Search

kafkaestblog

It is a whirlwind in here

Tag

world

It Was Friday 13th Two Years Ago And COVID Was In The Air

In my manuscript, There Was A Time, Oh Pilgrim, When The Stones Were Not So Smooth  I finished a chapter about the ‘elderly Dutchmen party with Alison Alexandra’ on Friday 13th. I took a trip and, on 19th March, began what turned out to be nearly a full year of Pandemic writing.The next chapter of the novel begins “In times of Pandemic, one of Alison Alexandra’s greatest worries is being bored.”

I started planning to write about the Pandemic the day after I heard that China was constructing hospitals solely devoted to COVID patients. I knew then the world was going to be in a lot of trouble. I was proved right.

 This is how that chapter began.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In times of Pandemic, one of Alison Alexandra’s greatest worries is being bored. And though she doesn’t want to test the theory, she believes she would rather be ill than bored.

“I’d step lightly there,” says R/Jane-the-Ghost.

“You would?”

“I would,” says R/Jane-the-Ghost. “And I know what I’m talking about. Yes – I do.”

Within the week of Wuhan City in China being shut down, and the building of emergency hospitals to house the sick, Alison Alexandra knew this would inevitably become the fate of the world. It might have intruded a bit more quickly than she has anticipated, but not by much.

Alison Alexandra of course thinks about the Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times”. But she also knows that this is a phrase in English that has no Chinese equivalent. The closest curse in Chinese is “Better to be a dog in peacetime than a human in time of war”.

“I won’t argue with that,” says R/Jane-the-Ghost.

And she doesn’t.

So, it was at the beginning of the Chinese curse that Alison Alexandra sets her plan into motion. It is simple, though dependent on circumstance.

Alison Alexandra arranges to get those with whom she’d like to share the End Times – if End Times they prove to be – to join her at her house and wait out the famine with a feast or two. Or three.

“I don’t think the End Times are supposed to be good times,” says R/Jane-the-Ghost/

“Not to put too fine a point on it,” says Alison Alexandra. “But aren’t you supposed to know?”

“Point taken,” says R/Jane-the-Ghost.

A Feast From The Earth On EARTH DAY

I saw a sight that I believe I have actually never seen, though it is fabled the world over.

Standing on the front stoop to test the air I saw a robin on the grass. Robins are rather skittish and usually, when a human presence is so close, it will make them hop (and they truly do *hop*) away. But this one stayed put.

My understanding is that birds ‘hear’ the worms under the earth – that is how they detect them. I assume that is why they so often have their head in a cocked position. However, for this robin, the listening part of the chase was over.

As I watched the robin made a strike into the earth with its beak. It was then that an almost cartoon-like image occurred. The bird had a portion of the worm in its beak and began to pull. It pulled and pulled and the worm stretched and stretched. It made me think of someone pulling a threaded needle from the fabric they were sewing. The length of the worm became even longer than the robin’s body. With this constant and slow tug, the worm finally popped out of the earth.

Then the robin had a go at it.

The bird took at the long, brown earthworm and began to snip off pieces with its beak. It could not have been more effective if it had a pair of scissors. Substantial, beak-sized pieces which it swallowed quickly. The long earthworm became shorter and shorter, giving the robin less to hold on to. In under two minutes the worm became one remaining morsel hanging from the robin’s beak. It was only then that the robin began to hop across the grass. The last piece of worm disappeared inside the robin and the robin quickly took off.

One satisfied predator.

One less worm.

Putin And Satan Walk Into A Bar In Kiev On The Way To Hell

~ Vladimir, Vladimir, who’s being a bad boy?

~ I protect all the Russias.

~ Who’s your daddy?

~ They tell me it is you.

~ Then don’t lie to your father.

~ Why?

~ It only makes the dark side darker.

~ But I must lie to get what I want.

~ And what do you want?

~ To be loved.

~ You are too vile to be loved.

~ Even by my father?

~ Who art in Hell. Hollow be my name.

~ I will at least make them respect me.

~ Or kill them in the process.

~ Of course – it is what they deserve.

~Tell me.

~ What?

~ What do you really want?

~ To be taller.

~ That sounds true.

~ My shadow stretches over the world.

~ Yet your body barely blocks the light.

~ I will be noticed.

~ You will be trampled.

Putin and Hitler Walk Into a Bar in Ukraine On the Way to Hell

~ Impaler, how are you doing?

~ Just fine, Adolf – how are you?

~ Missing the old days.

~ Why do you call me Impaler?

~ Vlad the Impaler – the perfect bloodthirsty tyrant

~ You were no slouch, Adolf.

~ Ja – but you are a good student.

~  Better than you, Adolf.

~ What makes you think that?

~ I’m going to win.

~ No – not possible.

~ Why do you say that?

~ I at least believed in something.

~ What was that?

~ Myself.

~ They know I am great,

~ You are despised, Impalier.

~ So were you, Adolf.

~ But I didn’t care.

~ But I am feared.

~ Not enough. Your reign will be short.

~ I have ruled for a long time.

~ But you used to know when to stop.

Franz Kafka Has A Dream And Then Ponders His Life

In Kafka In The Castle, I fill in the ‘missing’ diary entries from Kafka’s real diary. He either did not fill in these days himself, or he destroyed them. There are some estimates that Kafka destroyed 70% – 80% of everything he wrote.
*********************************

15 January 1917

Dreamed that I never dream.

“That can’t be true,” said AB, dropping the papers she held. “Everybody dreams.”

 “It never happens to me,” I insisted. “And what’s more, I don’t really believe that anyone else dreams, either.”

“Of course people dream,” said AB, dropping bunches and pots of flowers on the floor. “I dream all the time. I’m full of dreams every night.”

“Even tonight?” I asked, excited, because I had some power, some type of knowledge, although I didn’t know what it was. “Tonight,” she repeated. “Especially tonight,” she said, dropping bowls of snow on the floor. “It is right now, right here.” Her voice was also full of excitement. “I am dreaming about you.”

“Me?” I said. “You can’t be dreaming about me. I’m right here – I’m not in your dream.”

“Not only are you in my dream,” she said, dropping automobiles and tram cars on the floor, “but you’re talking in your usual obstinate way. You’re cross, and you’re silly, and you’re shaking your hands at me.”

“I’m doing no such thing,” I said, wringing my hands and starting to yell.

“You’ve taken your absurd thoughts,” she said, dropping pieces of Prague on the floor, “and you’re forcing me to be part of them.”

“Even if it’s true – all true,” I said, trying to sweep Prague into the river, “it still isn’t me. You’re the one having the dream.”

AB snatched the broom out of my hand, and dropped it to the floor. “Then try to wake me,” she said.

16 January 1917

I have the feeling, that what I really am doing at the office, is committing suicide. And doing a good job.

Franz Kafka [Again] Faces The New Year During His Own Pandemic

I posted this last New Year, little thinking it would be appropriate for this New Year. However, it already has many viewers today, so why not give it another run?

+++++++++++++++++

Not only did Franz Kafka go through ‘The Spanish Flu’, he contracted it and survived.

In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in his missing diary entries.  Two such are New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

I will point out that Kafka was often abrupt in his real diaries. There are just two sentences for Sunday, 02 August 1914, the day the First World War began: “Germany has declared war on Russia. Swimming in the afternoon.”

**********************

From Kafka in The Castle

31 December 1917

The end of the year. The end of a love. The ebb of a life. Even the Empire can not last much longer.

01 January 1918

It is strange how we are expected to wake up on a Tuesday morning – just as any Tuesday morning – and be full of hope because it’s the first day of some arbitrarily appointed year. I walk the streets and it is still Prague.

Move Over, Greta Thunberg, Let Me Address COP26 With My Climate Change Warning

Well, first, I would never ask Ms. Thunberg to move over. I would, indeed, stand aside and let her take my place. I say “Thank God” and  “Blessed Be!” that someone like her is kicking ass to save the planet.


And, anyway, my up close and personal warning will not fit into this last day of the COP26 gathering. It comes too late.


But it only happened this morning.


Through the wee hours of 13 November, I had to open two of my windows, turn my fan on high, and discard bedclothes in my attempt to sleep, and I was not fully successful.


13 November, There is supposed to be snow and freezing temperatures. There was not.


With the dawn finally allowing light into the sky, I turned on the radio. I was told, in no uncertain terms (because it was repeated) that the dockyard on the harbour was the warmest place in all of Canada. 13C.


I took particular (and startled) attention to this, because the dockyard on the harbour is at the foot of my street. I was in the hottest place in Canada. 

13C on 13 November.


This is Climate Change!

This is Global Warming.


I understand if folk would rather talk to Greta Thunberg about this subject (so would I).


But, for the moment, I am living proof.

Is There Any Chance – you know – At All?

Is there any chance

That

The machine

Might be in

The ghost?

Might the turn

Of

The worm

Be ass backwards?

That

All ships at sea

Don’t see

Eye-to-eye?

That every answer is really

Looking for

The correct question?

And the search

For truth

Is far far

Far far far

Longer

Than a day

Is long?

~ DE BA UEL

QWERTY of the World – Unite (do not Untie)

qwerty-keyboard-840x420-1

WHEN IN ROME!

There was:

an Abyssinian (I made her),

an Albanian,

a Bolshevik,

a Brataslzvian (he was worst),

a Brazilian,

a Canadian,

a Cannibal (uh-oh),

a Colombian (smoking hot),

a Cynic (she didn’t believe the Canadian),

a Dominican,

a Druid (he prayed for the Dominican),

a Druze,

an Eatonian,

an Estonian,

a Fool (ha ha),

a Freizen,

a Gazian,

a Graduate,

a Haligonian,

a Helgolandian (he was and gone),

an Israeli,

an Iranian,

an Iraqi (they three went into a bar),

a Jamaican,

a Japanese,

a Kazistanian,

a Kurd,

a Lithuanian,

a Lush (one in every crowd),

a Mongolian,

a Monster (them is the odds),

a Nederlander,

a Norwegian,

an Olympian (he was game),

an Opportunist (coulda been me),

a Pole (he vaulted over the rest – *joke*),

a Quebecois (I’ll never forget her / Je me souviens),

a Russian (great dancer – he had the steps),

a Scandinavian,

a Southerner (I melt when she says ‘Y’all) ,

a Stevedore,

a Transvalanian (out for blood),

an Ukrainian,

an Unitarian,

a Vulcan (he was eerie),

a Waalloon,

a Wisenheimer,

an Xanaduian (and on her dulcimer she played),

an Xaverian (he shot daggers at the Dominican),

a Yugoslavian

and

a Zarahthustain (thus he spoke a lot)

The Canadian won the first game.

 

(image) cdn.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/qwerty-keyboard-840×420.jpg?7497b8

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑