Philosophical thinking

Re: The 10 Best Philosophy Books For Beginners

“This is actually a difficult question — which philosophical texts are best for beginners? But it’s also one that I get asked pretty regularly. I typically suggest starting with Plato, and occasionally delve a bit deeper into the topic, but admittedly haven’t devoted the thought and attention it really deserves to give a proper answer.”

Sorry. I cannot read past that, it makes me shudder. Honestly, the best way to learn philosophical thinking is to question, anything and everything. Then go to a book store, to the philosophy section (or religion or semiotics or anything else that sparks inspiration) and look for a book or title that fascinates you. Read that. Go from there. A path will open itself, coz philosophers have the (sometimes) annoying tendency to quote one another. Boom, rabbit hole.

Honestly, start with the classics if you want to show off. They are important to read if you study philosophy I guess, academically. But all thoughts are always repeated, so if Plato speaks your language cool, if you prefer something more modern, try Nitzsche (also his poems which are beautiful and unjustly maligned). The ideas don’t change, the wonders don’t change. The language does change and the people writing it.
And make an effort to seek out women / differently gendered thinkers. They are you there. And usually better thought out.

My last priest, the one who performed my Confirmation, told me a great wisdom: every thought is a prayer, because God, no matter their name, their number or their ascribed actions, lives in everything we do, in us, so every thought is a word in gods ears, a mirror (perhaps darkly) of our self.
Philosophy is like the air we breath and the food we eat. Everything is philosophy, everything is thought. And if you have a faith, a prayer.

For an academic or perhaps a young intellectual, I may be too tainted by Sophie’s World (the book, which remains amazing).

In the end, we all ask ourselves, why those dancing shadows on the walls are reborn every morning and how we can escape that endless cycle.

2020/2/4–5, to and inspired by Anna!

Sleeping and kissing

For some reason I had ended up in a friends flat. It was clean, but also full of futons on the floor, empty beer bottles on the tables and crips situated between the bottles. The room had red walls, deep, dark, red. Not unlike blood, but darker.
It was cozy.
I just fell onto the first futon; tired, exhausted and all of them were empty anyway.
Somehow I was not in Japan anymore. This flat must be in Berlin.
I fell asleep.

I wake up, the door stands ajar and my friend just coming in with other people who seem to know me, but are surprised to see me there. She smiles, looks happy.
Groggily I get up and remove myself next to sofa on a pile of pillows. Sandwiched between the sofa and the wall with window and a radiator I close my eyes again as a party rages next to me. It’s daytime, but I just need sleep.
My friends face hovers over mine. She is very pretty and has a brilliant name. While I don’t remember meeting her in person, I know we have been friends for many years. There is a strong closeness between us.
Curly hair flys freely over her dark skin, with a big smile in her face, she hands me a joint. I am reluctant to take it, but she encourages me and finally I take it, to which she tells me “good boy” with a giggle.
This is the first one in a long while. I enjoy it with glee. I smile up and down, listen to my body stiffening and loosening again.
Her face still hovers over me, coming closer into a kiss that had been coming for a long time and does not last long enough. I am surprised at not being surprised. I just take it all in, let it happen. I just so enjoy her lips on mine, her tongue with mine.
As she comes down to sit on me, my body feels light. I give up control; it’s unlike me, but what I want and cannot achieve. She is close. So close it’s unreal.
As she unbuttons my jeans, I tell her I’m sorry, I won’t last long, I — she shushes me and does as she pleases.
I am just there for the ride and I don’t even want to describe.

When I come back I find her face asleep next to mine, her chest on my chest, legs intertwined. We didn’t age, we grew younger. I could move, would like to, but she is as a cat, I just don’t want to disturb her.

The image fades, but I force myself back. I want to say goodbye. I thank you, kiss you, then fade, then wake up, eyes closed. My pillow is nicely cold, but I miss her warm body, the scent of her cheeks, her taste.

Wording

To reflects on yesterday’s observation Today:

The first lesson I learned in my 6th live:
Words have meaning.
The first I learned in my 7th:
They don’t have to make sense.

When I first learned writing,
In socialism,
I was thought to write proper.This was a state priding itself in being a state of farmers and workers.
Where the intelligencia does not thwart the simple people.But in school I was taught in best Prussian style to be quite, to listen, to use words properly.
My father comes from a working class family.
I know their language, their words, their curses.
But that language was ripped out of my blood. Drained.

Later in life, when the workers had fortified their state to be workless,
I taught those western working class kids from immigrant families German words.
Not to drain their language, but to enrich them or so I believed.

In reality they taught me the value of working class language.
The truth of simply speaking what you know.
But when I wrote poetry I went for romantics.
Used words of higher intellect.
Constructed higher meaning.
Hid feelings behind formalities.
That was my 3rd and 4th and 5th live.

Now I write in a language learned later in life.
And only now do I have the freedom to write as I please.
Name feelings as such.And enjoy poetry speaking of dirt.
Writing of fucking around.
Name things as they are.

My words don’t have to make sense anymore.
My writing does not have to achieve a goal anymore.
I don’t seek to impress you anymore.
But if I get you today,
I’m happy.
I got you.
Words.
Language.
Patterns.
Here.

Consider a title, see a cycle

Where to start?
Words have become slow, thoughts like gummy. Too many days off, too much sitting at desks.
The imaginary you has evaporated, melted to become everyone again. Now I need to walk the streets in search of inspiration.
Taking in the faces, the ages, the genders, the colours. Bold heads and make up in sunshine.
The summer finally turns to autumn, but the leaves are still too green or too sick. Only some lips have turned red.

Marketplaces appear wide open, but I’m just visiting. As ever. Watching goods. Looking for depths. Following short rabbit holes, but the rabbits are out to party. No mice even.

No mood for poetry here. Perhaps I have soaked it all up already. Even traffic lights won’t work in my favour.

“Babe you got this” she has written on her t-shirt pushing a baby car. Making this a visual diary again. And people are more interesting then streets when I walk alone.
The trousers get longer, but skirts are still short, now with tights added. Is it for the offices and shops that are still far to cold? The heat is still up out here. Thirty degrees in September still.
The kids march on Fridays for the future, but not in japan. No future here. A whole country in punk mode. But the curry still smells great. My belly’s filled on oatmeal though.

I feel tired after a good nights sleep, longing for a shoulder to rest my head on. The radio proclaims: millions people need loving. Though, loving still is a good too expensive for most. Passing a couple holding hands as these words fall on the page. That, after all, is something.
Words falling on a page after pressing buttons on Glas.

I look forward to something that I know is coming, but I cannot tell what it will be. Just another something, another someone. A view, a sight, a conversation, a thing.

Water for given for free and the delivery man is not Japanese. We look at each other as we pass. Some do. I look up, offer a glance and look down again, to hammer out the next words that come to my mind.

A city bakery coming next year. In February. It’s so long away still, already advertised. And here an older man, in his small veggie and fruits shop, talking to his missus, cigarette hanging out his mouth.
I had really hoped I would not have to fight that addiction again. But here I am, fighting. A winning war, a loosing battle. First world wars: on nicotine and sugar.

Wow, a Smart. That might just be about the 3rd that I have seen in this country in 12 years.

Lovely, small side streets. They are more attractive when someone is next to you. When you see them from the sides of your eyes and chat over them.

I just love this. My daughters favourite flower. Is it still? I should ask her tonight. If I remember. Or when she is old enough to have a communications device. Does my son have a flower he likes? Yet?

Thinking of my glasses as jewellery. I don’t wear much else consistently. A ring maybe. My wedding rings from 1925 and does not fit on my fingers anymore.

Circular logic. A stoned circuit. I wonder if AI’s will be interested in drugs. Every other living thing seems to enjoy getting high. Apparently the fact of living is too much to take or rather, taken positively, everything always likes to relax, expand. Making our senses tingle. I smell first cheese, then coffee. My eyes notice lush green and people. And I think back to the romantics. Rich and healthy enough to walk Germany and dream of Europe.

Shopkeeper looking with care at the shoes in her window. I am left to wonder if these words will satisfy anyone’s sensibilities.
If no one reads it, is it still written? If no one likes it, does it still have meaning?

I will leave you with that, melting in the sun, at a traffic light that again just turned red as i arrived.

Rallying cry

I have looked at the weather report today.
It’s summer like, in October.
Even for Tokyo that’s unreal.
Over my breakfast it dawns on me fast.
Soon our rice crops will not grow anymore.

The toxicity of our world is becoming apparent more and more.
I grew up with acid rain.
I have seen so many dead trees.
And my children will see waste lands.
This will be a lasting sin.
And now, just now, I will allow myself time for tears.

But in five minutes I will fight again.
You know how we defeat fear and pain?
With laughter and celebrations!
I rather dance on the deck of the fucking titanic then crying in a luxurious suite in its belly.

Punch patriarchy in the face.
Kick nazis in their balls.
Disable cars!
It may be too late to revolutionise, I don’t know.
But I still yell out a rallying cry!

Starting backwards, walking forwards.

Long weeks later, your non-appreciation hits me like a brick wall.
But why start so negative.
Rather, waking alone, in small streets that feel like a late summer afternoon in September.
A young woman is handing out flyers, forced to wear a ridiculous one piece. A bit hapless. Probably designed at the behest of some middle aged man, who has no good ideas.
Past small shops filled with cloth and plates. Reminds me of a broken plate collection that still remains in a cupboard. A broken plate, like a broken heart.
Precious. Far to precious to not keep. Until one day you let go. Even though there never is a replacement.

Sparrows overhead. Flocking to a space to feed. They look very sweet. Sitting above that coffeeshop I still want to go to. One day, when time is less pressure and more precious.

Precious. Today a thought floating in my head. Today is less vile, less violent. With all the very few people in the small streets, I feel lonelier. And while it’s easy to explain it is hard to take.

Is she critical of the bird? Or quizzical. Depends on your angle.
But I want to give her my shirt. It’s getting too cold to sit so naked.

A patch of nature. With stones to sit on. These are easy to find in Tokyo if you know where to look.
Here I can smell what the cats left behind that come here at night.
In the neighbouring school the sports fest is trained. Loudly, of course.

Biographies are curious and well guarded here. It is nice to know, I can just ask you, though. When the time is right.
I just hope there will be time before the sky is falling.

The streets are rich with green in this neighbourhood and while I took that photo a little butterfly briefly landed on my fingers, just to take of again immediately. It too, was just passing by.

I quite like this. It reminds me of the people who’s company I enjoy most, even if we never really fit in.
“Social pressure is strong. I fit in, but not at be expense of my personality. I claim my right to be different and to declare my difference. Sometimes I upset people, but I always express and assert myself. I have the passion to invent adornments to make you as strong and remarkable as you are confident and proud.
Welcome to my audacity.”
— Anne-Marie Chagnon.

It also is what I teach my kids, especially my daughter. Find the people with compassion and empathy, passion and will. Move forward together and make a difference. And let go those, who try to put you down.

Green, grey and orange.
Pitch black.
Brown.
Silver.
Blonde.
Red brown.
Silver.
And hardly ever grey.

Hair colours sparkling in a Tokyo autumn morning.

Stairs

Crossing paths with an old man with sporty glasses. He seems to see me, but chooses not too look. A common theme, when you don’t really fit in.

I try to remember, when I got used to this. With 15, when my hair was orange and my neck carried a piece sign? Perhaps with 16 when my hair was longer and red/green and I wore darker and darker jeans, leather jackets and underground 20 hole boots, in full punk mode.
Or then with 17, always in black, androgynous, gender fluid, invisible, feeling increasingly unattractive while attracting a lot of unwanted and some wanted attention.
I forgot it when I moved to Japan 3 days before turning 27. Suddenly I felt home, felt like a part of the crowed. Happy and everything was covered in a rosy mist. And as long as no word left my mouth I was right there just a part of everything.

And as the rosy mist turned to dust and everything went grey, I turned invisible. Unseen, unspoken, untouched for long and heart broken. I only existed when I spoke up.
Silent screams, only loud after waking up from a night mare.

Until I decided to be seen. By those who really look. By those who really want to see.
It has created a sphere of wonder who I am, now. 24 years after first understanding an otherness. Who have I become. And who is with me on this trip.

Here and now I am coming back to life. Not for the first time, but the miracle is wonderful every time. Out of my inner darkness comes brightest sunlight, ready to break into colours in the prism of people I like.
And every one who chooses to see, will meet a different version of me. I remain in the shape of water, ready to fill your chosen form. The form that fits what you need. We all get what we want, if we know it or not.
Finally I understand what my pen friend Elisabeth meant when she said: I will only be a vessel, you will need to fill me with meaning.
We always want to be something to somebody. Like a bird flying to the right warmth and coziness. Like the warm embrace of a partner, the passionate kiss of a lover, the shy touch of a new friend.
Tears made by music we enjoy.

The black dress that shapes you confident. People I see. I try to see everything. And the model is trained to look, when the shutter clicks.

Comfortably I swim in warm words we exchange. Talking.

Words like kisses like knives. Cutting deep, pain is sweet.

Moments and people always melt in my memory first, later in poetry.

And whenever we single us out for a moment all hearts overflow. I run into open doors and escape through windows when I notice I took the wrong turn. With apologies.

Who needs patience when life is too short, too filled with little wonders that first crawl, then run, first cry then speak and soon escape parental hopes into their own lives. We will have given them all the love and wisdom we posses. We will have helped them to discover themselves.
Just let us remember they have their own minds, create their own happiness. And we will be left to wonder when the time passed they sat in our laps and smiled and said “I love you” without hesitation.
And we remember long forgotten tears and fights and can be proud: we made them.
Little wonders.

Climbing their own stairs, moving their own bodies, decide to live and love and sin or not. And maybe they will ask us: what did you do with 15? Did you fit in?

Process

I want to taste your skin.

Oh gosh no, that sounds like cannibalism!!

I want to bite your lips.

Bit brutal?

I want to drown in your eyes.

Too negative!

I want to…

I can’t even think anymore.

The good kisser

“He is a good kisser”, I overhear and wonder what is a good kisser? What does it make them feel? Exited? Levitated?

And when the feeling is gone from them, does he become a bad kisser? Or do they just stop to kiss?

Lunch memory

I want to take one of your fingers and kiss them.

Not to induce lust, but to show you affection.

As I sit in front of you, listening to you telling me bits of your life while freely cursing and saying what you think, I feel a deep tenderness.

It is hard to explain, but yet in this moment you are as beautiful as a flower that has decided to bloom right in this moment, in this shadowy place, us sitting together, feeding on chai.

As if it is a rare occurrence and maybe it is.

I want to capture and remember this moment and cherish it.

Even when you cannot.

You are amazingly beautiful and it brings me to tears, I am so happy and thankful I could see you there.

Radiating. Bringing love, as you said.

You do.

Two weeks ago a cat visited me at night.

I was half asleep, when it treated lightly over my legs and curled itself right next to my back.

I did not turn, to not disturb it during its stay.

It purred a little, watched me fall asleep.

I don’t know it name or it’s colours.

For it was a ghost that protected me that night.

And watched me sleep.

Words

Spoken fleetingly.

Or brief.

And I don’t mean that negatively.

Time has a funny taste.

Journeys overlapping,

Journeys drifting.

A happy drift.

An exploration.

Words can betray their meaning.

No.

Words have their own meaning to you, to me.

A wish of luck, is a wish of happiness. To you.

A wish of luck, is believing. Me in you.

Those who don’t think, miss the meaning.

Those who don’t feel, miss everything.

And to those who miss, all of this is madness.

Designed desire

A woman in front of me, watching some male idol video. She noticed the ad glued the door right in front of her, showing an Arashi singer, advertising an energy drink.

She caressed his face on the small door sticker photograph. With care, following his cheeks, his libs.

A beautiful display of desire, even when designed to sell.

I’m glad to see there is such tenderness in this train.

trying something

We meet, we talk.

We sit, we joke.

We look onto and see deep.

We go home and say: no matter what, this is now!

Buttons open, shoes dropped off.

Not even a kiss yet, just a whisper.

But then sweet taste, sweet smell.

Sitting down, heads up.

A dance of skin, still onlooking.

We observe, we care.

Is there time? Time is there.

A drop of wine lip to lip.

And slowly diving into it.

Descend.

Coming out the other side, we melted together through sheets, through walls.

Still, you say, be still. And look at me.

I look on and on. My eyes fly.

It’s impossible to express. Beauty of the moment of the body of the soul. I say.

It moves me.

We don’t want this to end, we say, with eyes and words and kisses.

To Bacchus we pray, for amber to wrap us, we wait, till the moonlight falls and we awake.

Still old and grey, but glad—we met.