Monday, April 23, 2007

We shall not cease from all our explorations

We are, all of us "quarks", on the same frequency.

Even the non-quarks, like fellow-blogger Erik.

We had all at one time or other, arrived at Dante's beginning:

In the middle of the journey of our lives, I came to myself in a dark wood.
For it seems that the straight way was lost.

And how lost the straight way, sometimes for forty years and more.
Or fifty.
Until the short story we had read, in another language perhaps as children barely beyond the age of reason, comes to our eyes again, old eyes, dim, to feel again like a nine-year-old child, the precocious child we had been, made of stardust, golden.
But we may have landed on this earth in the middle of a Depression or a world war.

Not enough to eat, bare feet worrying the earth floor. Slaves to a cruel and capricious master.

And yet we had read this story, the story that had exactly echoed our plight, The Star Child, still remembering the cyryllic script, and "by Oskar Vaild,"

This was our little flash of genius, shared by the outlaw, the leper, the homosexual. the mother raven convinced her son is the most beautiful thing in the forest, and how could the woodcutter miss seeing such a wonder.

Joni Mitchell:

Through the windless wells of wonder
By the throbbing light machine
In a tea leaf trance or under
Orders from the king and queen
Songs to aging children come
Aging children, I am one

We strike out on this life, once being beautiful and radiant, to a whole series of adventures and misadventure, fatherhood, motherhood, riches, rags, sin, soul, selfishness resulting in a dimming of our beauty, and the scorchment of a Dante, who was known to be very dark, and people would say he was so because he had been to hell. Aging children, I am one
"Some come dark and strange like dying
Crows and ravens whistling
Lines of weeping, strings of crying
So much said in listening
Songs to aging children come
Aging children, I am one

"Does the moon play only silver
When it strums the galaxy
Dying roses will they will their
Perfumed rhapsodies to me
Songs to aging children came
This is one"

Ah, we "quarks" in the brotherhood and sisterhood of blogland.

This wan't the way it was supposed to be, was it.
"The Spirit of the School," as the kindly nuns had termed you.

The sneering at their A's and their assessments, telling them all that they were boring and stupid. And ugly.
The running off to a technical school, to follow your friends, and here the teachers were indeed boring, stupid and ugly. Sold your birthright for a mess of pottage. Kept your light under a bushel. Among the immoral, you too immoral.
Among the filthy, filthy too.

Until one day the mentor and the guide. Get thee to a university!

Well, the university leads to commies and communes and Communist's daughters and soon the money comes(All Communists are economists) and the children come, and yet you are not ready, you are never ready, you had never been 30 before.

And so you surrender the vows, give up the commies, the golden factories, to find out who you might be and the strange, beautiful woman on your bed, catching you at a weak moment, "Finding out about yourself, lover?"
Finding out about oneself as ugly inside. "Pretty people are bad," your wise mother had said.

Pretty people are indeed bad.

And so to the durable T. S. Eliot

We shall never cease from exploration. And at the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the first time. .

That place had been you as the nine-year-old precocious child, thrown into Depression, into war. And yet you read. You read the best.
Someone had bothered to translate the old masters into the language you had been born into. Somebody had bought you a violin.

The ones around you had not been as selfish as you.

We come to a strange ending in Wilde's "The Star Child." After the star child, turned into something like a Cane Toad, realized that kindness, even to strangers, was everything, and only thus could he come to his former self.

"Yet ruled he not long, so great had been his suffering, and so bitter the fire of his testing, for after the space of three years, he died. And he who came after him ruled evilly."

Well, it's not quite like that.

It is a long life.

And if you stay with the wreck long enough, there will be rescue.

From within, or without.

Don't leave the wreck!

Ah, we quarks.


Josie said...

The universe is indeed a strange place and people find themselves and each other in strange ways. It ain't over til it's over. I think the final chapter is far from being written in Ivan's life.


Anonymous said...

Ivan, how appropriate is the title for your post. Keep exploring! ~Liz

Islandgrovepress said...

Thanks, Josie.

Ditto, Liz.


Josie said...

You're out flirting with the bus driver lady... Ha!


islandgrovepress said...


How did you know? :)


Josie said...

Good guess ...:-)

islandgrovepress said...

We passed each other like the North-going Zax and the South-going Zax out of Dr. Seuss...Isn't it nice to have had children and have those references?
Friggin, near bumped into each other.

My intention had been to shop, hers to drive the bus.

Twist of fate. Ha.


Josie said...

I just read the remark you made to TomCat that you posted on my blog, and snorted when I laughed. At work.

Anonymous said...


Tomcat's animated avatar did seem to have a rather excited cat on it.

Garfield with a biggie-on, it seemed to me.

I am positive that I seem to read more notes than the band is actually playing!

Now we come to William Hung?


Donnetta Lee said...

We Quarks, indeed! We come round full circle, right enough. And then we go round again. Well, here we go round the Mulberry bush.

Anonymous said...

Not to be outdone by Erik, who says on his blog today that he has awakened with "an erection", I was going to say that I went to a technical university and we were used to such things.

Ah, but can he get his anti-quark to morph into a hedron?

Whom am I going to blame for that
interesting line of thought?

Fess up, Josie, up there around the mulberry bush.


Josie said...

Oh, gawd. You know, the day of the Virginia Tech shootings, they showed a photograph of one unfortunate fellow who had been shot and the medics were carrying him out, and he was shall we say in full glory. At first I thought I was imagining things, and I felt so sorry for him, the whole world seeing him like that. A few days later the same photograph was in People magazine, but they had "erased" that part of the photograph, so now he was left with his dignity.

The good thing is, as well, that he was one of the survivors.


How on earth do we get onto these topics, anyway?

Donnetta Lee said...

You know, Josie, we seem to spin right into them, don't we? Or maybe tonight I'm just watching the spinning--and the world goes round.

Anonymous said...

Hate to say it, but we're back at the Grassy Knoll.

Why did the uh, Bureau ask the State Police to stand down during all of this? Why was campus police told to stand down?
Who was Cho's sister and what Agency did she work for?
None of these things come out in the media.
But it's all over the web.
I can't help it if I surf the web.
Surely NBC or Fox must.


Josie said...

Donnetta, the party's always at Ivan's blog, heh, heh.

Ivan, very interesting. Where can I read this stuff?

Anonymous said...

Go to
It will take quite a while to load.
It is the second-last blog on Aaron's web,and it was supplied by one Kathy. Title is "VA Tech Shooting Oddities".


Josie said...

Hey, Ivan, you still there?


islandgrovepress said...

Yeah, I'm still here.

This here is a creative writing site, and my pal Aaron Braaten sometimes contributes here.

But I guess when two people have this natural affinity for each other (I am his long-gone Grandpa)--we discuss politics and conspiracies.
I have surfed so many conspiracy sites over the pat 24 hours, that I'm dizzy.
The more time goes by afer the Horrific Event, the skimpier the facts seem to be.
I swear I'm going to turn Jesus Freak next.

"Stick to the devil you know--or think you know--and go with Updike's later short stories," I tell myself.
But then you emerge from Updike's THE AFTERLIFE collection, and realize that after years of writing, you still have a long way to go.

Seems Updike is a lot like Picasso.
His excellence just annihilates anybody who might want to try the same thing.

So much stuff happening on the Americal Eastern Seaboard. In literature and in politics.

Think I'll take up Chick Lit.

I did try that once. Tried to copy a Harlequin.
Have you ever tried it?
Sh*t is impossible to write!

I think I'm going to kill myself.


Josie said...

I have to say I have never read a Harlequin.

Or a Danielle Steele.

Or a Jackie Collins.

Don't kill yourself.

Isladgrovepress said...

have heard of one lady genre writer who got so depressed over her writing that she impaled herself upon a mushroom.

...Some people can't seem to do anything right.

(...Don't know where that one came from).

JR's Thumbprints said...

Oh but Ivan, I feel so unQuark, antiQuark worthy. I think the wheels fell off my bus.

islandgrovepress said...

I dunno.

Josie keeps teasing me on my site about my unrequited love affair with this dikey (my word) bus driver.


islandgroverpress said...

Three requ;irementss for quarkhood.

1)You have to write good. This is probably more important than the following two requirements.

2)You have to have cracked at least two classics, Preferably Faust and Anna Karenina--and you have to give me, straight off, three authors of the Faust legend (don't google now).

3)You should never be quite as crazy as the webhost.


Josie said...

4) You have to have actually read The Hat People.

I have started it, but it's uncomfortable sitting in front of my computer, so I'm going to print it off and read it.

(And shouldn't that be "you have to write well"?) Heh, heh.

Oh, it's 9:30. I'm turning into a pumpkin and my glass slipper just fell off.

islandgrovepress said...


Well, well, well. Hoo dat callin'?

Sure glad folks interested in my pork pie.

I once picked up a picture of Steve Urkel in a top hat...I was really going to use it as a cover for my novel, The Hat People, but my mechanic, who, for some reason, read the book from cover to cover while under a 1992 Datsun, said Steve Urkel in a top hat wouldn't be appropriate. What the hell; my mechanic could do graphic layouts on his computer. He no fool.

I have since picked up a remaindered copy of Steve Urkel's Super-Cool Guide to Success "****Humorous tips from Urkel on how to win, finance, romance andmuch more!"

Fact is, after I read Urkel's book (and rushed out to buy red suspenders)--I found that that defrocked comedian's self-help book is the most pertinent, funniest self-help book ever. Steve Urkel rocks as an author!

So JR, you've got to write something at least as good as Steve Urkel's Super-Cool Guide to
Success ****.
The book was put out by Scholastic Press, l992. I know you'll never find it, and this may affect your candidacy for Quarkhood.


I am the frog prince, but you might find my habit of snagging the odd mayfly through the carriage window a bit off-putting.


islandgrovepress said...


It's getting into the wee hours here.
Josi, so flattered you are printing- out The Hat People.

Don't lose it.
I know how thorough you are.
I might ask you to use your printout as new proof copy for a possible reprint...(In Australia?...Hi Pam!).

Well, I can't handle the Listerine.
I know there is a bottle of vodka,under glass, for this peasant-under-glass.
Says "in case of emergency, break this."

I've got my trusty little red hammer...Or am I too engrossed in the personality quiz on Josie's blog? Apparently most people, when they think of a tool and colour, envisage a red hammer...Ah well.
I am shattering the glass to get at that bottle of Silent Sam.

G'night all.


Sienna said...

Ivan just emailled through what Melbourne Victoria-Australia has snared in way of's really good, for any hesitant, cautious producers out there they get to hear, first hand how much Australia *wants* to make films, go forth and multiply children....

This is perfect timing!

The writing and film and government gods are sycronising


islandgrovepress said...


Wondeful news!

My Black Icon is about the Second World War, Stephen Spielberg is in town, and Australia wants scripts.

The Black Icon is a very compartmentalized book, easily xeroxable without losing a chapter.
Hell, I'll pay for the xeroxing, though I know how easy you are to work with.
Hit 'em with both barrels?

The Black Icon and Light Over Newmarket?

An Aussie friend in the right country at the right time! And Spielberg in town!

Paper says Spielberg wants to do a sequel on Band of Brothers, in Melbourne.

Tell me to break a leg!