced the West, particularly San Francisco, to the wonderful world of Zen back in the 50's.
My favorite quote: "Now I remember the real, original Dharma Bums of the 1945-46 era--young veterans hitchhiking across the country and stopping every place there was a "sage" who knew something about Eastern philosophy...They weren't interested in jazz or drugs or hot rods, I assure you. Many of them are still around, but very few of them in the Village or North Beach. They're on farms or in little communities they created themselves. They are out of the rat races of keeping up with the Joneses. They are the substance of which the Beat generation is the shadow." (less)
I feel I have a better grasp of modern dance after reading about Martha's life in her own words. I was strictly trained as a classical dancer and, I m...moreI feel I have a better grasp of modern dance after reading about Martha's life in her own words. I was strictly trained as a classical dancer and, I must admit, I have often turned up my nose at modern dance. I am trying to have a more open mind and heart in all matters, so I decided to read Blood Memory and I definitely was not disappointed. I was inspired and intrigued.(less)
Short, simple and quite profound. I absolutely love this book. I have been playing around with Zen since I was a teenager. Oddly enough, I have read m...moreShort, simple and quite profound. I absolutely love this book. I have been playing around with Zen since I was a teenager. Oddly enough, I have read many other books on Zen but never the actual source, which for us Americans is definitely Shunryu Suzuki. I am glad I waited until this particular moment in my life to read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. It has and will help me in my dance and meditation practices.(less)