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Sunday, 26 December 2010

Anselm Hollo: Sitting in Peaceful Lamplight


Man Reading at Lamplight: Georg Friedrich Kersting, 1814 (Oskar Reinhart Collection, Winterthur)

reading a book on how to become a better person

Zophiel the cat touches my leg & asks me
"Why don't you write a book about becoming just a pretty good person
& by the way what happened to my late night snack?"

Cats: photo by arudhio, 2009

"Really, the fundamental, ultimate mystery -- the only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets is this: that for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside, and though they are very different, they go together" -- Alan Watts

Sitting in Peaceful Lamplight: Anselm Hollo, from a holiday e-card, 2010


aditya said...

I somehow was laughing out loud in this not so empty room when I read this. Wonderful poem.

The quote at the bottom reminds me of one that goes-

Karma simply means that you don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

What shall be done, then, of whatever the dead have spoken throughout these two thousand years Tom and perhaps more. They do get paid amazingly still.

Merry Christmas!!
(It is the merry part of the phrase which interests me)

A little delayed in wishing I already am, going by the calenders we follow here in India. Very Sorry about it. I wonder if the delay induced by the ever so subtle longitudinal forces could offer me some respite.

Anonymous said...

Haha! And that's a wonderful cat picture too.

John B-R said...

Aditya, what do you think of this modification to your definition of karma ?
Karma simply means that you don’t let your left hand know what your left hand is doing.



TC said...


To laugh out loud in an empty room is the purpose of life (as the sagebrush once said).


I think that cat photo is northern Japan. Not as cold as Norway, easier on cats (probably goats also and for that matter humans as well).

John, on the subject of karma I must defer to the Sagebrush.

Ron Padgett sent along an interesting comment:

"Great choice of poems--Anselm's two--and the intriguing matchup of the Kersting painting. Did the German Romantic painters excel in portrayals of reading solitude? It would seem so. There's a small one in the Louvre of a man standing on a mountain before a vast panoramic sunset--reading a book!"

TC said...

Ron illustrates his point with his own photo of the gravity-defying man.

TC said...

And while speaking of the Kersting painting, just out of curiosity, I wonder if someone might be able to identify the device which consists of a cord descending from a small post on the wall near the ceiling all the way down to just above the desk, where it is attached to a hoop?

TC said...

"It draws the curtain," points out Ron.

aditya said...


Sagebrush ..

Is it not for the curtains?
The gravity-defying man wont come up here in India. In here .. Earth sucks a little too much perhaps.

Julia said...

Cats really understand the balance between spiritual and practical life, don't you think?

TC said...


Sometimes I think cats are entirely spiritual creatures, sometimes I think they are entirely practical creatures, somtimes I think they are both at once.

One of our three cats, a large beautiful Siamese male whose wont is to roam the night, has been out roaming the night in the wild elements all through this season of big rains, and has now come down quite ill, and we fear for him.

Meanwhile the other two cats appear not to mind at all, in fact it does seem that having the top cat in the hierarchy laid low is a relief to them -- this in a purely practical dimension.

In a spiritual dimension, however, they appear to be showing the sick fellow a certain respect by refraining from the usual matutinal chasing games.

In a practical dimension, I am gloomily abiding here while the bone fractures ever so slowly knit.

In a spiritual dimension, I am cheered as always to discover a word from you, Julia.

Aditya, sorry about that missing link.

I have now stepped into the breach and filled it with...


Julia said...

I'm sorry to hear this about your cat. How is he now?

TC said...

He's been feeling under the weather for the past four days. This is particularly noticeable in the silence of the nights.

However, today he is showing signs of life, i.e. causing a bit of trouble.

A. thinks he is recovering.

(It would be good if at least somebody around here did that, said the retarded convalescent.)

Julia said...

Learn from your cat...
I wish you both a speedy recovery.

Curtis Faville said...

Terrific cat picture. I love'em all!

Coco, sitting on my lap this instant, purrs her approval.

TC said...

Yes, Curtis, I agree with you and Coco, what a marvelous pile of cats that is in the photo.

Given the evident cold climate, my guess is that they all have the same thought: where is the Big Lap to be found, that we may curl up upon it?

I sometimes have that same thought myself... as on this cold night.

The biggest and boldest of our three cats, unusually subdued due to illness evidently contracted by prowling the night in all these inclement weathers of late, is upon my lap as I attempt to type this. But I am typing (slowly, somehow) with a broken rib and a broken leg, and as I say he is unwell, and both of us are therefore uncomfortable, and he is becoming very grumpy about this state of things... and in the middle of that last sentence, he took himself off, about eight inches, to an adjacent chair.