johannes k.

it seems the same but it's different

As the old Chinese saying goes : Only when it no longer matters to a man which city he lives in, can he be truly free.


letter to a woman whose husband is dying


we are saprotrophs forming pale frilled crusts on dead hazel and sometimes ash.

apologies to melissa harrison

“Op deze volmaakte dag, waarop alles rijpt en niet alleen de duif bruin wordt, brak voor mij de zon door, een blik op mijn leven: ik keek achterom, ik keek voor me uit, ik heb nooit zo veel en zulke goede dingen tegelijk gezien. (…) Hoe zou ik niet voor mijn hele leven dankbaar zijn? En zo vertel ik mezelf mijn leven.”

Nietzsche — Ecce homo link

the would-be posthuman had about four hours sleep last night because there was a mouse in his room and at least three times IN HIS BED as he was going to sleep — and not just any mouse. it was a supermouse, an übermouse from a different dimension, completely unafraid and capable of the most astonishing acrobatics and determined to explore every square millimeter of the bedroom and very interested in the human. one of the mouse's superpowers was climbing on surfaces that an ordinary mouse would find completely impossible, like powerleads, and bookcases, and then falling off with a thud onto the ground and being completely unharmed. this morning it is quiet on all fronts and there is no evidence of the mouse anywhere eg droppings. it is quite possible it was a vision, like the way some people see the virgin mary, the ultimate test of the super/ego.

someone asked about loneliness and that requires a long answer but let's begin with that old rascal basho :

even in kyoto when the cuckoo softly calls i miss kyoto


couldn't believe my eyes this morning when i opened them, and the nrc, and saw a story about shane tuck, one of my favourite afl players ever.

you see the thing about shane tuck was this : he was a goer. tucky went for absolutely everything. he was not afraid. he would be at the bottom of the pack with half a dozen big blokes on top of him and either he would emerge with the ball or he would get up and take the free kick. he never got injured. i loved that player.


i am on the couch in the woonkamer writing and she's sitting at the table doing a jigsaw puzzle. she says : what are you doing? i say : i am writing. what are you writing about? i am writing about a friend who died the other day. oh! dat is heftig. ja. he died in his sleep. he was only 59. i know when you're 13 that's ancient but it really isn't, i say, with a sad toothless grin. well it is and it isn't ... we played in a band together 40 years ago. playing in a band! she says, that's cool!

there's something about climbing on stage with someone with a big audience waiting to hear something and having to trust that person to do their thing and them having to trust you to do your thing and both of you doing it that makes you brothers for life.

yeah. it really was.

someone asks : do you believe in psychoanalysis?

ha that is a big question. it would take a thousand words to make a beginning in properly answering that... but in short : the work i do with people one to one is partly inspired by psychoanalysis and i sometimes playfully refer to my-so-called-self as an amateur psychoanalyst because (i think) freud's narrative of the unconscious — and the id, ego and superego are hugely important discoveries for thinking about the psyche...

but what is psychoanalysis? the methods developed for practising it are so many and varied! and then there is the question of money and the professionalisation of what is in essence (even freud himself actually said this in his latter years) love.

ha ha yes. psychoanalysis is love. omg.

unfortunately freud was obsessed with the idea that psychoanalysis be seen as a science which of course it isn't and never can be. for me in the right hands psychoanalysis is a kind of narrative therapy, highly speculative and experimental, playful, creative... like love.

or rather, some of the books i've acquired over the years and which have somehow survived the great culls, for example wagga wagga, 2011 and the books i lost when i split up with k. in 1994.

there is a rather dull but very famous essay by walter benjamin called unpacking my library in which he says that ownership is the most intimate relationship one can have with objects i.e. books but 'not because they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them'.

of course, there is great value in being able to make use of things and having them to hand, which ownership can afford, but for me there is no intimacy in ownership of books or anything else. i am no bibliophile — maybe a bibliotheekofiel 🙂 — but what makes a bunch of books in twenty or so boxes a library?