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Tag: guardian angels

“Lohengrin”, Act 1‏

"Lohengrin" - Ernst Fuchs

Lohengrin (1977)

Ernst Fuchs


this morning, requiring especially strong
medicine to get me through my day, I put
on Lohengrin, Wagner’s masterpiece,
directed by the thorny and unpredictable
Werner Herzog, from Bayreuth, the high
temple of that music, its very Acropolis,
1990, to lighten my load, to give me
mythic, maybe even Sisyphean,
perseverance, it didn’t disappoint

Elsa of Brabant is accused by Friedrich
of Telramund of having killed her brother,
who stood before both of them in line to
the throne, Ortrud, Friedrich’s wife, stands
silent throughout the first act looking
positively Machiavellian, Lady,
incontrovertibly, Macbeth

Elsa, summoned to plead her corner, tells
of a shining knight who appears to her in
her dreams, calls upon him to defend her
honour, he shows up at the very last
moment, on no less than a swan

he’ll only fight for her, he says, after she’s
offered him her anticipated kingdom, her
throne, her very honour and chastity, to
do with what he will, should he win for
her her cause, if she’ll pledge to never
ever ask about his origins, despite his
extraordinary entrance

she accedes, of course, though no other
knight, critically, has shown up to redeem

the shining knight conquers, of course,
but Ortrud, during the celebrations,
lurking ominously nearby, doesn’t give
the impression that anyone’s going to
live happily ever after, so long as
she can help it

it was the end of Act 1, I got up, made
a sandwich, I’d watch the following act
tomorrow, and so on, until the distant
end of that four-hour saga, to which
the epithet “Wagnerian”, for “epic”,
also, manifestly, belongs

wistfully I wondered about my own
knights in shining armour, who might
be my own guardian angels, entering
on fabled, maybe, even, swans,
concluded one of them had just been
Wagner, who’d turned, from heavy to
at the very least wistful, my day

wishing you Wagners


Nemo – “Ennead I” by Plotinus (9)


Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2013 16:20:33 +0000
To: Richibi’s Weblog
Subject: [New comment] “Ennead I” by Plotinus


You wrote, “I am at the most aware of only one thought, that thought being that
something is thinking,”

Unless you argue that something can think without a thought, there are at least two thoughts here. First, the awareness that something is thinking. Second, if something is thinking, that something is thinking a thought. As you said, “consciousness of my consciousness”. There are two “consciousness”:

There is a thinker who is thinking a thought, and there is an observer who is thinking of the thinker. If the thinker and the observer are the same, the thought becomes an infinite recursion, like an image reflected in two parallel mirrors. This is partly why I said people who speculate this have way too much time, in fact, only eternity would suffice.

the world and everything in it is in the eye of the beholder

Where is the beholder himself, if everything is in his eye? Does the world exist when the beholder closes his eye?



you’ve grasped the Cartesian dilemma,
Nemo, the solipsistic circumference – see
This is the census again on that last
series of sibilants – that defines our, not
eternal, as you suggest, but very mortal
coil“, our incarnate cage, or soul, if you
many parts“, or woman, solipsistically
and fatally, however remarkable, or
even historic, their contribution
Plato died, Proust died, either leaving
merely ephemeral ideas and, however
celebrated and honoured, dust
it is a frightening, and sobering, conclusion,
we cannot escape the prison of our reason
but with the key alone of our imagination,
for everything beyond the logic of that first
statement is conjecture, the play of our fears
and desires 
something is thinking, I think, then identify
with, become the vessel of, that idea, or, if
you prefer, that thought
that thought is still a conjecture, but it has
an immediacy you can’t deny, it is your
entire, quite literally, reality 
but any other thought is of course also
conjecture, just without the manifest
incontrovertibility of the idea of one’s own
existence, my orange might be your red,
but I’ll never be you, or what I interpret as
you, which is not at all how the other guy
sees you either, my lens is merely my
picture of the world, what is real 
reason has done a great job of holding it
all together for most of us, but it rests
fundamentally on the wings of our fallible,
of course, imagination, but for the absolute
apparently miracle of mathematics, which
seems to subsist even without our
speculation, popping up like signposts
everywhere, an existential guardian angel,
Pythagoras, maybe, was right  
not even dimensions, Nemo, I woke up
after a week in a coma, a car accident, in
a white room, quiet, empty, with only what
seemed like motes floating on a ray of light
coming in from a window, still, ethereal, and
perhaps, I wondered, part of a new afterlife,
who knew, I couldn’t assume I was alive, I
only knew that I existed in an unfamiliar
height, I reasoned, and width, I thought,
were evident, there are at least here two
dimensions, and calmly contemplated
the possibility of the same exile the villains
had felt early in Superman“, cast away in
their two-dimensional prisons
Kant was wrong, I concluded, we do not
assume time and space as initial certainties,
I don’t have depth yet   
later a nurse came in from the centre of my
frame creating at least the impression of a
third spatial element, after which I
concentrated on getting better
that my first thought was of Kant after a
week in a coma has remained for me a
searing example of my essentially
cerebral proclivities, be they ever
nevertheless so fundamentally
unsubstantiated, I think that’s a riot
Does the world exist when the beholder closes
his eye“, you ask 
who knows
though I would think so