Wednesday, 21 January 2009

How do we know we are real?

I have been over the moon since receiving the Premio Dardos Award. However, one small thing had been bothering me. Barbara Martin, when nominating me, wrote in her blog, 'Raph Neckmann has imagined a wonderful world of giraffes ...'

Imagined! My home, our village, Knollshire - my family?! Are they really here? Do I actually exist? What is reality ... ?

I called out to Maureen to help me out of this quasi-existentialist quagmire.

"Of course we are here, dear," she said, "We've just had tea!"

I am reassured - no doubts now.

Our eldest daughter Nexi added, "We don't live in an imaginary world, Dad, but you do most of the time!"

Necky Becky offered to kick me in the shins to prove my reality.

Normality restored to our household, I spent a pleasant evening and retired to bed with a quiet mind.

However, I woke much later in the night aghast. I'd had a dream where all my beloved blogger friends, the humans I've been interacting with in the blogosphere, turned out to be fellow-giraffes! Giraffes, not humans! Have I been hoodwinked?

The thought unsettled me so much, I had to get out of bed. Tiptoeing downstairs, I went out to the garden to look through my new telescope. I turned it towards the galaxy where lies planet Earth. Slowly a great sense of calm fell over me. So very, very far away from our own Camelopardalis constellation, yet I can talk with them ...




The sense of the unfathomable was so strong it brought peace. All was still in the garden and the air smelled good.

40 comments:

Sepiru Chris said...

Raph,

There there. Of course you are real and we are real. That constellation links us.

Only the silly Greeks who saw empty space would disbelieve in your reality. And some of those silly Greeks said that the world stopped existing when they closed their eyes, when it is as clear as your neck on a bright, sunny day that worlds begin when one closes one's eyes.

(How would you, or those old Greeks, see empty space anyway? With zero albedo, there would be nothing reflected back. With no radiant sources, nothing to radiate out. Those old Greeks really should have claimed to anti-see nothing, but if their aunty was blind, well, it might have been an unkind way of putting it. But, I digress)

I am glad that you have been over the moon with delight since you received your award.

Technically that is true, Raph, but it is a little short, don't you think?

I think you have been over the moon, and beyond.

Me, I have been under the moon (from a relativistic perspective, looked at from your field of reference, and are the fields fine right now, where you are? I hope so, and that there is some lovely foliage and herbage. I seem to have only roughage today, but I digress again) with delight.

I thought I would send out an echoing ripple today of the previous emotional splash provided by the lovely Barbara Martin (may she ever have a full cud to chew whilst foraging for words and ruminating over her manuscripts (Carefully and neatly, though.)).

Maybe it will lead to harmonic resonance for you. (I have been meaning to ask, do you hear the music of the spheres where you are? Ever since I made Milton's acquaintance I have always imagined them tinkling lightly, but I fear that ambient noise pollution, post the Industrial Revolution here for us humanfolk (humanflok? humanflock?) drowns it out. Do your hear it? The music of the spheres? or does the humanflock's crowing drown it out, even for you? But I digress)

Do you feel it? The emotional resonance? I hope you do. There, there. Maybe there were just too many tannins in your tea. You know what they can do to your fourth stomach chamber...

Wishing you a good day through the e-aether, and a galaxy away...

Tschuess,
Chris

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Oh, this is wonderful, Chris! (I hope Barbara reads it too!)

I have just been out looking through my telescope, (it is 3.08am here). Indeed I hear the music of the spheres, but only with the inner ear. (Even better if I am not chewing the cud as that is a little noisier even than voices).

I had an enjoyable time looking through some of your archives earlier this evening, over which I will ruminate before leaving my comments, as is my habit. (How lucky you are to have a cat who reads by osmosis!)

I am glad that worlds begin when one closes one's eyes, as that is my next task; sleep! I have an interesting visit to a Botanic Garden tomorrow ...

Have a wonderful day.

Giraffitude!

Jeane said...

oh thank god! all is well - this is one of my favorite places to visit and for it all to be not what I imagine it to be, would be so sad AND Raph - I feel so honored that you honored me with this award that I will pick up at another location? (how totally Camelopardalian) and congratulations to you - very well deserved award! I will go pick up my shiny award and display it prominently on my blog - thank you so much!

Barbara Martin said...

Raph,

What a terrible stir I've caused! Chris is right, of course, of the constellation that links us. I, who, write about metaphysical corridors ought to know worlds link with each other like a grid pattern.

Funny he should seemingly be so intuitive as to equate me to giraffes: I do have long legs and like to wear different shades of brown. Perhaps in a past life I was a reticulated giraffe. I do know at one time, very long ago when my soul was young, I was a lemur.

As to my writing, I do have a litigator in my first manuscript. I wonder if that character would fit Chris, small part that it is.

Dear Raph, Chris and I come from the same neck of the woods, so to speak: in what is now the frozen Canada, though he works in a slightly warmer climate.

I need to say adieu as my hiking post is awaiting its photos.

Regards,
BarbaraM.

PS. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Great stress relief though.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Jeane - I'm honoured that this is one of your favourite places! Thank you!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Barbara - how amazing! My metaphysical knowledge is growing - I had not known about the grid pattern!

To think you may have been a giraffe in a past life!

Derrick said...

Hi Raph,

I'm afraid I can't speak on the subject of metaphysics, my brain hurts enough as it is! BUT I can say that I KNOW you're there. Otherwise, who could have given me, Jeane et al the award?!

I hope you enjoy untroubled slumbers from now on.

The Weaver of Grass said...

When you look through your telescope Raph you see the same stars, the same moon, the same constellations as I see here in our beautiful wide sky. Next time I look at the stars I shall think of you down there - just as real as I am here, feet firmly planted on the ground, head in the clouds.

Jeane said...

Raph - off topic here, but couldn't find an email address for you, so - my meme has gone a bit off track because I wasn't to clear apparently and it would put you in the first 5 commenters spot now - so would you like to participate in my meme? that would be fabulous if you do - let me know...

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Derrick! My untroubled slumbers will resume.

I shall repeat every time I feel unsure, "I KNOW I am here!"

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Weaver - that is lovely! 'Feet firmly planted on the ground, head in the clouds!' I like it!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Oh, yes please - thank you Jeane! I shall pop across to your blog now!

Rosemary said...

Congrats on your award.
I enjoyed reading your blog. I am very impressed with the peek into Knollshire world.
You have enlightened me regarding Giraffe world.
Thanks for the smile...........

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Rosemary, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit! I like to make people smile!

I'm popping over to have a look at your latest postings now ...

Sepiru Chris said...

Raph,

Previously, on my side of the telescope, so necessary for our communications, we have thought that our medium of awareness, the telescope itself, dates back to only 1608 (Common Era, in our form of reckoning) from the Netherlands.

And yet, I recently stumbled upon this early Roman haiku (!), indicating that (possibly) Romans discovered your forebears through an earlier, unknown lens... The word "resolve" clearly indicates the use of a telescope, and the rest... well, I thought you would be interested in it for its historical significance...

Haiku to Camelopardalis:

Resolve the details!
Worship the humble Giraffe:
Leopard spots, long neck...

Tschüss,
Chris

Raph G. Neckmann said...

This is an amazing discovery Chris! The Haiku is beautiful ... I will ask our daughter Nexi, (the artistic one), to create a calligraphy panel of the Haiku for us to frame.

However, I wonder if this actually goes back earlier than your Roman times? The word 'resolve' is made of two different roots 'sol' (the sun) and 'reve', which could mean 'dream' or 'ever' backwards. This could indicate the Haiku was composed by an earlier sun-worshipping civilisation.

In which case the telescope would be even older!

As it is dangerous to look at the sun through a telescope, maybe this how they discovered Camelopardalis ie by looking in the opposite direction, (ever backwards).

I suppose our spots are a little like sun spots.

Heather said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Raph - you asked about C&G courses - I took Creative Embroidery about 25years ago when you did a bit of everything including patchwork, and then did just Machine Embroidery about 5 years ago. The book pages are about 12 x 18 cms. so not too large. There is an element of serendipity to them - I splosh and spray various paints and see what happens. Some pages have had images cut from magazines then I have doodled on and around them, others have paper casts or small pieces of textile stuck on.

Heather said...

I thought I'd left a comment on for you but it doesn't seem to have worked so here goes again. Thanks for yours on mine - I took Creative Embroidery C&G about 25 years ago when you did a bit of everything, including patchwork and about 5years ago I did Machine Embroidery. There is a lot of serendipity about the book pages - I have a lovely time splodging and spraying various paints onto the pages and then see what happens. Some have images cut from magazines stuck on and I have doodled on and around them. Others have pieces of textile or paper casts stuck on. It is turning into a record of various experimental bits and is great fun to do.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Heather - you won't have seen the first comment appear until I was around to moderate comments!

I like serendipity in artwork - it often provides just that elusive something one has been hoping for!

olivia said...

Hello Ralph,

I'm so happy to have stumbled into your world (via Chronicles of a Country Girl).

What an absolutely delightful blog!!! Just wonderful ... :D

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Olivia! Glad you like our world ...

olivia said...

Oh my goodness -- I'm so sorry I misspelled your name! Sincere apologies Raph ... :-)

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Don't worry, Olivia - it happens a lot, and I don't really notice!

WellAdjustedRob said...

Hello Raph,

Thanks for your comment and compliment! Regarding not being able to hear Suite Ajigasawa I think you should be able to listen to it hear: http://www.last.fm/music/Robert+Tunstall/Instrumental

Let me know how that works for you, and thanks again!

Rob

Raph G. Neckmann said...

WellAdjustedRob - I've just been listening to Suite Ajigasawa, (and your other instrumentals), absolutely phenomenal! I'm going back there now to hear some more ...

Heather said...

I have just re-read your post and the following deeply serious thought occurred to me: You must be real because you have left a comment on my blog. Furthermore, you should be assured that we are not all giraffes - some of us are fast becoming hippopotamuseseses! I hope we have a hot summer and I can live off salad - all this cold weather just makes me want to eat warm toasty things.

Poetikat said...

Raph, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you and your family are real - real in our minds and in our hearts. How could anyone question it?

Kat

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Dear me, Heather - that is serious!
It's good to know you are not all giraffes, but I know exactly what you mean about the warm toasty things. (I just discovered that a slice of hot cross bun loaf is delicious dropped into a bowl of custard!) If toast is turning some of you into hippos, I may become a giraffamus.

Maybe it's time for a work-out post ..... hmmmmm...

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Poetikat - how very reassuring! I shall go and share this with my family now ...

Eleanor said...

Love that little pic! Yes, we are still all here but I still feel that you need to visit Africa and get acquainted with the African species. You are real, dear Ralph, no doubt about that but you are a Scottish (I think) giraffe and that is a little different.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Eleanor - glad you like the pic. I'd love to visit Africa, and see your giraffes there, but the intergalactic distance is very far ...

I'm not a Scottish giraffe, but I'm interested to know why you think so! (I'd love to explore Scotland, the countryside looks so magnificent, and one of my favourite bands is Runrig).

Eleanor said...

Dear Ralph the 'Kameelperd'! I only know African giraffes: gentle, graceful with the longest lashes imaginable, so every now and then I must call you by your African (one of them) name. Thank you for my AWARD!!!!! I am so honoured. I am going to host my own CEREMONY to post my awards (also one from Poetikat this week) soon. Think I shall toast myself with champagne or no, some delish cold, fruity dry white South African wine! Thank you, dear Giraffe! PS Not Scottish, let me go back to your profile and read it more carefully.

Eleanor said...

Now why did I think you were Scottish? I see your profile doesn't give a location for Giraffeland. But wherever you are, you really belong on the African savannahs!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

You deserve your award, Eleanor! Enjoy your delish wine - we will join you in a toast with honey mead here!

(I shall have to see if there is an intergalactic connection somewhere in Camelopardalis with Scotland...)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh yes, you are certainly real if you have just had tea. I've often wondered if others see the same things I do when we both look at them. You know, does their orange look like my orange. Makes my head hurt. Sigh.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I've never really thought of that, Pamela! I shall ask the family tomorrow at breakfast - describe your orange, describe what your porridge looks like ... oh dear, I hope I don't wake up tonight thinking that my breakfast might not be real!!

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

This is my favorite. How many times have I been outside in my pajamas looking through a telescope? Too many to count. Love it.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Tina, and thank you for your visit. I shall peruse your blog later today.

Another telescope fan! Wonderful!

Sandy said...

Are these giraffes you or Maureen's art work. I love them.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you Sandy - I'm honoured that you like the giraffes!

You may find the answer to your question by looking at Sepiru Chris's blog. (He has made some Comments on this post from which you can access his blog). If you look in the Comments on his Premio Dardo post, he has written something which gives an intergalactic clue!