Monday, August 1, 2022

Fragment: Pia Mater

The first of many perhaps, I hope and intend for Fragment to be a series of brief writings of various types, whether musings on a particular topic or brief explorations of as yet undeveloped ideas. Ideally, the fragments as presented will have a completeness in of themselves that will not require any more than a page. This first Fragment has, in my humble opinion, that sense of completeness.

I've long been fascinated by dreams--by my own dreams as much as dreams and dreaming in general. There have been many a morning when a dream was so vivid and yet so bizarre, so muddled and yet so full of meaning, that I had to write it down as soon as I could. The following is a fragment of one such dream, merely a piece of a longer dream of which only this piece remained powerfully resonant as the new day broke upon my slumbering consciousness. I've titled it Pia Mater, Latin for "tender mother", also name of the third and lowest of the meningeal layers that surround the brain and spinal cord. While modern science remains unable to delve too deeply into the nature of dreams, the title struck me as appropriate, suggestive of a place in the mind where even trepannists fear to tread. - DH

P.S. Future fragments will feature far less prelude, certainly shorter than the pieces themselves!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

"We See" - Lyrics for an unrecorded song

     "We See" was written in November of 2019, only a few weeks before the Coronavirus pandemic's first infections became news. In many ways, it was a different world then; in other ways, nothing much has changed at all. I can't even remember for sure which mass shooting had taken place around that time, spurring me to write this particular song. Mark Darvill and I had written a handful of songs around that period, however, and I remember being hesitant about this one, though I shared it with him at the time. It felt exploitative in a way to make a song out of such suffering, so I left the music unfinished. However, as time has gone on, this particular aspect of life in my home country has, sadly and frustratingly, continued to be a consistent facet of American life.

    So it is not with pleasure but with regret that I share with you the lyrics of a song I wrote two and a half years ago about the rash of mass shootings plaguing the U.S., because nothing has changed. Not yet anyway. What with recent events in Uvalde and the July 4th parade shooting (and less-noteworthy-because-fewer-casualties shootings occurring with regularity elsewhere), maybe ... maybe somehow, somewhere, in someone, something will start to change. And the grammatical premise of this song will no longer be accurate.


    The image featured here is from a painting by my father, Vin Scheihagen, and according to him, is simply titled "Gesture #1"; it would have been painted perhaps as long as 20 years ago, so the painting itself was not inspired by the events that motivated the writing of the song.
    
    I may one day finish the recording of this song, even if as a basic demo; I had begun recording a version of the song but was unsatisfied with it and it remains unfinished.

Monday, June 27, 2022

A Ghost of Power - A Short Story

     "A Ghost of Power" was written originally for a competition hosted earlier this year by the Classical Association, a competition that I was ineligible for as it was only open to UK residents. Despite this, I took it as a personal challenge to see if I could meet the proposed deadline anyway; I did, though the story still ended up being well-beyond the required word count. Written during the 2022 Chinese New Year holiday, it preceded the Russian invasion of Ukraine by nearly a month, so the story's original impetus had nothing to do with that, though it would be easy to draw parallels between this story (based on a different "historical" invasion) and the ongoing invasion. 

    More to the overall point of (though also not the inspiration for) the story is the image reproduced below on the "cover" page: Gustave Doré's 1872 etching 'The New Zealander' which shows an imagined scene of a ruined London being viewed by tourist as one would take in the ruins of the Acropolis, the Pyramids of Giza, or Chichen Itza. I found the image in an article for BBC culture by Paul Cooper - The timeless allure of ruins - describing the fascination with ruined civilisations taking place in European culture throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Cooper notes the "fearful portents" the Europeans of the day read into the "crumbling remains of previous civilisations": 'If Rome could fall, could it also happen to London, or Paris?' 

We know well enough the answer to that question.

Special thanks to MD and LG for comments and feedback. Also, I hope my attempts to create a more pleasing look come across with this post; I've found Blogger's formatting options to be excruciatingly limited and inconsistent, so I don't know about you, but I've found I'm much happier with the results this time around. 

Thanks and take care!






Sunday, April 4, 2021

Imperium Sine Fine - A Short Story

       This is an updated version of the previously published work titled Imperium Sine Fine, primarily featuring a new, more aesthetically-pleasing layout. Apart from that, there was one significant addition to the story itself as well as two quotes which now preface the story. Enjoy! - DH

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A Finger Pointing to the Moon: An Essay on Reflection, Water, Darkness and Light

This is an updated version of the previously published article featuring a new layout. Hopefully, the improved presentation will add to reading experience by making the article both easier to read and more attractive to the eye in general. Thanks! - DH





Thanks to MD and LG for feedback and editing.

The art featured here is by Taiwanese painter, Paul Chiang, whose work has been used without permission; the photos were taken by myself. His website can be visited here.