Picked up Howard's End, which for one reason or the other I hadn't read in so long that I'd forgotten most of the plot (strangely I do remember Forster's other novels much more clearly); I've also re-read some of his short stories recently and it struck me how much... now I wonder, did he influence me? Or did his writing simply strike a chord with seventeen, eighteen year old me? In either case he's perhaps the author who is closest to my world-view, something at the core of my personality. Looking back from almost twice that age, I rather do think he must have influenced me on some deep-down level, even if I wasn't consciously aware of it.
And reading The Other Boat made me sad that he should have found himself caught up in this paralysing dilemma between what he wanted to write and what he could publish; sad for all the stories that might have been told, but never were.
Throne of Jade also arrived yesterday; I'm alternating between books at the moment, fickle person that I am.
I'm feeling balanced again for a change, strangely quiet and pleasantly relaxed. Had a good morning run yesterday, despite the fact that I barely made it out of bed & was convinced I'd collapse after one length through the park; I'm still not into this whole mystique of running -- I do it, sometimes I enjoy it a lot, sometimes less, I like to feel that my body is up to the challenge, but I don't think I've had any of that endorphin rushes or whatever it is the fitness enthusiasts talk about -- but despite the long break this year it seems easier to just fall into the motion and let my body take over. And it was beautiful, still very brisk, everything luscious green and fresh, an abundance of colours in the botanical garden, scent of all kinds of blossoming bushes, fainter scent of the chestnut trees in the cold moist morning air, silvery dew on the lawns.
Then there was work, with more than the usual share of batshit insane customers, and a boring evening at Ch.'s, but biking home there it was again, the quite chilly night air full of scents...
[Also, note to half-blind, procrastinating self, get a prescription for new glasses at the next eye-doctor appointment. I've pushed this off again and again because of the cost (yes, yes I admit it, I'm vain, I want pretty glasses that are not a centimeter thick...) and the fact that since I wear contacts most of the time anyway, I don't really need them (much), but I had a brief scare yesterday when my left eye was slightly irritated after an eyelash had got in there in the morning and I already thought I'd only see Madrid in something of a blur... Eh. ::sigh::]
There's something fundamentally wrong with the concept of trying to get into a CD. I'm not a musical person by a long, long way, and was even less of one a few years ago, but even so I never found either The Fragile or Lateralus inaccessible and found it strange when people claimed that. Sure, the appreciation changed over the weeks, months and years, but I was fascinated from the beginning.
With 10 000 days I find myself in the same predicament as with With Teeth a year ago. Looked forward to it, but in the end can't quite make myself like it, can't connect, don't care enough to make an effort and don't quite see why there should be an effort involved at all. There's beauty, certainly, especially in the first part, but the sense of over-familiarity lingers. Then there's the block from The Pot to Rosetta Stoned (is this supposed to be a clever title? dear god) which doesn't really do anything for me.
It's a little disappointing in a way, because while I wouldn't have called myself a tool fan, and never have been interested in whatever mysticism/ideology they (pretend to) shroud themselves in, when I saw them live, years ago, not expecting much, barely knowing one CD, I did feel there was something, for lack of a better word, spiritual, something intensely powerful, about the music. A positive energy, something transcending the mere rock concert frame. So I tended to ignore what (perhaps unfairly) strikes me as a quite enormous air of pretentiousness surrounding the band and their fans, and just enjoy the music, but, oh well. Then again there is plenty I'd strip away from Ænima, the supposed masterpiece, so perhaps I never understood anything at all. I like Lateralus because it is by far the most focused album, focused on the music without all kinds of (to me) distracting, pseudo-clever nonsense.
Now the RHCP's Stadium Arcadium? That's a CD that makes me happy, and not one I have to try to get into.