" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

November 17, 2014

To Begin to Know...

I've just finished reading David Leser's book To Begin to Know and have to say that it's another one of those books I've stumbled across at the BBWF filled with personal synchronicities for me.
David Leser at the the Byron Bay Community Centre Saturday August 2nd, 2014.
I have to confess though to knowing very little about David until the weekend of the Byron Bay Writer's Festival this year.
I kind of remembered him having something to do with the wonderful documentary on Paul Kelly, called Stories of Me.
Turns out as well as being interviewed about Paul in the movie,
David was also Executive Producer of the film.
Anyone who has been following this blog would know that I'm a big Paul Kelly fan, having met him at the Byron Bay Writer's Festival a few years ago and buying his great book.
"...And There's So Much Water So Close to Home" Paul Kelly
So, all I knew about David was he was a journalist who was in the Paul Kelly movie.
I didn't know he was the son of the founder of 
Australian Vogue Magazine.
Bernie Leser.


Two of my favourite DVDs from my bookcase.

To begin to know?
I did know though that David was the guy who was going to interview Richard Clapton, who I had bought a ticket to see at the Byron Bay Community Centre on the Saturday night of the festival.

The Best Years of Our Lives?
 I really wanted to see Jon Safran's talk about his book  
Murder in Mississippi,
but the tickets were sold out and the only tickets I could get  to see a talk on Saturday night at the BBCC were to Richard Clapton's talk.
Chapter 8 from David's book.Sounds like a title for Safran's book, don't you think?

Being from a secular Jewish background myself, I could relate to David's story, even though I didn't have a religious Jewish upbringing and have never been outside Australia, apart from a ten day trip to New Zealand's North Island when I was about eleven.
I found quite a lot of personal synchronicities (as I was writing above),
like chapter 7 in David's book, titled "Card Game".
The above design was something I put together years ago and have quoted ever since, as regular reader's here would know.
But also on the first page of that chapter it says David and his wife Merran were married in 1988.
I was also married in 1988 (November) and like David's marriage, mine too has fallen apart and now I'm facing life on my own again.
Plus I'm looking at moving to the area he has just left,
There is also a potentially weirder story developing here, which I'll keep under my hat for now.
Well, here is another personal sync for me.
On page 237 David looks back after 26 years on what went wrong with his marriage.
That is a number reader's of this blog would have seen me writing about quite a bit.
As of the 19th of this month I will have been married for 26 years...
although the marriage is very much dead, with neither of us wishing to revive it at this point.
Room 237Lost illusions?
Well the start of chapter 9 sounds a bit like a shopping list of what's been happening in my life over the last few years, so I can really relate to David's story.
Oh, and here is an amusing aside.
I was lining up on the Sunday of the BBWF at the signing tent to get another author to sign a book I had bought, and who should be in the line next to me waiting to get a copy of a book signed?
David Leser, but he was with a pretty young woman and having an intimate chat, so I thought I had better wait until there is a break in the conversation, which I couldn't hear, but seemed quite lovey-dovey.
I was thinking that David didn't waste any time getting himself a new younger partner after his separation.
But unbeknownst to me at the time, it turned out to be his oldest daughter, Jordan, I think.
 Who I read later is an upcoming musician. 

She reminds me of one of my favourite female musicians,
Tori Amos, who I'll be seeing play this Friday night in Brisbane.
Tori Amos
Speaking of talented daughters, Tash seems to be a chip off the old block, going by this You Tube clip below.

I can sympathize with Tori turning 50, too.
I turned 50 in September, but to be honest I've never really cared about my age on paper once I turned 18, because my motto has always been, I'm only as old as I feel.
 Then again I'm a male of the species and the pressure of society's views about aging doesn't effect the male of the species as it does the female.
Not that I hold a candle (50th) to what society thinks anyway.
Left click on picture to make bigger.
And on the subject of aging and the number 237 I saw this article above in my local newspaper that reads 
"The report calls for $237 million to be spent on providing that care"?!
And of course age is what David's book is all about, mainly the realization that his parents 
(like my own) logically won't be around too much longer.
Not to say that we will out live our parents, but all things being equal, they probably will depart this earth before we do.
And the worry for sons like us is how and when?
Will it be sudden, or a long hard process for all involved, and will we be able to cope as we witness their demise?
Of course, David doesn't focus the book on these thoughts of impending death, but you can read between the lines and feel what he must be imagining about the future as he tries to focus on the past...or maybe that was just the path my own mind started to wander as I read his words.
But this story about David's father is about David's own journey to know who he (David) is also, as the quote David uses in his book by Friedrich Nietzsche
"We remain unknown to ourselves, 
we seekers after knowledge, even to ourselves: 
and with good reason.  
We have never sought after ourselves—
so how should we one day find ourselves? "
DVDs on my bookshelf, including "Stories of Me", $9.99 and "Communion".
I've been questioning my own life and what lies beyond it for years, it's a quest that won't stop until I depart this lifetime and which draws me to movies that try and dissect life and lives, movies like $9.99, Stories of Me (Paul Kelly)  
[not to mention Paul's huge catalogue of songs]
Baraka, and even strange life stories of people like  

I haven't watched that The Life After Death Project yet, as I've only just stumbled across this movie now, looking up  
movie Communion on IMDB.
Sync at work?
 Now that's a movie I'll have to watch soon.
Another detour for a moment...sorry.
 Getting back to Tori's Boston playlist from this year pictured above,
I don't know what songs she is planning to play Friday night in Brisbane,
but two songs in that list caught my sync eyes,
"Bliss" and "Wedding Day".
Father, I killed my monkey
I let it out to
Taste the sweet of spring
Wonder if I will wander out
Test my tether to
See if I'm still free
From you

Steady as it comes
Right down
To you
I've said it all
So maybe we're a Bliss
Of another kind

Lately, I"m in to circuitry
What it means to be
Made of you but not enough for you
And I wonder if
You can bilocate is that
What I taste
Your supernova juice
You know it's true I"m part of you

Steady as it comes
Right down
To you
I've said it all
So maybe we're a Bliss
Of another kind

Steady as it comes
Right down to you
I've said it all
So maybe you've a four horse engine
With a power drive
A hot kachina who wants into mine
Take it with your terracide

Steady as it comes
Right down
To you
I've said it all
I said a Bliss
Of another kind
I said a Bliss
Of another kind
I said a Bliss
Of another kind
So maybe we're a Bliss
A Bliss of
A Bliss of A Bliss of We're a Bliss
Of another kind

 Wedding Day
The deafening sound of silence
Silence the siren between us

Now I drink back the past
Back to our wedding day
We'd hang onto every
Word the other would say

Blanket on bluebell knoll
Under a starry night holding us close
As jupiter winked at the earth
On that our wedding day

I run back to your arms again
Back there safe in your arms again

Your thoughts safely were shared
My secrets to you I gave
I swore angels were born
You said heaven can be made

Above us on bluebell knoll
The laughing seven maids chased by the bull
As Virgo she danced through the dawn
On that our wedding day

The deafening sound of silence
Silence the siren between us

I run back to your arms again
Back there safe in your arms again

Now I take off the mask
That hides all this from your gaze
As you sleep I pretend you dream
Of our wedding day
I had to smile when I saw the red words I highlighted above in the song Wedding Day,
as I'm born on the cusp of Virgo / Libra and my wife is a Taurus (Bull). :-)
Tomorrow (19th Nov) is our 26th wedding anniversary and we have barely said a few sentences to each other all year, so I can't see anything changing tomorrow either.
Left click to make bigger.
As for the "Bliss"song, I was asked to write a chapter in 
The SYNC Book 2 by Alan Abbadessa Green, but turned it down as I felt I really had nothing significant to write for the book.
He later e-mailed me and asked if I would like to write a paragraph on what I thought might happen on December 21st, 2012.
So, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek response about one of my 
favourite Aussie movies Bliss.

And as fate would have it, I ran into Peter Carey at the BBWF in 2013 
and bought a copy of Bliss, which he signed for me.
The Dave Graney / Justin Heazlewood Sync Roadshow
I had no idea that I would ever run into Peter Carey 
when I wrote that piece for SYNC Book 2.
David mentions sending a telegram to the 
Prime-minister of Australia at the time, Gough Whitlam.
 And while I was reading David's book, Gough passed away.
And my highlight (among many) at this year's Writer's Festival was getting the Prime-minister  who replaced Gough to sign his name in the chapter that mentions him in Mungo's book about Whitlam. :-)
My Highlight of the Byron Bay Writer's Festival 2014
 Also I re-watched the movie $9.99 the other day, and in the movie there is a guy who does everything he can to please the woman of his dreams, to even shaving off all of his body hair, and when he did I saw an uncanny resemblance to David Leser.
A character from the movie $9.99.
David Leser
Only $9.99?!
I also saw this news item the other day about Conde Nast, the firm David's father once ran, being one of the first tenants to enter the new World Trade Tower in New York.
" About 200 Condé Nast employees on Monday walked through the revolving doors of the building, America’s tallest skyscraper – the first wave of 3,400 company staffers to occupy the 104-story gleaming tower in Lower Manhattan by February 2015.
Chief among them was Condé Nast’s chief executive, Charles Townsend, whose grey Mercedes rolled into the tower’s south entrance, where he was greeted by developers and other officials."
The First Tenants Of One World Trade Center Moved In Today
 The ironic thing I see about the new building is that no matter what views you have about the events of 9/11, the new building is a stark reminder to the world that one of the greatest crimes the world has ever witnessed was committed were the old buildings once stood.
Sometimes life seems cheap and meaningless, but when we dig into our own souls, like David does in his book about his own life, we find a richness about life that we may never have found by only scratching the surface of it.
These are the kind of books I love to read, because I learn a little more about life when I read about the meaning of what life is to others like David.

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