“The saddest defiant speech in the history of sadly defiant speeches”*

In Current reading, I Ching, Local projects, news coverage, proto drafts, Synopsis on July 16, 2015 at 6:57 am

Easy? Anything but. Reading the Iliad again should make perfect sense in the present context.

“I can’t believe that Greece will implement the agreed reforms,” says a German MP (the German Parliament doesn’t vote until tomorrow on the third Greek bail-out catastrophe.) How can Greece implement them? The so-called reforms are an invitation to slow suicide through self-suffocation.

Easy solutions? None.The most telling image in the reporting last night wasn’t the photogenic shot of riot police outlined by flames (following a brief interlude of fire bombings). The most telling was that of the Greek PM and his Finance Minister, in a state of total exhaustion. And the most appropriate words applicable to the situation? Coined centuries ago in China under other circumstances. They appear in the word-for-word translation of the I Ching under hexagram 3 (Initial Difficulties): “pleurer silencieusement des larmes de sang se succédant come rides à la surface de l’eau” – meaning, to silently cry tears of blood, like ripples on the water’s surface.

Words which, clearly, do not apply to my personal circumstances.

News reports and live coverage provide the tang of immediacy. Rarely do they go beyond the ripples. That’s not their job.

For a former political aid, memories surface of late-night debates on topics less fraught but just as divisive.

Politics. Easy? Anything but.


Meanwhile, thus far, Moving Day – 8 has involved carrying down a number of heavy potted plants with more to bring downstairs for temporary shelter on a friend’s terrace – assuming the friend’s car agrees to start and to run throughout the entire exercise. Financially-straightened folks don’t plan out their days in the same way affluent folks do. A lesson lost on the likes of a Dr Schäuble, I’m sure, Germany’s present Finance Minister, and member of the so-called Christian Democratic Union.


Story, in all this? Alive and well, if streaming mostly in slow mental re-writes until a sentence has the right ring to it. What serves as my summation of the previous piece of writing: done. What I do with it next: still unclear.

In this as with everything else, life proceeds in its chaotic ways.

* A tweet by Zoe Mavroudi published on The Guardian’s live coverage stream last night, following Greek Prime Minister Tsipras’ final words prior to the vote.


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