Making love with a woman and sleeping with a woman are two separate passions, not merely different but opposite. Love does not make itself felt in the desire for copulation (a desire that extends to an infinite number of women) but in the desire for shared sleep (a desire limited to one woman).
rereading Kundera. Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Peninsula - Seamus Heaney

When you have nothing more to say, just drive
For a day all round the peninsula; 
The sky is high as over a runway, 
The land without marks so you will not arrive

But pass through, though always skirting landfall. 
At dusk, horizons drink down sea and hill, 
The ploughed field swallows the whitewashed gable 
And you’re in the dark again. Now recall

The glazed foreshore and silhouetted log, 
That rock were breakers shredded into rags, 
The leggy birds stilted on their own legs, 
Islands riding themselves out into the fog

And drive back home, still with nothing to say 
Except that now you will uncode all landscapes 
By this: things founded clean on their own shapes, 
Water and ground in their extremity.

One day you and I are going to have a conversation.
We’re going to talk about the political obligations of a fiction-writer in her artistic endeavors. We’ll start with a narrow question, because you and I know the old saw that every journey begins with a single step.
What are the obligations on a writer who is exploring a particular consciousness, a flawed and fallen consciousness, and who is exploring it in a way that only the novel and no other art form allows? It will be a short conversation. I will say “There are none,” as I have said, time and time again, to Hitler, to Stalin, to all the despots, to Rushdie’s favorite Ayatollahs, to book-banners in modern India, and to everyone who ever knowingly or unknowingly relied on an assumption that such obligations existed without making a reasoned argument to support such claim. The only obligation is an artistic one and it is to tell the truth of an art.
Or may we tell only the tales of the good or tales that are balanced and fair or tales that leave us untroubled? And whose good? Whose balanced? Whose fair? Whose untroubled? If you have answers, tell them to Soraya, an Iranian poet, whose heartbreaking words I read out at the Edinburgh Book Festival because she was too busy being incarcerated for her writing.
It will be a short conversation, ours, unless you disagree.


Kali Salwaar, The Black Garment (2002)

Perhaps cinematography is the best form to show the unfolding of Destiny. Destiny, not as predetermined fate; but as it is getting made-as an unfolding of time and events within time. It gets made as people meet and exchange- a few words, or a look, or money. Seemingly inconsequential encounters change you forever and each time. In Kali Salwaar I try to come close to this pulse of random movement and imperceptible ‘happening’.

In scripting this feature length film the attempt was to flesh out the stark form of the short story (on which the film is based) by the selection and integration of events that would evoke the sense of ambiguity, humour and wonder that abounds in the everyday world of the seamy side of the metropolis of Bombay. The events are the occurrences of the ‘bazaar’ and concern common men and women-prostitutes, pimps, gangsters, drunks and artists who inhabit and work within these market places.

The sequencing of events in and around Sultana’s life and the inter-relationships of people, situations, objects and gestures that infuse the film follows a ‘logic’ as fluid as money-but infinitely more mysterious. One enters into a playful relationship with the narrative and ‘reality’ by referring to traditions of poetry, cinema, painting and music while drawing on popular idioms as well.

The Last Hotel

The last hotel
I can see the black wall
I can see the silhouette on the window
He’s talking, at a rhythm
He’s talking, at a rhythm
But, I don’t care
I’m not interested in what he’s saying
I’m only interested in the last hotel
I’m only interested in the fact that it’s the last hotel
Deep, discordant, dark, sweet
The last hotel
The last hotel
Ghosts in my bed
The goats I bled
The last hotel

Jack Kerouac

(read by Patti Smith)

I have lost a telephone
with your smell in it

I am living beside the radio
all the stations at once
but I pick out a Polish lullaby
I pick it out of the static
it fades I wait I keep the beat
it comes back almost alseep

Did you take the telephone
knowing I’d sniff it immoderately
maybe heat up the plastic
to get all the crumbs of your breath

and if you won’t come back
how will you phone to say
you won’t come back
so that I could at least argue

Leonard Cohen, “Waiting for Marianne” from Flowers for Hitler