Into the Mystic

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As the curtain comes down on 2012, I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read Just Under the Surface, especially my friends from Twitter & WordPress, who have retweeted, reblogged or otherwise passed along to others the posts. I hope you have enjoyed reading the posts as much as I have in writing them.

As we take the first steps into 2013, I wish you all a blessed year of love, health, prosperity and dreams realized. May you be inspired to dream bigger, reach higher, to let yourself off the hook for the times in your past where you fell short of the mark and to allow yourself the freedom to be your true authentic self. Enjoy your days!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
LISA

On Communication: Henry Miller

HM Jonathan WilliamsHenry Miller – Photo credit: Jonathan Williams 1961

The following excerpt is from one of my absolute favorite books, Henry Miller’s “My Life & Times”. I re-read this one over and over, usually on Sundays for some reason. I was reading this morning and this stood out for me, Henry’s discussion on getting the point across, whether in writing for publication, writing letters or talking with someone face to face and how in each case we alter whether consciously or unconsciously how we communicate. I thought it was so interesting and true, that I knew I wanted to share it with all of you.

When I write by hand I’m more sincere. That’s because I’m getting away from my “literary” self. The moment I sit at a typewriter my fingers are already activating me, altering me, putting me in the groove of the writer. When I take up the pen it’s a little more cumbersome, more awkward, unnatural, so there isn’t that same facility. I am naturally more literary when I write with a typewriter. Things come out more glibly, more polished too. Whereas with the pen it’s a struggle, and the material seems to come from a different source.

With talk it varies a great deal. It’s like a flood, a cataract, with some people. With others, I hem and haw or I grow silent. It’s how people touch you off, and in what areas. It depends on whom I’m up against, how relaxed I am, and whether I feel in good form and am in a good mood, whether I can reveal and express myself it’s dependent upon all sorts of things. I know that I’m somewhat of an actor and I know that all of us are dishonest to a degree—in the sense that we are actors. We know how good we are, or think we are, or we want to make an impression, and all these things color our speech. If you’re talking to a girl whom you want to impress, whom you’re madly in love with, and you talk to another girl who doesn’t mean a damn thing to you, everything changes, doesn’t it? So it is with men. Some men you want to get close to, or you want to open them up, or you want to impress them.  You feel inferior or superior, all sorts of things. There’s such a multitude of factors involved when we confront one another.

In talking face to face with someone I have had the desire to express a thought earnestly and sincerely and suddenly I have found myself lying or distorting the thought to suit a momentary whim. I think I understand and recognize a lot about myself. And what is there to be ashamed of? There is no absolutely honest man. Everything is mixed, “grayish,” not just black and white.

If I wrote on a typewriter about a certain experience, and then I wrote a letter to someone about the same experience, or talked in person to him about this experience, each version would be different. What you leave out or what you put in is a matter of selection. Now with the machine I feel that I give myself to the fullest. In talking I may give another full expression but with a deeper note of sincerity.

Whether consciously or not, when I write a letter in longhand I am probably coming close to talk. Because I do want to reveal myself. But when you talk about revealing, you naturally think about talk, talking it out with someone, telling someone about something. ~Henry Miller

Junkie for the Printed Word

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 “She was a junkie for the printed word. Lucky for me, I manufactured her drug of choice.” ~Grady Tripp {Wonder Boys}

I’ve always been a voracious reader, but recently I’ve gotten back to knocking off one book after another with the same dedication as I did when I was a kid. Growing up we had three beautiful old Chokecherry trees in our backyard and I would spend much of the summer sitting under one of them reading all day long, only coming indoors for lunch & dinner. Although I know many extol the virtues of electronic versions of books, but for me, I remain stubbornly old school…I love a book I can hold in my hands, the sound the pages make as you turn them, I even love the smell of the paper, binding… I will however cop to downloading Kindle to my laptop to read a friend’s mini memoir sold only thru that source but that remains thus far my only foray into ebooks. So here are some of the ones I have read somewhat recently or am currently reading…

THE BROOKLYN FOLLIES – Paul Auster
WINTER JOURNAL – Paul Auster
THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER – Junot Diaz
ALMOST THERE – Nuala O’Faolain
THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN ORDER  – Russell Kirk
THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN – Siri Hustvedt
A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING – Dave Eggers
ALTHOUGH OF COURSE YOU END UP BECOMING YOURSELF – David Lipsky
THE MAIN DISH – Michael Ruhlman
LIT – Mary Karr
THE ENGLISH MAJOR – Jim Harrison
ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GOING TO BE STRANGERS – Larry McMurtry
RICHARD BURTON DIARIES
READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN – Azar Nafisi
THE MARRIAGE PLOT – Jeffrey Eugenides
ARDENT SPIRITS – Reynolds Price
SEIZE FREEDOM – Thaddeus McCotter
HOUSE – Michael Ruhlman
COME TO THE EDGE – Christina Haag
NORWEGIAN WOOD – Haruki Murakami
ORACLE NIGHT – Paul Auster
THE GAP – Richard Lorber & Ernest Fladell
BY NIGHTFALL – Michael Cunningham

Before I knew you.

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Before I knew you, truly knew you
I knew you love
The unsubtle longing of my heart
Decidedly unquiet, the passionate leaning into the
Landscape of your soul

I could hear your heart beating
Against mine
Oh great impossibility made possible
Transcending all rational thought
Meant to govern such things

For the heart concerns itself little for the confines
Of propriety and reasoning
It knows not, nor cares of “cannot be’s” remaining
Fixed in its path to fulfillment

And much like my heart
I care not to unravel the mysteries
Of our love, and of why it is that
Amongst all men, it is only within your presence,
That I am undone, and

Although so few words have passed between us
Little matter, for within
The tenor of your voice
I live and die
A thousand times
And where you go, I shall follow
And when we are apart, your song within my depths
Sustains and keeps me
Until I return to you and
Find once again, my breath

~Lisa Chapman 2010

Inside My Dream

Painting by Pino Daeni

Sonnet LXXXI: Rest with your dream in my dream

And now you’re mine. Rest with your dream in my dream.
Love and pain and work should all sleep, now.
The night turns on its invisible wheels,
and you are pure beside me as a sleeping amber.

No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go,
we will go together, over the waters of time.
No one else will travel through the shadows with me,
only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon.

Your hands have already opened their delicate fists
and let their soft drifting signs drop away;
your eyes closed like two grey wings, and I move

after, following the folding water you carry, that carries
me away. The night, the world, the wind spin out their destiny.
Without you, I am your dream, only that, and that is all.

~Pablo Neruda

Baby says…

Alison Mosshart/Paul Maffi

Alison Mosshart/Hedi Slimane

Alison Mosshart is an inspiration to me, a true rock goddess and I truly love her style. I’ve been busy working on a writing project and haven’t been posting much so I thought I’d put up these beautiful photographs of her and a link below to The Kills acoustic version of “Baby Says”. Enjoy.

THE KILLS – BABY SAYS