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Showing posts from September, 2010

Swimming Under The Moonlight

I just meditated and swam beneath the moon and stars, a truly wonderful start to the week.

The impulse to swim at night always reminds me of Paul Bowles' magnificent novel, The Sheltering Sky - and in particular a passage where Kit finds herself, at night, looking into a garden at a wide pool, surrounded by graceful palm trunks:

"She stood staring at the calm dark surface of the water; straightaway she found it impossible to know whether she had thought of bathing just before or just after seeing the pool..."
Her swim becomes a revelation:

"She stepped out into the moonlight and waded slowly toward the center of the pool. Its floor was slippery with clay; in the middle the water came to her waist. As she immersed herself completely, the thought came to her: 'I shall never be hysterical again.' That kind of tension, that degree of caring about herself, she felt she would never attain them any more in her life."
From Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky.  (Ph…

The War Zone now available on Kindle for only $4.99

My novel, The War Zone: 20th Anniversary Edition, including my diary of the making of Tim Roth's multi-award-winning film of the book, is now available on Amazon Kindle for only $4.99.

The Bamboo Forest (A Plant I Love)

Our son is lucky enough to go to a school that has its own bamboo forest, a completely magical space that can enchant adults just as much as children.

The scale of the forest and the wondrous passageways through the bamboo take you completely out of your immediate world and place you not simply in nature, but nature at its most primal.

There is for me something unique about bamboo. I love all plants, and some people prefer a palette of colors with flowers all around, but the swaying green and golden-dry bamboo shoots and leaves of any species (and there are almost 1500 species of bamboo in the world) stir my spirit in a way that is quite profound.

Watch the extraordinary "Bamboo Forest" fight sequence (on YouTube) from Ang Lee's masterful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for a sense of the scale of bamboo in the wild, and its beauty.

As someone with a passion for gardening, I also enjoy growing bamboo - although it is a plant that you must be wary of, since there are two v…

Sofia Coppola's Somewhere wins Venice Festival's top prize

I love the films of Sofia Coppola - I think she is one of the most truly original and gifted filmmakers of her generation, with a unique personal vision quite different from her father's or any of her contemporaries.

Since The Virgin Suicides, through the stunning Lost in Translation (Bill Murray's best performance, even including the unforgettable Groundhog Day), and including Marie Antoinette - which I loved for its pure surface-quality and removed sense of being in the Royal Palace, almost totally unaware of the French Revolution unfolding outside (while listening to Bow Wow Wow, of course!) - Sofia Coppola has created haunting, dreamlike works that, to my mind, are like a kind of post-modern "world-suburb" alienation akin to Antonioni at his finest.

Her vision may to some extent be privileged, it may have something to do with Warhol's love of surface (she sat upon his knee as a child at family gatherings), but it is unique and just as meaningful as the grit o…

Hyperbole And A Half

Just discovered a very cool cartoon blog called Hyperbole and a Half by Allie. Don't know much about it or Allie but I just love it...fresh, like the produce:)



























A Meditation on Meditation...

It's vital, I think - especially as the father of two young children - to have some moments in the day of silence and stillness, time in which you can be totally "alone" and quiet and reflect on who fundamentally you are, and ask the question: what is this world - this extraordinary and beautiful though sometimes savage - cosmos that we live in?

For me, that time is early morning, sometimes very early morning. I especially love the dawn, although often I wake to write much earlier, sometimes as early as 3am or 4am (I also mostly go to bed early and I only ever wake naturally; I would not be so happy getting up at 3am if it were forced on me by an alarm).

In summer especially the dawn is a truly magical time, especially when it is warm enough (it usually is in Los Angeles, although this summer has been unusually cold) to sit outside by the large Buddha in our garden and meditate.

I have been a Buddhist for about 20 years, ever since the death of my first ch…

100 minus 1 day (Winnie-the-Pooh)

“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you” - Winnie-the-Pooh (from Sarah Louise Wilson's Facebook page, she is really worth checking out, a beautiful soul).

Pooh is the Dalai Lama is love. There is nothing that is not beautiful in the Hundred Acre Wood...I would love to live there for eternity with all my family and friends. I am trying.

(My favorite edition of Pooh is A. A. Milne'sThe Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the -Pooh, with illustrations by the incomparable E. H. Shepard. Ours is a much-loved and much-thumbed copy:)