Beach trip

We, three cousins, running down the sandy dunes on a sunny evening. The coast line runs down to two rocky edges while beyond us the sea sparkles. While the sun sets in an orange tinge we are awash in the warm smelly breeze and a coating of dried sweat seems to break as we run back to the waves.

My grandfather would drive me there too, when it was just the two of us. We’d reach really early, or maybe it used to be a place where no one else went. I don’t remember much beyond a mossy, filthy lake we passed on the way. We’d fly kites, make drinks and leave only when the afternoon got vengeful. I destroyed sandcastles in fury, because I could never make them good enough.

My grandfather was always far away and I never looked back to see what he did. It was only us on the beach and I never cared how empty the beach was. I would not have liked it if it was any less empty, that’s just where I was at the time. The sea was so blue as it gently washed away the mess. So blue it hurt to look at it. It was telling me not to leave while the tide drew it away.

I imagine us now, with mustaches, on the same day. Tiny crabs running from our giant steps; it’s really absurd.The seashells are still on the coast breaking under my feet. I see the garbage, carrion and crowds scattered along old memories. It was always the same but we didn’t notice it all. I can’t tell where the sea or sky end, between generations of waves there a little blemishes- boats floating in an orange tinge.


Under every roof is a crowded cabinet, under every cabinet is some lost charm, under every dusty charm is a bit of lost novelty, under every lost article is dust ball, under every bit of dust or grit swept up is loathing and under every pange of loathing is a longing for a life that wasn’t supposed to be this way.


Tracing scars under a heavy gaze

Lovers parting, under a crescent moon

Their damp hair, the harvest rain

Lightning! Strolling the muddy road

This monsoon storm, no trouble at all

The sound of ants, the clatter of a bridge

Dragon dance

I follow the trail of dragons

Under the clearest blue afternoon sky

The dragonfly, a myriad of them dancing

Along the yellow of my neighbours wall

Across the dry green of the Banyan

Over the mossy temple compound

A hovering cloud, not loud, steadily turning

Unknotting, spreading, soothing my shoulders

My easy breathing, following the sound of bycycle chains turning

Children racing up and down

Music road

A crow calls, the warm bedclothes

the smell of daylight folding, vanished

writing with a finger, that the early sunshine bandaged

a crescent moon stirred at the touch of my shadow

he’s also in no mood to tarry

a moonlit snowman

a mountain road moved by music

Why Freud?

I think Jung made great art because he thought to ally with the unconsciousness rather than suppress it unlike some significant deary Anglo-psychology. Where does that leave the Ego I wonder?

Freud crossed the Alps to prove that the rational mind wasn’t the seat of reason; he saw it as a shaky adaptive principle struggling to compensate between the raw and moral; kicking so much of European thought in the face. When Jung flirts with blurring the lines between both Ego and Unconsciousness, seeing them as allies who does that leave in charge?

Caudwell said Freud was bourgeois, and he was right. He inhabited the minds of stiff aristocrats, where the raw spirit of man had to be tamed, kept down and feared- much like contending classes. That terrible mob that might discard the constraints of ‘civilization’ to trespass. Where they trespasses does not really matter, as any dream symbol can show you.

Freud was willing to stay a martyr to any challenges to his science he couldn’t overcome. His chosen heirs were all prodigal sons. Adler ran away, Jung too. Adler’s Individual psychology, at least, would not go to the depths of the worst of American psychology which crammed mistranslated excerpts of psychoanalysis into vulgar Taylorism that keeps people happy wage slaves.

This descent into pop psychology forgets and many wonder why a vulgar Freud even appears on the pages of textbooks today. Caudwell would even compare them to the coming fascist movement because of their anxieties over what was going to be unmasked about European modernity.

There is however much more to these men, a finer strain that we can see when they are in retreat. There is a Freud radical about all sexual orientation and identity, who does not feel any shame in being a neurotic. When Jung flees, as Caudwell says, to medieval symbols and mysticism there is man trying to dredge up the lost affects of alienated man under the cold gaze of modern functionalism.

Particularly fascinating is the role of images. After reading Jung’s ‘Man and his Symbols’, I tried to keep myself open to any symbolic images that came to mind. It doesn’t happen often but now and then a dreamlike and surreal image will present itself. This usually happens close to sleepiness. First I saw a headless version of me coming down the stairs, which frightened me quite a bit actually. While rubbing the sleepiness away from my eyes I thought of a Louts rising from the bottom of a pond snaking itself to the lake surface.

Then a nest of Jungle Crows, nestled between two rocks on a flowing steam. A single hatchling, alternatively a teal egg, being fed by four crows. I don’t have much to say about the significance of these images, there may not be ones at all, but opening myself up to their flavorful presence, well, maybe it’s a worthwhile bit of mysticism to soothe the modern anxious condition.

A dragonfly in my kitchen

A dragonfly lost his bearings in my kitchen today, he was there for brunch, he was here for dinner and I wonder if misdirection can keep him till breakfast.

Dinner was accompanied by a persistent but unaccountable smell of uncooked cookies. I looked far and near but found nothing but the fact that it grew ever more overpowering so I sat down to embrace the pleasant evening. Remarkably it was an evening, full and leisurely, not merely an amorphous breath hurrying to night and sleepiness. After a full weekend the pleasant aftermath of relaxation seemed to seep deep into my bones.

This essay’s title strikes me as one that demands more exoneration. Yet my dragonfly rests gently on the kitchen essentials and feels no need to stir. Monday’s don’t often herald such fine hours, do they? Inescapably, anxiety seems to have itself the modern condition; so isn’t it worth noticing the adequate and meaningful nothings that make their way home?