Monday, July 25, 2016

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US election: Sanders supporters boo call to back Clinton - BBC News
It is not all about Bernie - a lot of it is Never Hillary.

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Lesson 1: A little time

The mystery of Van Gogh’s madness

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CEO paid a lot to do not very much

A Solitary Crow - Shoju - 3

The Lady

If you would not told of the gorgeous glorious figure from the brigand tale, you would not recognize the lady in front of you at the courthouse. Not that she was not lovely – but she was hardly the moonbeam soaked figure of the brigand's imagination. The resemblance is most exact on how demure, yet noble, she was - and the reticence which she projected herself. But there was hardly the wildness that had been projected, and that made the story completely different from her point of view.

She was in white, with a new hat – which was rounded, not flat as her first one was. The layers were from loose and tightly woven, to shimmering. Layers were opaque, but gradually became lucent – until the veil was glistening in its light. Their was on her back the mondokoro identifying the clan that her husband was from - it was a five monkey crest - but no other decoration. It was as if she were pure as driven snow – because the other possibility was that she was a pale imitation of death, incarnate. But that was not what anyone had in mind. Or if it was, no one talked about it.

Kneeling down and pleading with judge: “I did not know what I should do, please forgive me. Please, please, please, forgive me.” Then an upwelling of despair came up from her gut – it produced a wrenching sigh as she became prone. She was almost begging the judge to forgive her, in her prostrate position. She looked up only briefly at him, and then began putting her face to the ground.

The judge stopped her, and told her to begin her story. Though he was observant to the forms that he must speak to a lady in – he was also firm in his instructions. He was not yet old, but decidedly not young, at least to her eyes. It was clear that the judge frightened her.

She moved to a kneeling position, and so she began from the place where the brigand was leading the warrior – she did not seem to notice anything about the brigand before that. According to her, her eyes were fixed forwards – at the back of the warrior. All she could remember was the twisting of her body, and the way she was twisted. It was obvious to her that the warrior was content on seeing whether or not there were weapons that the bandit had promised. She did notice the incongruity of the bandits garb – who could not? And she wanted to tell her Lord that they should not engage with such a person as this. But then she knew he was not going to listen to a word she said. So she followed quietly, because there did not seem much to do. Over the beams and branches, over the saplings and ivy. It seemed to go on for a long time.

The branches were cutting small bits of flesh from her legs, and occasionally from her arm. She noticed that her headpiece had flown off, and she was trying to get the attention to pick it up. But it was no good – her Lord was not interested in something which was not part of his plans. And she knew that his plans were paramount. And she knew from other circumstances that while he was calm in public, that he had such a temper that she never wanted to see that again. Then she quieted down, wondering if that had been a wise move. But what could the warrior do now?

Than she told her version of coming into the glade – and it was different still than any other rendition that had come before. In her white cocoon, she began to tell of a different sort of glade entirely – one that was haunted. Where even in the day, with streams of light – it was creeping and foreboding. Where the branches and leaves made it hard to see. Off in the distance, there was a trickle of water – but she did not know from where.

She saw the brigand cleverly move behind her Lord, and with the butt of the sword that he carried, it took only a single blow – and then taking some rope from his belt, it was easy to secure him to a stump. It was at that moment that she realized the brigand must have been strong. Stronger than her Lord, by a good percentage. She stiffened a bit while the brigand made quick work of her Lord.

Then be bandit turned to her, and within an instant – he was on top of her, forcing his way in to her secret chamber. And though she struggled, something had paralyzed, not able to make other than a breathless noise. And then he was finished, laughing at both of them. Then was gone into the forest, and its secrets – but she looked along time to make sure he was gone. The glade became louder than it was – or perhaps she just heard it that way. Then she realized that her Lord was still bound. So she ran up to him – or at least tried. Her shoes paced the distance carefully, and she bowed before her Lord – and assumed the position of forgiveness – lowering her head as she did so. Then she we for him to reply, and then realized he was still bound and that she should do something about that.

But as she did so, her eyes caught his. And in those eyes was a feeling, not of sadness, not of forgiveness, but an intense feeling of loathing. Loathing from the spine. Loathing with every fiber of his being. The forest seemed to shake with it. At first, she bowed down to him, almost in obedience.

“Please forgive me, there was nothing, nothing that could be done.” And then she lifted her face to see what his reply was. But it was the same, the same glare as before. The same curling up of his lip beneath his mustache. In was as if he were in that position, as if he were a statue. Her hands curled up over her visage, and she asked to be forgiven again. But when she looked a third time, his face was the same. The cold eyes, the nose which was in disgust. The entire face was in a kind of unison.

She rolled back on to her feet, and lifted her arms to cover her face. Nails clenched over each other, and she was wild in her motions. Then a splash of water from an oak tree it her hair, it seemed to drive her to madness.

“No. please do not. Please, please, do not look at me like that.” The eyes opened wider. Her face was ashen. Anyone can see that it was not just the paint which was wan.

But the lear had not moved from her lords face. At that point she remembered her knife, and retrieved it from the rump that it had deposited itself. She picked it up with two hands, almost cradling it, as if it were a child. She then ran up to him, and bent over. Her face was full of sorrow.

“If you cannot forgive me, then kill me now. Please, it is the best thing to do.” then she cut with the blade, free his hands arms, torso, legs, feet. Then the knife was in her hand, and offered up to him. It seemed that the dagger was also begging for him to use it on her. She pushed it up, almost too his hand. Her face looked up in too his. She thought that would regain some respect for her.

A drop of sweat on his forehead was the only difference, and perhaps he dropped his head in anger. 

But that was all. That was all.

There was only so much pleading with her mouth and body that she could do. She had offered up her life – rather than be disgraced as she was. The dagger was plunged in two the earth between them. But still she asked to be killed. In her ears she could hear the loud pulsing of her heart. It thrummed until it was the only thing she heard. Perhaps it was madness, and not her heart. Madness which came from the rejection of her Lord, the cool contempt for her that he so clearly felt.

“It is not enough to give you my life, just do not look at me like that.” There were deep sobs, coming from deep in her throat. Her robe draped in the sunlight, as if it to was asking for forgiveness.
But no emotion came from her lords face, none at all. He was placid, as if he knew what he would do – but he would relish the pity. The pity and the despair which she was engrossed in. almost as if this were the last thing he enjoyed. And enjoy it he did.

It was then that she swooned, the heat may have had something to do with it. When she awoke, she was deeply shocked at what she saw: her Lord had the knife deeply in a position of seppuku, and had bled out for a long time. It was at this point that she ran away. Ran over the grottoes, over the hills lined with fallen trees. From the forest to the woods, and out on to the road she hurled her self. It was only when the scenes of the old capital presented themselves did she think of what she could do.

That was when the plan of hiding herself in a nunnery presented itself to her. Where she would pray for forgiveness, perhaps for hours. But She must present herself well, and first went back to her parents home – and took on new clothes. Fortunately there was no one home to ask her why she had needed the things she took – and even if there were, the temper of the Lord was well known. It was not the first time that she had escaped to her parents home. At that point, she went to the nunnery which she had prayed in before, and gave coins to its Goddess. And their retired to receive supplication and, perhaps, forgiveness from her troubles. Thus she prayed.

It was at this point that she looked up at the judge, pining away for that lawful kind of forgiveness which only the judge can deliver. Her eyes were moist from crying, as she looked up to the judge for forgiveness. Even her body was of supplication.

But the judge, if he leaned towards forgiveness, did not say so. Instead he began asking a series of questions, designed to ferret out whether she was telling the truth. Was said a warriors act of seppuku? It seemed unlikely, because a dagger was not the preferred mode of doing this, when he had a better form in the sword he had.

So he first asked the question on everyone's mind: why did he not use the sword, rather than stoop to using the knife? Was not the sword the better tool for this sort of thing?But she replied quickly, and easily:

“There was no second, and it would be dishonorable to fail in one's duty. He would have a second, which was a formal part of the process. And he was a very strong proponent that the ritual suicide would be enacted.” she had straightened up and delivered this sermon, with a straight face. And anyone who knew the warrior would have agreed that he was a strong proponent of etiquette in these matters. There was a wisp that said that she was beginning to get annoyed. Which was antithetical to her stance as to this moment.

Then judge asked her, was it his character to give such contempt to her as he did? She replied, again, quickly and easily:

“While I was surprised at the time - it is logical that he would cast aside a wife who would not commit seppuku herself. That is why I begged for your forgiveness. I am not so much nobler as my husband wishes me to be.” Though she was nobler than the common folks, her husband was nobler still. And he would want his wife to do those things as he would have done so.

Then he asked a formal question, though in this case he knew what the response would be. Why did she go to the nunnery, when she should come to the courthouse?

“Because I worship the Goddess, and I went to ask what I should do.” It was obvious that this was her core forgiveness, partially because of the strength of will. And the profusion of the word “I”. we had seen the inner strength of her. There was a gasp, because no one had thought that the lady would expose herself in this way.

She bowed, but it was not a quivering bow – but a bow of almost haughtiness.


“It seems that the lady had some fire in her.” The laborer, commented. Then he appeared over the gate, for it seemed like the rain was slackening a bit. But then it came down, though not as hard as before. He then turned back to the pair of them and asked: “So who do you think did it? The bandit – or brigand – the warrior, or did the lady doing?”

“One could believe that the brigand did it, and you would think that the lady would tell the same story. Even if she is lying, his story – for whatever reason he tells it – would easily take her off the list. But she tells a different story, one which places her in an extremely tight position.”

“I did not ask who the judge thinks, I asked you.”

“It was not clear to me at this time, but there is another side of the story.”

“What side is that?”

“The warrior, himself.” Proclaimed the monk, as if it were the usual matter.

“But wait, you said he was dead.”

“That is why he got a medium. Because remember the warrior had not passed so very long.”

“One of the Dark God? This judge has a...”

“Left us say he has a wide attitude.Yes, one of the dark God. He sent for it, with supplication to receive its wisdom.” the monk sat down, and he blew on the firewood. Is posture was limp, as if he had given up on this practice, though he did not approve.

“Is that allowed?” It was clear that the laborer was dubious.

“In the new capital, anything is allowed. And the custom is growing even in the old capital. Though it is not known where they gather, they do put out words that there speakers of the dead will illuminate different things. If one is willing to pay the price. And when it is the government, certain individuals will meet that price.” The monk stared at the laborer with a blank expression.
“So, he sent for one of these?”

“Yes, and she arrived, rather promptly. It seems the judge has an arrangement.”

“She? The speaker was a she?”

“You heard me. He sent for one, and it was very quick to arrive.”

“You do not say. I would not trade anything to be that judge at this moment.”

“He was given the authority, and he uses it to the full.”

“I would say so.” he looked at the monk and then the woodcutter. The monk was serious but engaged in the tale. The laborer the added: “Everyone want to believes that were in the right.”
The monk shook his head: “And what do you believe?”

“While people want to believe their right, in the end I believe that they do things for what seems best to them. And I believe. That mostly they are wrong.”

“Nonsense.” A furrow leapt to the monks brow.

“You asked me what I believed, and I told you.” Then there came a loud laugh from his face, as if he were daring the monk to contradict him. “ I think all of what people think of as their goodness is mostly make believe.”

The monk shook his head. “I cannot believe that that is the answer.” And he sat cross legged.

“Suit yourself. Anyway what did the warrior's tale say?” But he looked over not at the monk but at the woodcutter, who, the laborer thought, had something yet to say.

But the woodcutter said nothing except “Lies!” And then returned to a resounding nothing. Then he turned away, scowling to no one in particular.

Then the lightning came, and it was closer. The thunder crashed almost instantaneously. The assembled company looked out at the rain. They spied a demon made out of oak, half off his wooden totem pole. And then towards each other.

And so began the tale of the warrior, as interpreted by the dark god's interpreter. And of course it was different from either of the stories told by the others. It was also a mysterious look in to the other world. A world which was different from the world of the living things.

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Franco Fortini:
Sulla spalletta del ponte
Le teste degli impiccati
Nell’acqua della fonte
La bava degli impiccati.
Sul lastrico del mercato
Le unghie dei fucilati
Sull’erba secca del prato
I denti dei fucilati.
Mordere l’aria mordere i sassi
La nostra carne non è più d’uomini
Mordere l’aria mordere i sassi
Il nostro cuore non è più d’uomini.

Ma noi s’è letto negli occhi dei morti
E sulla terra faremo libertà
Ma l’hanno stretta i pugni dei morti
La giustizia che si farà.

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