Monday 13 October 2008

Thanks and Impressions

New Yorker finds no Cult of Ideology in Peakian group,  but much of charm and character
I hope my putting up a post will not be too much,  but I wanted to give my thanks and some impressions.  I have just gotten back from NY airport and it is late but wanted to get it out of the way.  I want to thank Martin Huxter and Anthony Peake and Karl LeMarcs most of all,  as well as all whom I had the high  honor of meeting.  It is bittersweet,  as one realizes that emails and internet  leave out so much that is essential,  and that the charmed circle in Liverpool is closed to some of us geographically,  and we fall further out of sync with the life of the Itladian community.  My time in London and Liverpool brought the painful awareness that living online is not a good thing.

I spent Friday night at the Park Plaza in London,  and met Martin there.  This was the beginning of a realization:  I had related to him online for so long as a sort of "lost boy".  So when he made his appearance,  it was a shock to see the person.   When he appeared in the hotel lobby,  I was startled by his height,  his build,  his beautiful jacket and shoes.  And moreso by his posh London accent.  He is self possessed and charming.  He can speak on many topics,  and with substance and ideological reference.    He is far more polished and impressive than I had thought him to be.  His manners were elegant in the posh bar,  and with the bartender,  and I was proud to be seen with him.  He is a young man who is integrated and lively.  He has impressive eyes,  and a coy giggle which was alarming in its power to charm.  His gait is confident and masculine.   He seemed for all the world an educated London aristocrat.  When I took his arm to stroll outside to smoke,  I thought of Morrisey's song,  "Hand in Glove",  with the line,  "just stay on my arm,  you little charmer."  For that is what he is.  And I had related to him all wrong in emails,  and felt a sense of shame for having underestimated him. And horror at the falseness of online relating.   The film critic ought to have been an actor.  To anyone who has read Martin's fine writing,  I highly recommend meeting him.   If ,  that is,  you can stand his youthful charm and intelligence:   Quite a heady brew. 
My next shock came with LeMarcs.  I know now that Tony's idea of time dilation is a reality:  time slowed and stopped and seemed to expand,  in my first moments of beholding  him.  I had actually wanted to be disappointed;   prayed,   in fact,  to be disenchanted,   but it was not to be.  There was the same electric charge in the air that had surrounded Barack Obama;  it was palpable.  His phycical bearing brought at once to mind what Nietzsche spoke of as  "that miracle,  when nature has placed the head of a genius on the body of a ruffian,  so that the result is a Nero,  a Caligula ,  to be worshipped. "  It is as if some transcendent being has descended into solid flesh,  without fully having the ability to grasp his condition.  His very footstep is solid and Nero-like.  He is a king,  and I  can say no more;  do no more,  except to phone my brilliant New York therapist,  who already has assured me that there is hope;  that he has  plans for  a cognitive method to "shake those Brits out of your life for good."  . . . Tony is all I knew him to be:  beautiful,  refined, intelligent  modest,  with a lovely voice.  I had long wondered how  a man with such impossibly gorgeous features could possibly find a  fit wife,  and the thought that she would be as beautiful as he had never occurred to me (  I don't know why,  but it hadn't).  She is a female Anthony Peake,  with her own beautiful eyes and gorgeous mouth to match her husband's.  It was beautiful to see them together.  Di and I agreed that Penny is a perect English rose.  . . Liverpool itself,  like a Britsh hetero brother of the gay and waywayd  American Provincetown:  such an aura of Ptown surrounded it at night;  the same mix of elegance and roughness and water and boats.  In itself,  like a dream,  and almost a portent. . . And such vivid impressions I had of Jo,  who was adorable,  and Di,  who seemed like my long-lost self,  and Dr. Alan Roberts ( I hope I have not got his name backwards)  and Groundhog,  and Rich,  and Dorje.  But I feel I cannot continue on.  The three I loved first and longest:  Tony,  Karl and Martin,  were human,  but splendidly human;  I found no flaw,  only charm ,  charm.  and more charm.  And something more. . . And as I said,  it is bittersweet,  as the realization hits,  that the online was always but a shadow's shadow,  and cannot continue on in the same way,  now that the reality has overtaken it.  I am reminded of the life I had before my husband died,  when people were solid and things were real;  and one must sigh and wonder how much one can invest further in that beautiful circle which is fast closing us out , -  we who live in the farthest reaches  -   with no intention or awareness  of having done so.    But again,  my deepest thanks to all. 


Rosh said...

DARLING SUSAN: i was waiting to hear from you...and im so happy you had a wonderful time....and as u know..bittersweet thts life..!!!o

Karl Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie: I have just read your post and your emails.

Firstly, I am very glad your return trip has been safe and that you enjoyed your time with us here in the UK.

NO-ONE I have spoken to from the gathering has anything but the highest regards for you.

Tony and I feel deeply humbled that you would travel so far to meet us and join in with our usual pub lolling and cerebral banter.

All I can say is to repeat my comments from the previous post, which I will do so below, but you have, for almost 18 months or so now, been a very dear friend to me, and someone who holds a very special place in my heart and life - and as we told you on Saturday, that will NEVER change.

It is my intention to hold regular residential CONSCIOUSNESS WEEKENDS starting in the new year and your name is already at the very top of the list for desired guests and delegates so Tony and I hope one day that you can return to our shores, and indeed that we ourselves may soon travel to you and the symposium.

My review of the meeting:

High Noon, Saturday;

I walked along the waterfront with a sense of magnitude about the atmosphere. It was a surprisingly warm and sunny day, the reflections across the glass-like dock casting an eerily alternate vision of the reality I was perceiving. The cobbles below my feet echoing to the sound of my step as I reached the entrance to the hotel.

The foyer was empty, but for two rather alluringly comfy sofas, but I sensed this wasn't where I was to meet the guest of honour for the inaugural International ITLADic gathering, so I strode to the elevators and ascended to the next floor, or the next level (to make the subtle ITLADic analogies more obvious)

The elevator stopped and a mechanical voice though the ether announced "Reception", the doors parted, to reveal the myth, the woman, the enigma, Susan Marie Kovalinksy................grinning and shaking like a 5 year old on Christmas morning.


Anyway, after a lengthy hug and some of my almost legendary settling down tactics, and with dear SMK clinging onto my arm, most welcomely, we walked around to Blue Bar while she told me ALL about her time in London.

After helping her imbibe a couple of large scotches, I had just began to calm her down when the legend that is AP and his lovely wife Penny arrived.

This of course sent dear SMK frantic again! But she was soon lolling like a good 'un with us in the unfeasibly low but vastly comfy sofas.

We had a good couple of hours talking all manner of nonsense before the doors began to sway with the arrival of ITLADian after ITLADian.

Johar (JoJo) arrived and swept SMK off for a crafty fag, Dorje (Tony) was a joy to meet; seriously, his artwork with the circles is stunning and he even pursuaded me to go and pose for a photograph for him on the Dock with a lifebelt ring as my background!!!

Baphomet (Dave) and soon to be new BLOG/FORUM member Nefertiti (go on Kath *wink*) arrived looking both beautiful and excited (and that was just Dave) *smile* Woodsprite (Di) arrived, clutching her camera with a Machievellian smile, Ed sauntered in, as only Ed can do, Rich brightened up the whole place in his usual way and Aloha Gary appeared and immediately berated me for the price of the beer! *smile* Dr Alan Roberts grabbed me and we spoke of deeply existential hooplah for an hour with a couple of awful gags thrown in, and it was lovely to meet young Steve with his Father, another potential new ITLADian.

I must also say hello and thank you to Rebecca and Ian who accosted me in Blue Bar to say they'd overheard me and were very interested, so I hope they come along here as well.

Plus the bar staff who quickly worked out that when I appeared in the vicinity of the bar to immediately prepare a large scotch and water and a freshly opened bottle of red wine.

It was also superb that Robin took the time to call me on my mobile phone to speak to me, Tony, SMK, Jo, Gary and Di. And I took my phone out onto the dock to speak to Robin's daughter. Hi Lily. *waves*

Several hours and much wine later I escorted a somewhat inebriated but equally ecstatic SMK back to her hotel. Once again with her clamped onto my arm, again MOST welcomed but this time also much required to prevent her falling into the water! *smile*

She said she had enjoyed one of the most wonderful days of her life, and that Tony and I were just as we told her we would be, just two fellas who talk toot and deeply intellectual whatnot whilst maintaining the level of quite horrendous jokes.

I got dear SMK back to her hotel, gave her another hug and thanked her, for her time, her effort and her commitment to our cause.

It was a personally wonderful day for me to finally meet my dear friend of 18 months, and I know that everyone in attendance was delighted to meet her and we all had a tremendous day, lots of laughter, much very interesting discussions, lashings of wine and the odd bar snack as well.

Johar, Woodsprite, Aloha Gary, Rich and I then all retired to another of our increasing list of ITLADic pubs, the beautiful BRIDGE INN in the historic Port Sunlight on the Wirral where Tony and Penny met us later in the evening as we had a booking at a local restaurant to end the evening.

Jo and I would like to thank Tony and Penny for a beautiful Chinese meal (My Duck with Stuffing Prawns was FABO!!!!), and we ambled back to our hotel around midnight at the end of a wonderfully ITLADic and momentous day.

We toasted all those missing ITLADians and I showed SMK the beautiful comments on my BLOG post from those who wished they could attend; Cam, Robin, Roshni, RafromCa and Jesamyn and SMK was deeply moved and we raised a glass to you all.

Thank You to everyone who made the effort to come along and enjoy a wonderful afternoon. It was my delight to see you all again, and meet new people, Dorje in particular. It was wonderful talking to you and your art books are stunning mate. I cannot wait to see what you do with my photo.

Kath, see you soon dear. Ed, Di, Rich, Gary, we will all get back together in a few weeks for an afternoon and evening of more fun. And Penny, thank you too.

Absolutely wonderful day everyone.
We have more photos to upload when I have time.

I'll always remember being 'strangled' by SMK in Blue Bar

Susan Marie: Thank You my dear.
*bows respectfully*

Karl Le Marcs said...

Robin has created a Flickr group for us to share our photographs of this event.
Thank You Robin.

Here is the link and Woodsprite, Johar and myself (plus a couple from Dorje, with more to come from him) have added our photos already, so please take a look through them all, and if anyone has any more then please add them or email them to me and I will add them for you.

International Association Of ITLADian Philosophers (IAIP) Photo Album


SM Kovalinsky said...

I forgot 2 things: 1. To mention the majestic and refined Aloha Gary. Such an honor; Aloha to you, Gary!
2. To apologize to dear Robin, who innocently called from the US, only to hear my drunken babbling as I had just attempted in desperation to strangle the life out of dear Mr. LeMarcs. Alas, the life force in him was too strong, and he recovered within moments. Racked up some bad karma on that one, for certain. SO SORRY SWEET ROBIN!!!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie: *giggles*
Hello you! *big hugs*

How could you forget our Gary?

I've tried many times since I first met him but it's impossible.

Robin thought you were delightful SMK and she knew that as you were in my company that I wouldn't allow anything to happen to you (even though you were throttling me at one point)
I'm so pleased you came, enjoyed our humble company and travelled safely home.

Anthony Peake said...

What a simply fantastic day. Two or three times I looked round the assembled group and thought to myself that without ITLAD these people would all be strangers. In fact, with the exception of Richard (who I have known since 1971) and my beautiful and massively supportive wife, Penny (since 1994) all the others around the room have become part of my world (Bohmian IMAX?) since March 2007 onwards ... and now we are all such great friends.

The level of chatter, laughter and general leg-pulling was more like a group of friends who had known each other years.

My thanks also to those who were with us in spirit if not body. On Thursday night I met up with Alex (Shane), Martin (HB)and Jake Horsley. a similar atmosphere pervaded The Spice of Life in The West End of London. Althought the three of us made a good deal less noise than those assembled in The Blue Bar, the level of conversation and itladian banter was no less intense.

Thanks to all involved ... especially Susan-Marie who was the catalyst that brought everybody together.

I cannot wait for our next event!!!

Baphomet. said...

I just want to say me and Kath really enjoyed ourselves and as Tony said it was like we have known you all for years.
Karl we have got to get together again in the near future you are a great guy Kath was still laughing afterwards over your wine stained lips lol.
Truly genuine folk.

SM Kovalinsky said...

I forgot to say that I really found Kath lovely and sweet as well!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Baphomet (and Nefertiti): Dave, thank you.

It was a pleasure meeting you and the lovely Kath again.

Dear me, Kath and I can giggle can't we?

Absolutely yes, indeed we must get together very soon, that would be lovely.

I really like the photo of you both I took with Kath in my Trilby (even with Rich's bum just above your head Dave!)

And do I not suit a purple lip liner then???

Jesamyn said...

OH WELCOME HOME SMK!!!!! You sound as all holiday makers do, having to descend from Cloud 9 and the nirvana of treading the path to the Holy Grail cunningly disguised as a bar of blue hues!!!All the wonderful photos and fantastic descriptive narrative especially by Karl which simply TRANSPORTED me there so wonderfully...I must go with you next time!!!
Robin, fairly Itladic that you mention Ricky Ricardo as SM and myself have on occasion referred to ourselves as Lucy and Ethel!!Hope to hear more soon of the wonderful gathering, and now all will love you and I cannot keep you to myself!!!
love Jesamyn.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Well, actually, I am only hoping I was tolerated, as I had been ill, and was not looking or feeling well, and come to think of it have been ill for 2 years now. The pleasure was all mine. What floored me was the feeling that I was in Provincetown, as though Tony and Karl had turned Liverpool into Provincetown. I got back to the airport in New York and flinched to hear the accents again, and those lilting voices are silent now. They told me "welcome home" at immigration, and I felt disoriented. As though I had been bewitched over there in the UK.

Nefertiti said...

Hi everyone! my first input on this site, woohoo I did it! told you I would Karl hehe!
It was really great to see you all on Saturday! As my baphomet said it was like we had known each other for years. It was lovely to meet Susan(absolutely love your accent!) Jo,I think is a really lovely person and I must admit that trilby looked better on you!
It was funny watching Tony pace the floor while on the phone being VERY expressionate (now I know that's just a man thing haha!)As always it was great to meet Tony and Penny and can't wait for us all to meet up again soon!
Karl you're a scream and I think most of those empty glasses on the table were yours!(only kidding)
well, now I've finally written something I just need to work out how to send it!!!

SM Kovalinsky said...

I was glad to meet you as well, thank you so much. It is hard to think of my eastern seaboard accent as anything to love, and all of you had lilting voices which I found a nice relief from the New York brand. When I got back to the airport here, the irritability and harshness of the airport employees hit me anew in its Yankee abrasiveness.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Jesamyn: I'm glad you enjoyed my somewhat flowery narrative and our shared photos of the event. Believe me, they all come nowhere near to the fun and jollities we all had. Even my words fall as empty raindrops!

Susan Marie: Oh you were FAR more that merely tolerated SMK. It was my pleasure and priviledge to meet you, escort you to the venue, look after you and introduce you to everyone.

Nefertiti: KATH!!!!!!!!!!
Message to everyone: If Kath and I are ANYWHERE near as DAFT on BLOG as we were at Albert Dock then it could get interesting!
*winks at Kath*
FABULOUS to see you hun.
And how dare you!!!!
*giggles and re-applies wine lip gloss*

Johar said...

Jes, I really hope you can jump the water to see us next time, it would be wonderful!

Susan Marie, I'm glad you're home safe and sound, please take it easy for a while and get your strength back. It was so lovely to meet you, you're a sensitive, expressive, emotional woman and I very much look forward to dragging you off for a crafty 'fag' again soon *giggle*

Kath, It was so lovely to see you and your lovely Baphomet again. I really enjoyed swapping childhood stories with Dave and realising how similar they were. Thanks for the lippie tip, by the way Kath!! *laugh*

Karl, The look on Penny's face was a picture as I applied lip balm to your lips to help you remove the purple stain and you gaily pressed some tissue between your lips, hilarious!!!

It was a truly WONDERFUL day and I am very much looking forward to meeting up with you all again in the heartfelt hope that those of you who could not attend due to geography will make it next time. *fingers crossed*

Baphomet. said...

Poor Karl he wont live this lip gloss down now,Stick to the white wine in future mate.

Johar it was great to talk and thanks for showing an interest in my beliefs,i suppose im a little like Anakin Skywalker in revenge of the Sith lol, i turned to the dark side.

But Tony is the Major force now in my beliefs.

Kath my Nefertiti, so glad you joined us .

Ed Gilchrist said...

Hi all.... Ed here...

Not much i can add to what has already been writ...and by folks many times more eloquent than I..

SMK: So sad that I did not make time to sit with you and learn about you and some of your life. Another time is all I can promise. But I will entangle myself with Karl and Tony and catch a glimpse of you.

The measure of this great afternoon is that the time flew by and people still had much more to share when it came to the moment to leave. Although most people had never met before that day, it felt like a gathering of lifelong friends.

Just perfect.
Thank you.


Aloha Gary said...

Well given ITLADIAN theory is it really a surprise that we got on so well because we've all been round the loop and done the 'big meet in blue bar' so many times now? *giggles*

and we could not have even met unless our daemons were trying to get us all to notice this!

So when are we next getting together to re-meet again? Can anyone's daemon remember when it is we next meet and where, and did we all have a really good time?

answers on a postcard (or blog) to...


Hurlyburly said...

Susan, thank you for the incredibley kind words. I was sorry I couldn't make it to Liverpool but was very glad that you had such a great time with Tony, Karl and everybody, as I was sure you would.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Johar: It was lovely to watch you and SMK stagger arm-in-arm into the sunshine for your now legendary 'Crafty Fag'(s)
And yes, thank you for the lip balm, poor Penny was in hysterics with incredulity. (oooooh)

Baphomet: Thanks Dave. We should remember is was dear Kath's raging giggles that prompted the lip balm incident!
*winks at Kath*
I really enjoyed talking some Anton Szandor LaVey toot with you; there is MUCH I can add from my esoteric training days that I'm sure would interest you (and we've not even mentioned The Master Therion yet!!!)
I'll get across to Liverpool again VERY soon and we'll get together mate. Email me.

Aloha Gary: GAZMAN! Good Point, and next time we get together I would suggest the ITLADic Meeting House, where the sofas are of equal comfyness but the ale and wine are far more cheery to the pocket (as you and I know very well mate.)
Interestingly the five of us that retired from the Blue Bar to the Bridge will be expanding by at least 2 the next time we get together, which I suspect will only be in a few weeks. But you and I need to start moving on my CONSCIOUSESS WEEKEND plans, so perhaps simply the two of us need an afternoon of ale-infusion sooner than that. What says you mate?

Ed: Indeed yes, you are always most welcome to entangle yourself with Tony and I, indeed read above the comments to Gary, and I'll speak to you on email/text about the plans soon.
Lovely comments Ed, it indeed was a spiritually surreal day, which summed up my "from Ha-Ha to A-Ha" thesis perfectly.

Hurlyburly: You and I need to get together soon also. I have sourced a new ITLAD Meeting House in the Midlands, and I have a good idea of where could be perfect in the South of England also.

EVERYONE: Once again THANK YOU. Your comments here and on email to me have been superb. I know that Tony is humbled by it all, and I feel honoured to know and be friends with you all. Those of us fortunate to live reasonably close to each other will keep meeting up regularly, but these special gatherings are VITAL, and we WILL do it again most certainly.

Hurlyburly said...

Karl - Sounds good, I would like that. Let me know, hope all is well.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Hurlyburly: Excellent!
Will do!

CD...M said...

Lots of favourable and interesting comments to read.

SM: You wrote ...

"I am reminded of the life I had before my husband died, when people were solid and things were real; and one must sigh and wonder how much one can invest further in that beautiful circle which is fast closing us out , - we who live in the farthest reaches - with no intention or awareness of having done so."

I am reminded of a quote from a poem by American Edward Markham, lest we who may yet live in the farthest reaches, feel such things:

"They drew a circle and shut me out,
heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But, love and I had the wit to win.
We drew a circle and took them in."

And what better way to draw a larger circle, but with philosophy!

You also wrote:

"And as I said, it is bittersweet, as the realization hits, that the online was always but a shadow's shadow, and cannot continue on in the same way, now that the reality has overtaken it."

What better way to temper philosophy, as well; to inform it; but with reality.

A shadow's shadow ... what a great line; that sounds like the Eidolon's Daemon.

What a trip, for you, to London; a real life epic adventure. Here's hoping things go well for you, back in Kansas.

Your insights and lessons, from Philosophy, Susan Marie, are always most welcome here, at this end; a gift to everyone else, I believe, as well. Before arriving at this blog and the CTF Forum, I had little idea that things like will and consciousness were topics of such interest; nor that philosophers concerned themselves with these topics.

As for living online, versus, not online; online chatter, when real, does provide fertile ground for explorations of ideas, and not only that, ideas that bear fruit, and good fruit, are always in demand. Understanding is a curious thing; it's the reward, in many ways, for the curious.

Perhaps judge the online and the non online worlds, by a simple test: in each, do you feel loved and cared for. Hopefully, the answer is yes, in each case.

Of course, one doesn't want to otherwise avoid living, by being online, albeit, that is tempting at times.

All the best, to everyone.