Divergence of Fate – The Brazil Connection

I had forgotten a bit which happened before the last dream.

I am standing in a self-service restaurant around a smörgåsbord talking with a young woman. She asks me if I have been learning Dutch or Afrikaans.

I say, “no, have you noted a Southern lilt to my voice?”

“Yes, at first I thought it was South African now it sounds a bit more Aussie.”

“How do you know?”

“I am a Kiwi.”

I explain to her that I lived as a child in Australia and Zambia, both Southern Hemisphere.

In 1977-78 the war for the founding of Zimbabwe was getting hotter. This had knock on effects like air raids of guerrilla camps, marauding “soldiers” and shortages in the shops in Kabwe, Zambia.

There my father was working on a German built rotary lead kiln to extract lead from the lead rich tailings, waste which was abundant. Later Kabwe was acknowledged as one of the most polluted  places on earth. My mother was getting anxious and my father was looking further afield for jobs. He was offered one in Windhoek, one in South Africa and one in Brazil. As an ex-army officer in REME during the Malayan insurgency he would be required to serve in the military reserves. When I reached 18, I would have to do national service. The first two were vetoed.

Dad was interested in the job, possibly in Santa Amaro City near the Subaé river. I would have gone to international school either in Rio or Brasília. It was by the same German kiln manufacturer. He was keen, my mother less so. If they would have paid him in Deutschmarks and not cruzeiro novo, we probably would have moved there. Instead, we came back to blighty…

A possible fate diverged on a simple decision. My life would have been very different had I gone to international school in Brazil as opposed to a grammar school in North Kent.

I would have been very Southern hemisphere in my adolescence and education….

Country Bumpkins and Streetlights

In general we do not leave the compound during the hours of darkness. This means that we hardly ever get to see street lights nor the lights of other cars on the highways and byways. We certainly don’t see commuters on a bus. When I say hardly ever that approaches never, at most a few times in a year.

This morning the wife had a doctor’s appointment up in the thriving metropolis of Lannion. For perhaps the first time in four years we left the compound under the cover of darkness in the morning to head out on to the trunk road up to Lannion. When we got there, there were streetlights!!

I had to wait in the car while the doctor saw the wife. I got to watch the busy “city” folk starting to go about their business as dawn started ~8:30 AM.

Having once lived a life of sodium yellow for so long, even the streetlights are not what they once were…

Just goes to show, what bumpkins we have become…

The pesky mole has left sign…so this afternoon when I get back from the green waste tip, it will be trapping time again.

We have ordered a cat micro-chip reader to see if Bowie the stray once had an owner willing to part with a few quid for a chip. If she has a chip then furnished with the code, we can ask the local vet about owners. If not and we (I) catch her, her future remains uncertain. She looks fancy so there is breeding there…

We shall know, according to Congo.Fr, the new online delivery company, tomorrow afternoon.

Kindling, Mole Traps and Melancholy

Today I have been sizing planks from the broken up palette for kindling and chopping up the harvested hazel for storage. It looks like I have 6-8 weeks of dry wood sized to be chopped for kindling. This should take us towards the end of winter. Chopping the hazel with the chainsaw you get a lovely smell from the freshly hewn wood. I managed to overheat the motor on the chainsaw so I took that as a sign to stop. I put the v-frame for cutting the wood up on another palette. This made the whole thing a lot easier for my back, less bending.

The new pesky mole now has seven traps set in his new tunnels. I’ll wait a week and then see if I have caught it. No new mole sign means that the likelihood will be higher.

This afternoon I have been picking up wave after wave of melancholy. It is not my melancholy; it comes from elsewhere. I can see some faces associated with that melancholy, it feels as if some people are actually understanding something which they have failed to before. It seems as if some kind of penny dropping is causal of these waves of external melancholy.

Weird, I usually pick up anger directed at me, so melancholy is a bit new…

The Hungry Heron, Birdsong, Ducks and Coypu

It seems we are getting close to our winter range of wildlife.

The foxes are back, as are the owls and the badger comes visit when it is cold and icy. I feel a little sorry for the hungry heron. The river, Le Jaudy, has been flowing deep and fast for several weeks now so there is no dinner there. The fish in the pond are inactive and keeping largely to the warm deeper waters, so no breakfast either. When the sun is out, he sunbathes looking at the pond, wistfully.

The coypu was there this morning sat in “coypu corner”. It was the adult. I have not seen junior for a while. Junior #2 was shot by the hunters.

In the swamp Mr and Mrs Canard are back for the third year in a row. Last year she had seven ducklings. Now when I walk past the swamp they are not startled particularly if I ignore them. Looks like there will be ducklings again in due course.

Yesterday I had a go with my new microphone recording the birdsong from over the fence. There are quite a range of noises. The software I have is sophisticated allowing one to adjust gain differentially over frequency range. I reckon if I turn down the microphone input gain on a non-windy day, I should be able to get a decent recording using post-hoc “studio” techniques. We shall see…

The river is currently a bit too loud and noisy to record. Later when it is more gentle and bucolic I will try to capture its song…

Just Ordered a Microphone

When I was very young, I used to enjoy reading the lessons and prayers in Sunday church at boarding school. Because I was with the expat kids and army brats, often when the parents would visit we were at a loose end. So, we got to read the lessons, ring the bells etc. instead of sitting tidy with the parents. I particularly liked prayers because I got to sit at a lectern facing the same way as the audience. No eye to eye contact. This is when “Saint Francis” spoke to my heart, metaphorically speaking. This is a part of my philosophy toward life, particularly the last bit.

Seigneur, faites de moi un instrument de votre paix.
Là où il y a de la haine, que je mette l’amour.
Là où il y a l’offense, que je mette le pardon.
Là où il y a la discorde, que je mette l’union.
Là où il y a l’erreur, que je mette la vérité.
Là où il y a le doute, que je mette la foi.
Là où il y a le désespoir, que je mette l’espérance.
Là où il y a les ténèbres, que je mette votre lumière.
Là où il y a la tristesse, que je mette la joie.

Ô Maître, que je ne cherche pas tant à être consolé qu’à consoler, à être compris qu’à comprendre, à être aimé qu’à aimer, car c’est en donnant qu’on reçoit, c’est en s’oubliant qu’on trouve, c’est en pardonnant qu’on est pardonné, c’est en mourant qu’on ressuscite à l’éternelle vie.

I have been over the years asked to read out loud for others, especially poetry and occasionally by Americans.

I have been toying with the idea of reading some of my own work out loud and practising my for want of a better word “oratory”. Written word can only convey so much meaning, emphasis is the icing on the cake. It might help me to listen to my own attempts in French as well.

It is time to start chanting again and for that I will need something between my lungs and the microphone.

Soon enough there could be some text and sound here at Trou and Dour…

Not How It Should Be

People can get very hung up on their notions of how things should be, how they ought to turn out. They can imagine that others don’t deserve to be treated in a particular manner. I am not a big fan of the “deserve” word. Though it is bandied about my many.

“He got his just deserts.”

“She did not deserve to be treated like that…”

In the minds of many there is often a conflict between is and should or ought.

My life is like this no matter how others might imagine it should not be or ought not be. Perhaps I deserve to live like this?

I am very socially isolated and that is fine with me.

The chap who has offered to do our garden has a master’s degree in environmental protection and his wife has Ph.D. in botany. So we are not the only qualification anomalies living out in the sticks.

One might imagine that whatever talents I have are perhaps wasted. There is of course an invalid supposition in such an imagining. It presupposes that there is anything left in the tank. I am not as I once used to be.

You cannot step in the same river twice. By definition the river is in constant flux.

My trajectory to here can be viewed as unorthodox. If you watch Ben Fogle “New Lives in the Wild” there are others who have taken an even less orthodox escape from the Colditz Castle of modern living.

Unless I am refused a follow on carte de séjour it is very unlikely, given our current thinking, that I will ever set foot in the United Kingdom again. There is nothing much there for me, so why would I? It has not exactly been nice or kind to me. Some people there have been very unpleasant towards me.

We are here kind of in the now, the hiatus of disease, and there is no telling how long that will last. When the disease comes back, I will revert to being carer. That is what the future looks like.

It is like this.

Physical Plane Reality

Today I took the masking tape off in the bathroom. Aside from a little tidying up with razor blades and a bit of touch up painting the room is finished. Then it will be the floor in the vestibule. I am due to lay some PVC adhesive tiles once I have taken the door off. There are only a couple of fiddly bits in the doorways but I have cereal packet cardboard templates for these. One day should be enough.

The big piece of work is this office. After that the ground floor is done and only the upstairs bedroom remains.

We have been looking at properties in a 20 minute drive radius of the Haematology department at Saint Brieuc. The wife will call to make some viewing appointments tomorrow. There is one property at 40 mins but it is only a couple of hundred metres from a beach. Given our quotations for gardening we do not no have to move. We can afford another year here without eating too much into capital. Journey time to the hospital is ~35mins.

Bowie is a girl. Felix has been following her around like a lovelorn teenager and has been pissing up all the bushes. When Bowie has had enough attention, she comes and sits close to one of us. This keeps him at bay. We are playing cat chaperones. Although she might be menstruating or the cat equivalent, hopefully she is not yet ovulating as well. Otherwise, it will be kittens. If another tom gets a whiff we may have cat-fights on our hands. It is funny watching Felix trying to follow Bowie. She is slim and agile and he is a bit of an old porker who has trouble keeping up.

Irrespective of any of the dreams, the likelihood of physical plane reality remains unchanged. We will go to the supermarket tomorrow. I have a physio appointment on Tuesday. Hopefully we will view some houses on Wednesday which will provide some more input for the move / not move question. Our mundane existence is most likely to carry on unperturbed. The likelihood of me ever going to London again in this life looks to be very close to zero.

I will get zero personal telephone calls or texts and very close to zero personal emails.

At the end of the month the blood samples will inform us as to whether the Myeloma remains in remission or is showing signs of return.

Next weak I will cut up another palette for kindling and if the weather is more clement continue harvesting wood ready for next winter.

We are due -3˚C tonight, the pond has not thawed, my guess is that we will be way colder than -3.

And then the wind changes direction…

More Attack Dreams and Mole Sign

Last night I had a dream in which I was taking my dan grading in Aikido. The grading was for Ki Aikido. I could not remember all of the moves so I used some from Tomiki Aikido which I was exposed to at Mike Finn’s Dojo late ‘90s.

I passed the grading, nevertheless. In the same dream I was then exposed to wave after wave of physical and verbal attacks from people I once knew. In the dream I repelled these attacks by counters and immobilisations. I repelled them with ease.

The previous night I had a similar dream in which two people, both well known to me, were being very dishonest and manipulative. The male was very aggressive towards me and I had to restrain him again and again with locks and immobilisations. He was very angry and for some reason resentful towards me. He was livid.

Weird why are so may people seemingly so very pissed off with me?

Anyway, after a months or so without mole sign. We have a new invader. It is sticking to the high ground for now. It is too wet to set traps. The weekend is forecast to be cold and dry, so a mole-hunting I will go…

Karmeleon – Vis Viva Chapter 7

For a heterosexual man there are two things that can cause great fear and strike blows to the core, they are linked to his ability to function sexually. Those are to question his sexual orientation and the parentage of his children. These things strike deep at something in him, because perceived masculinity is so often linked to sexual performance.

In one sense one’s children are one’s legacy of sexual activity on the physical plane; in a more metaphorical sense when a man is being creative he fertilises the world through his actions hopefully sowing seeds of positive endeavour, his accomplishments.

The challenge for the cuckold to his sense of masculinity is immense particularly so if he discovers this many years down the line. He has in effect and affect been living a lie for most of his adult life. The statistics suggest that as many as one man in ten is unknowingly raising someone else’s child; in these days of multiple divorce and remarriage the raising of another man’s child is overt as well as covert.

In another sense a child can metaphorically re-present a man’s purpose and its nurturing. Eric reckons that a man nurtures with his heart, it is male love and male warmth which gives a child security to grow and to test the boundaries. He says that this is so important and the absence of this is what causes harm, unfortunately though this lack is self-propagating in that the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, cold insecure men raise cold insecure boys.

Eric reckons that this phrase has other meanings than the genealogical sense and that it relates to fate and karma. He says that we should be careful about using the concept of fate and karma because these words have been bandied about by so many on the dharma trails from Katmandu to Goa and back again. He does believe that the quotation below from the works of Alice Bailey is a particularly good springboard from which to do a double twisting back somersault into the topic though.

The Cup of Karma

There is a cup held to the lips of those who drink, by four great Lords of Karma. The draught within that cup must all be drained, down to the nethermost drop, e’er it is possible to fill the cup with a purer, sweeter one. The seven Lords of cosmic Love await the hour of filling.

The cup is naught. The draught within distils forth drop by drop. It will not all be drained until the final hour wherein the Pilgrim takes the cup. He lifts it from the hand of those Who, bending, hold it to his lips. Until that day the cup is held, and in inner blind dismay the Pilgrim drinks. After that hour he lifts his head; he sees the light beyond; he takes the cup and, with a radiant joy, drains to the very dregs.

The contents of the cup are changed; the bitter now becomes the sweet; the fiery essence then is lost in cool, life-giving streams. The fire absorbed within has burned and scarred and seared. The draught now taken soothes the burns; it heals the scars and permeates the whole.

The Four bend down and see the work. They release the cup of Karma. The tender Lords of Cosmic Love then mix another draught, and – when the cup is empty seen (emptied by conscious will) – they pour within that which is needed now for broader, larger living. Until the cup has once been used, filled, drained, and seen as naught, it cannot safely hold within that which is later given.

But when to utter emptiness the Pilgrim drains the cup then to the world in torment now he turns. With cup in hand (drained once, filled again, and refused to selfish need) he tends the need of struggling men who tread the way with him. The draught of love, of sacred fire, of cool, health-giving stream he lifts not towards himself but holds it forth to others. Upon the road of weary man he becomes a Lord of Power – power gained through work accomplished, power reached through conscious will. Through the cup of Karma drained he gains the right to serve.

Look on, O Pilgrim, to the goal. See shining far ahead the glory that envelops and the light that naught can dim. Seize on the cup and swiftly drain, delay not for the pain. The empty cup, the steady hand, the firm and strong endeavour, lead to a moment’s agony and thence to radiant life.

Alice Bailey; “The Rays and The Initiations” Page 762, Lucis Publishing Company, New York. ISBN 0-85330-122-0

The vis viva then picks an aspect of awareness to animate, from time to time this awareness incarnates and the power within has the chance to eke out a physical plane existence and face the challenges therein. Because of the deeds and actions in previous incarnations the awareness of the power within has evolved and it chooses a circumstance, a fleeting moment in the evolution of space-time to incarnate such that it can live out the challenges as a fate, within the context of an overall destiny. Eric finds it interesting that the etymology of sin may have a root that is of the verb to be or être, that as a consequence of being in carnation sins result.

He also notes that fate has an air of fatality about it, a sense of death. Sin and Fate are together. They are existence and death, being and not-being and he reminds me that death is both the end of physical plane carnation and more generally transformation through death of the old. Here in the sense of old perceptions and ways of being.

He says that he doesn’t like these two words ( fate and karma) much and that challenges are better, because these are much less judgmental and finger pointy, they have less baggage. The power within sets things up for it to experience whilst in the form side of life, it chooses the circumstance of birth, the country of birth and the potential capacities and abilities. As a direct result there will be sin, or being, as the aspiration and intent of the power within seeks to further develop its awareness through the process of life. He says that a Warrior treats his death as an advisor because by keeping death present it encourages one to live in what he calls the eternal now and to act to the best of ones capacity and ability at any given time, he says that this is impeccability. So in this sense death is his fate and it is to transmute, transform and transfigure.

This transmutation then is when the power within recognises that it has gaps in its knowledge and goes about finding this missing knowledge, it sets itself up with challenges in order to learn. In a very simple sense, the first acts of transmutation are to find out what those challenges are and then welcome them, to literally live them bearing in mind that they are gifts and not tortures.

The next stage is transformation, which is changing the shape of a life so that finally the power within has the island of existence in roughly the shape it originally intended so as to live out its fate for a given lifetime. He reckons that most people have forgotten what it is that they are meant to be doing and live in a dream. All one has to do is to wake up in the dream and then get busy.

The Greek word hamartia (ἁμαρτία) is often translated as sin, this means miss the mark. If one is missing the mark in living out a life that is not in accord with fate then that is a sin, or transgression against the purpose of the vis viva and one’s own power within.

The nature of one’s challenges called forth in a given lifetime, are karma, there is no such thing as good karma or bad karma, only karma. There is not a direct and linear cause and effect here, karma is more cyclical than that, though there are sequences and when mixed with others con-sequence. Eric sees karma as much more of a pattern woven together with challenge threads and themes running through a life, the circumstance for which may be set up over a number of lifetimes, there are many twists and turns in this as the vis viva goes about its business of evolving awareness as a whole. It is difficult to account for the hubris of mankind against the backdrop of cosmic Manvantaras and Kalpas outlined in the Vedic scriptures.

If then as an aspirant for self discovery one drains the cup of Karma, one is actively taking part in the act of transformation by conscious will, by grasping the challenges in a life one makes way for a wider living both in a current life and those that follow.

Eric says that his fate must encompass things that challenge his sense of masculinity to the core and that in overcoming these he will be exploring masculinity. He says that by choosing a father who was emotionally distant and later physically distant during a traumatic period of his life; he had no one to learn from. In a very real sense then he was making it up as he went along. The ability to cope with extended periods of bullying has given him a sense of determination and self reliance which he can draw on in times of trouble. It is his opinion that if one looks back at the sort of challenges and themes that appear relatively early on in a life you can get a picture of some of the scope of a fate.

Eric says that I should now talk in first person about the events of my second year in boarding school; I am a little hesitant to provide full details. A boy asked me to do something and I guess it was and is not, that unusual a thing to ask, but we were caught in the act. He had asked me to play with his balls. We were hauled up in front of the housemaster and asked to account for ourselves. The other boy was quite clearly nervous because it was he that had asked. He asked me to cover for him and make something up so that he came out of it looking better. I could see that he was in trouble. So I took the blame for something that wasn’t really all that bad; though at the time it was catastrophe.

The whole school soon knew about it and so, “Ali-homo” was born. Can you imagine how young boys might chant that at each other and how after not very long a time this began to wear a little thin? As it happens I was put up a dorm in my second year and there the taunting continued en masse. So I waited and waited, in the end I ended up setting things up so that I fought with each boy in turn, when I had them on their own. This strategy seemed to work.

Ultimately, I got Morris, alone, and actually messed him up to such an extent that the housemaster warned me about exclusion. How strange to be bullied and then punished for fighting back. Needless to say I did not want to discuss this bullying with my parents, most especially my dad.

“How is school?”

“Just fine. Did you know I might be playing rugby for Colts next year?”

Later that year we were on a family holiday in the Kafue national park, this is a game reserve in Zambia. We were staying in some rondavels that were quite luxurious, close by the Kafue River. The Kafue River at Kwafala camp is very broad with some fast flowing water and many large islands. It was great. I could go fishing. We did various game drives and I got to go fishing in small boat with one of the guides. They liked doing this as, should we be lucky, they had some food for their families too. I can’t even remember his name but he was a small man and my parents have a picture of him somewhere.

We worked our way upstream across the fast flowing part to an area of more gentle flow going along the sides of a large island across an open expanse of water to the big reed bed. There we started fishing with spinners in search of bream and pike. Together we caught four bream and five pike. It was fantastic my best ever days fishing. The bream he caught were good sized around four pounds each and would be great to eat. As we rowed back he pointed to the signs of hippos making progress underwater, small rings of bubbles and said that is best to watch out for them. We got back and showed off our spoils, the other guides were excited as was my sister and the son of other guests at the camp. A trip was planned for the next day.

Then we had bream, fresh from the brai, magic, true magic.

The next day we set off, my sister, this other slightly younger boy, myself and three guides, the short man, Richard and a taller older man. The boat was quite full with all of us, the fishing tackle and the big slab of concrete that acted as anchor. We rowed across the fast flowing section and then to the more open space of water heading towards the fishing fields near the reeds.

As I am remembering all this, I stepped outside our house and a squadron of nine biplanes flew over head, making quite a noise. They are probably from the nearby RAF base and practising for an air show, harkening back to a time of white silk scarves and handlebar moustaches, crying tally-ho and let’s get after the Hun. Quite a contrast the English countryside to the depths of the African bush!

Then it happened, we saw the edges of some of those bubble rings and the edges of one by the side of the boat. Next thing we were all in the water and the boat had overturned. I was a good swimmer then but only eleven years old. The older man was close to me and he tried to get hold of me, I pushed him away. He tried again and I swam away. I saw him drift off in the current. He was drowning. Calling this back to memory is hard, because after the event I was wracked with guilt that perhaps I could have saved him, I had a bronze medallion life saving badge after all!!

I am crying slightly now at the thought of it all. Seeing someone drift away is not easy. We all swam to the boat; there were now five of us. Together we tried to right the boat and got it about halfway, it then bounced back and I was hit on the head. This made me a little dizzy. We tried again but that anchor was now holding the boat in place. I said to the guides that we weren’t really helping and that if we swam to the nearby island we would wait there whilst they tried righting the boat without hindrance. They sort of agreed but it was difficult to know who was in charge. So we swam towards the island. I remember thinking it strange that swimming was a lot harder in my new Clark’s Attackers, but that I might need my shoes later. As we neared the shore my sister and the other boy headed for a different landing point than mine. We got to the shore and hauled ourselves up onto land and into the bush.

We watched as they tried to right the boat a number of times, the sun now lowering across the water. They were getting tired. They gave up and came to join us on the island. Richard was the stronger swimmer of the two and headed towards where my sister had landed. The shorter man followed, my shorter route, splashing quite a lot as he swam. All of a sudden he was pulled under the water, he started thrashing about a little more wildly, surfaced once and then the water was silent. I knew what had happened; there are crocodiles in these parts. He had followed the path that I had taken just a few moments earlier. The four of us stood dumbstruck looking west at the empty river with the upturned boat and the now setting sun.

For an eternity we stood and stared. Richard seemed to be very, very far away. I said that we needed to do something because they could not hear us back at camp from here. We needed to let them know and that we must get moving soon as it would soon be dark. The only way was to make our way between the islands until such time as we were close enough to shout for help. So we began. Some of the islands were separated by shallow water, some were waist deep and others we had to swim a little in between.

So we did it, each entrance into the water tinged by the memory of what had just happened and the fear. I don’t to this day know whether the two other children knew what had happened, they were just glad to be on the move. We got to a small uncovered island about two hundred metres from camp, nearby the fast flowing section. We reckoned that there wouldn’t be hippos or crocs there and shouted across to the camp for help. We told them what had happened and it began; the ululation of an African woman at the loss of her man; such a haunting sound to accompany the swift and velvet fall of an African dusk.

There we were, then, cold and wet, in complete darkness on a small island in the middle of a game park, stranded. There was no other boat at the camp. The bush is alive at night. All we had for comfort was each other and the lights of the camp distant across the water and that terrible ululation. We heard that my father was going to drive to one of the other camps in search of a boat and that they would try to get to us, they had heard of a canoe and transporter some distance away.

I think soon after mid-night my father and the other boy’s father got in the canoe and made their way towards our shouts across the water to us with some food and clothing. It wasn’t an easy trip but it was with the current. It would not be wise to go back at night. They landed and we ate. We had a gun now. I remember that dawn very well, the mist rising off the river and that grey, grey stretching your arms and legs, yawning beginning to the day. We saw the canoe and were not quite as reassured as we once were. In the past a hippo had taken a bite out of it. We were ferried across and boy, were we glad. They took the thorn out of my sister’s foot and we were soon to leave. For some reason my mother was no longer keen on game parks. We would have to report the incident to the police and as we would reach the game park borders first, it was down to us to do that.

We got to the gate and went in to explain what had happened to the African policeman there. The dry mud brick hut was both gate house for the game park and police station. I had to give a statement. As I began to talk it was noticeable that the man could not really write. So I gave my first statement to the police in my scruffy handwriting all the while thinking that they might lock me up for not saving that man and thinking that it was weird that here I was writing, what were the grown ups doing why weren’t they doing all this? It was down to me I had to do it. Like a good public school boy I owned up. Nothing happened to me.

When we got back to Kabwe the story quickly did the rounds of the expat community and filtered down to the children. For a while we were quite famous locally, the grown ups though all had a shudder when they thought of it.

Eric says that it was my fate to be in that place at that time and to see that males who are the masculine expression of the vis viva cannot always be relied on and that I as a proto male would have to take charge from time to time. This was a part of my karma which left me with a great fear of swimming in open water and the sense that something unseen and terrible was lurking there. He reminds me that I nearly had a heart attack when that small fish followed me in Italy and that it took nearly twenty years before I could swim out of my depth in tropical waters.

He says that the burden of guilt for letting that man drown stayed with me for many years, unspoken, leaving me with a sense that I could have and should have, done more to save him.

Soon it was time to go back to school and I was dropped back into my original dorm. It was much better here and there was less bullying and conflict.

Threefold Ginormous Mess Dream 17-01-23

It is impossible to recall all of this because it went on for a very long time both before and after a short waking break. Here is the gist.

The dream starts in a very upmarket high specification domestic kitchen. I am tasked with cooking a meal therein. However, the kitchen is an absolute “bomb site”. All the surfaces are covered with plates, condiments, and debris. I remonstrate to the owner that they need to clear this mess up if they want me to cook. The mess is huge and it is of their making. The owner does not accept that the mess is a) bad and b) of their own making. I start to try to cook on the range. I have a clean pan and am able to gather some ingredients together in the sink. It is very difficult to work with all the heavily cluttered surfaces. I know in the dream that this is a metaphor for a huge mess in the web of life made by others. It is not my responsibility to clean up this mess but until it is cleared I cannot “cook” or do anything meaningful.

I am now in a laboratory setting. The laboratory is beyond chaotic. There are glassware and books everywhere. There are lab electronics, computers and displays. The optical table is littered with unmounted optics. The place is very unkempt. Again, I know that the mess is not of my making. The algorithm for convergence, a variational quantum method, is failing to converge. With each day it is more and more divergent. I know that we could use Møller-Plesset perturbation theory with a large basis set. A larger basis set is perhaps the answer. This might help the problem to converge. But the lab owners fail to accept that the mess is of their origin, so there is no chance that they will listen to my advice.

I am now in a house in South London. I am trying to figure out a way to solve the mess. A black woman is looking into my house. On the floor are rubble, empty cans and strips of pharmaceuticals. This is not the ideal place for me to work. The havoc in my house has not been caused by me. The terrible mess has been made by others. In the background I can hear, “They should not have killed Biko, Biko never trouble no one.” The black woman sighs and turns away.

Dream ends.