February 23, 2007


Click To Play
If you can't see it here, try going to my page

I made this video today to try to get back in the mood which goes with leaving Reg waving sadly as my train pulls out of the station in Rome. But I'm not feeling sad at this moment so I couldn't make my facial expression match the beautifully melancholy words of Les Feuilles Mortes written by Jacques Prévert. This song was always in my repertoire whenever Reg and I performed in public and I used to give it a lot more Piaf-panache than I do in this quiet little version. I'm just going offstage for a while to gather material for the next installment so please amuse yourselves by playing this clip over and over.


February 19, 2007


The blackout on February 12 lasted from about 3pm to about 5am the next day and I stayed out as long as possible but coming back to a freezing home and trying to read, wrapped in a blanket, by the light of three rapidily diminishing candles just didn't work for me. I was therefore forced to go to bed early, something I haven't done in months, years, ever. No, that's not true, but early to bed and its mirror-image, early to rise, are not, generally speaking, my normal way of being.

I should have written this down when it happened but unexpectedly busy days lately have conspired to blur my recollection. So I probably shouldn't call it a Satori experience since those are supposed to last. Maybe it was more like a Kensho. Anyway I'll do my best to describe something extraordinary which was, in every respect, completely ordinary.

A tree blowing in the wind

I was lying in bed, too awake to sleep, looking out of the window. In this recumbent position all I can see is the sky and the top of a tall tree. A strong wind was propelling pale clouds across this narrow horizontal frame in an ever-changing procession of watercolour shapes occasionally swirling into dark funnels, inhaling, exhaling. Against this shifting background, bare tree branches were like Chinese brush strokes in stark black ink tipped with fronds of baby-fine hair, swaying and whispering. I was thinking about what questions I would put to God (the T-shirted one) when I begin the next series of interviews. I felt that the thoughts going through my mind were just elecrical circuits, neurons clicking, buzzing or whatever it is they do, lighting up here and there in familiar patterns and I wanted to see if I could know without knowing, without thinking in this electric-circuit manner: a power-cut way of seeing.

As I kept watching the motion picture playing behind my window, the wind intensified and the procession of clouds picked up speed. My heart started beating faster, I was keyed up, thrilled.The branches were no longer simply swaying, they were actors in the drama, reaching up, trying to break away from gravity while their filigree tips brushed against the softness of the clouds as they moved past. The clouds were...I can't describe it...extraordinary. Deep black holes appeared, swallowing great chunks of woolly whiteness then returning them in another form - constantly, rhythmically moving across my screen from left to right. The softness..oh the softness of the clouds! I could feel what it would be like to touch them - skin? silk? feathers? I don't know, something of infinite softness. The whole 'movie' was infinitely soft, tender, electrifyingly loving. My heart kept pounding in tune with the yearning tree branches and the travelling clouds. And then I got it - the satori or kensho or wotsitsname. The language of the heart.

"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye."
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Thanks to find me a bluebird for this perfect quote).


February 15, 2007


As in "power cut". A major one on Monday disrupted central London but extended as far out as my street and my computer, and everything else that one takes for granted, as if flicking a switch was as natural to humans as breathing. Of course it isn't and when that artificial limb goes kaputt we are bereft. No light? No heat? No hot water? No fridge? No kettle? No radio? No TV? NO COMPUTER???? You cannot be serious! As if that wasn't bad enough the same unacceptable disaster happened again today - for hours and hours and hours. Apparently the generator broke down which was put in place of the electrical stuff that died when a burst water main flooded it on Monday. So there's no guarantee that whatever sticky tape they've used to hold that generator together will last long enough while they fix the important thingy and I'm holding my breath as I type, fearing that I'll hear again that dreadful sigh electrical equipment makes as it's about to die.


February 10, 2007


I now have a stock of The God Interviews on hand so if anyone in the UK or Europe wants to order a signed copy from me you can have it, pronto, at £12 plus £1.10 p&p. Or 20 Euros including p&p. Send me an email if you want to order from me, or go to my lulu shop .


February 3, 2007


If you type interview with God or similar words into Google and other search engines you will indeed find us, amongst many other sites. I want to make it clear that the comic strip series, begun here in March 2004 as Augustine Interviews God and now published as a book titled The God Interviews, has no connection whatsoever with any other website, video presentation, publication, religious or non-religious, commercial or non-commercial group or individual. What you see here and in The God Interviews is what you get and we, Augustine-the-cartoon and me the Natalie, are on our own, unaffiliated and unaligned.

There. That's just for the record.


February 2, 2007


I've lifted this photo from Frizzy Logic , she whose frizz is a halo, whose logic is unique and whose pictures never lie. The location is a Nepalese restaurant behind Euston station, the date is January 31, the time is too late for lunch, the protagonists are, on the left, Ivy Alvarez, rising star in poetry's sky, holding Mortal, her crystalline new book, and on the right, it's me, innit? With a bit of arm-twisting, I persuaded Frizzy to apply the guillotine treatment to Natalie, resulting in this far more accurate record of who is behind the Interviews. Also present off-camera is Jean whose story-in-installments, The Third Monk, commands and deserves immediate attention. The four authoresses met to exchange news and signatures but I arrived very late due to unavoidable circumstances so I regret there was only time to say hello, how are you, goodbye. I'm sure Ivy's book will ring bells everywhere, it's strong and beautifully crafted, deceptively gentle words with dark undertones.

Ivy Alvarez and Augustine with their books


January 31, 2007


First of all I want to say a huge THANK YOU to those who have posted reviews or mentioned The God Interviews on their blogs and/or at the Lulu site. This is to me the most heartening and powerful stimulus imaginable, spurring me to keep working, keep moving on this road less travelled. Thank you so much, Rachel the Velveteen Rabbi and Ivy and Jean and Dick Jones and DefSufi and Zhoen and Nathan and Ka and Sarah and Toanke and Buck & Mike and Chris Rittke at 49sparks, and Steve and Danny Miller and Amba and Frizzy and Deborama and Andrew Schamess and Dakota and Towanda and Dem the ghostwriter and Dale and Marja-Leena and Alison and Patry Francis and California Fever .

Talking about Dawkins

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