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Japanese composer and pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto

What a beautiful man.

Unfortunately, he died almost a year ago.

Fortunately, his work survives.

I’ve been listening to his music for a while now, and just now came across this graceful trailer of his last opus, ‘opus’.

Why he didn't name it ‘sakamotopus’ is beyond be. Probably because he has class.

But still!

Wondering now,

What would (a) sakamotopus look like?

Moving on.

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, arguably his most famous piano piece, is on my learn-to-play list, and is and will be on my ‘to-listen-to-regularly’ playlist for the foreseeable future.

Below, the version from the ‘opus’ film.

Isn’t the pristine 4K black and white exquisite?

The song is from the eponymous movie. I’ve always loved the word eponymous. For those of you that don’t know the word:



  • (of a person) giving their name to something. "the eponymous hero of the novel"

  • (of a thing) named after a particular person or group. "their eponymous debut LP"

Now I’m wondering… did I use it correctly?

No matter.

Moving on!

Music befitting film.

Sakamoto made many soundtracks and many are great.

The soundtrack he composed for ‘the revenant’ is one of my favorites:

sparse, lonely and longing; a glimmer of hope, enveloped and somehow connected to boundless mystery.

The music a better distillation of what the film is about, than the film itself, perhaps.

A mesmerizing soundtrack.

Even if you have no minute to spare,

listen to the first thirty seconds below.

Step back, breathe out, let go, and be.

Hear the images, see the music and stop the work.

Finally, a playlist with a fitting last song,

called happy end



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Twee gedichten,

het verschil in tijd: zevenhonderd jaar;

lichtjaren, het werkelijke verschil;

twee tuinen,

twee werelden.

Verrukkelijk is mijn tuin

Verrukkelijk is mijn tuin, en alles

wat ik er heb gedaan.

Ach, de tijd die ik daar doorbracht,

rondom mij het leven groen!

Prachtig was het: rustig de sfeer

terwijl de waterdruppels vielen.

Dikwijls als ik kwam, vroeg in de morgen,

waren de wolken mij met gieten voorgeweest.

Dan lagen waterdruppels op de takken

als parelsnoeren om een vrouwenhals.

Bloemen waren vers ontloken

en verspreidden hun geuren, overal.

Aan de statig-hoge bomen

hingen vruchten als vossenstaarten.

Het was of de late namiddagzon

er als gesmolten goud over de bladeren vloeide.

Hoe vaak heb ik een boot daarheen gestuurd

waarmee ik dat wat ik begeerde heb gevonden.


Onze achtertuin is eenzaam

Niemand denkt aan de bloemen

niemand denkt aan de vissen

niemand wil geloven dat

het bloementuintje dood gaat,

dat het hart van het bloementuintje

in de zon is opgezwollen,

dat het beeld van het bloementuintje

langzaam - langzaam

leeg wordt

van de groene herinneringen

en het gevoel van het bloementuintje

is eenzelvig,

in eenzaamheid vergaand.

Onze achtertuin is eenzaam

onze achtertuin gaapt in afwachting van een onbekende regen


onze vijver is leeg.

Kleine onervaren sterren

vallen op de aarde

van boomhoogte

en ik geloof dat ’s nachts,

vanuit kleurloze ramen van ons huis

het lawaai van de hoest kwam.

Onze achtertuin is eenzaam.

Forough Farrokhzad (1935 - 1967)


Nog een laatste tuin dan,

Machado’s tuin.


misschien is Machado’s tuin wel dezelfde als Farrokhzads tuin.

Andere oorzaak,

zelfde resultaat


Een noodkreet van de 20e eeuw,


The wind, one brilliant day, called

to my soul with an odor of jasmine.

"In return for the odor of my jasmine,

I'd like all the odor of your roses."

"I have no roses; all the flowers

in my garden are dead."

"Well then, I'll take the withered petals

and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain."

the wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself:

"What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?"

Antonio Machado (1875 - 1939)

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Arren, a young prince in the Earthsea books by Ursula Le Guin, is sent by his father to the Great Masters of the School of Sorcery with troubling news. The next morning, he is asked by the Archmage to jointly break fast:

‘Come, let us breakfast together,’ said the Archmage, and led them to a table set beneath the windows. There was milk and sour beer, bread, new butter, and cheese. Arren sat with them and ate.

He had been among noblemen, landholders, rich merchants, all his life. His father’s hall in Berila was full of them: men who owned much, who bought and sold much, rich in the things of the world. They ate and drank wine, and talked loud; many disputed, many flattered, most sought something for themselves. Young as he was, Arren had learned a good deal about the manners and disguises of humanity. But he had never been among such mens as these. They ate bread, and talked little, and their faces were quiet. If they sought something, it was not for themselves. Yet they were men of great power: that, too, Arren recognized.

In one short paragraph, the difference between men of the world - always seeking something for themselves - and those who are in the world, not for themselves, but serving something greater - is felt and understood.

‘if the rowan’s roots are shallow it bears no crown’

The paragraph is from Book Four: The Farthest Shore.

Arren, the prince, ‘nearly a man, but still a boy,’ a face as if ‘cast in golden bronze, so finely moulded and so still’, and the Archmage, ‘a short, straight, vigorous figure (…) his face reddish-dark, hawk-nosed, seamed on one cheek with old scars (…) eyes bright and fierce,’ first meet under the rowan tree, near the fountain at the heart of the School.

Arren’s true name is ‘Lebannan’, meaning ‘rowan tree.’

A man in the world, meets a soon-to-be-man not-quite-yet in the world….

‘… a man does not make his destiny: he accepts it, or denies it. If the rowan’s roots are shallow it bears no crown.’

Your roots are deep. You have strength, and you must have room, room to grow. Thus I offer you, instead of a safe trip home, an unsafe voyage to an unknown end. You need not come. The choice is yours. But I offer you the choice. For I am tired of safe places, and roofs, and walls around me.

These aren’t my words, of course.

But maybe read the book.


Go here to subscribe to my letter of news and receive my writings somewhat regularly and if you want to support my work you can do that right here 

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