Thursday, November 10, 2022

Old Gods with New Eyes - A Script

     Written in the first week of October, I originally began preparing this piece for a competition hosted by Antigone, an open forum for articles on the classics of Ancient Greece and Rome. Very heady stuff, worth checking out. Alas, the scope of my ambition for this particular piece went beyond the limits of the competition and so did the word count by quite a wide margin. But as they say, "Whatevs." I enjoyed the process and continued to tinker with the piece over the month as I put it into a respectable and presentable format. I would've published it sooner had my family and I not--finally!--succumbed to the scourge that is Covid-19 over the Halloween weekend. With our recoveries well under way, and without further delay, it is time at last to share my latest work. Enjoy! - DH

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Fragment: The Hidden World

     Another little piece, this one dates back many years and I just happened upon it again the other day. For what it's worth, it's based on a true story; what you read here are events I witnessed with my very own eyes. The inset artwork is a detail (slightly manipulated) from 'Cubic Space Division' by M.C. Escher, a lithograph from 1952. Besides being fascinated by Escher's work, general aesthetic and philosophy, much of his work speaks to the idea of hidden worlds, and I find a peculiar resonance between this particular work and the subject of this Fragment. Perhaps you will sense it as well.     

    For whomever it may interest, the background image is my own work--an artistic manipulation of a photo appropriate to the subject matter. I usually will do a few different versions of these Fragments, trying to work out the best balance of words and images. As someone who has no professional experience in design but only a genetic one, I do the best I can with my limited tools and knowledge. In any case, I enjoy it, but as Escher said, it can be a challenge to bring forth into daylight what one has envisioned in the darkness of one's mind. Included below are two of the other variations I came up with; ultimately, I went with the version selected as a result of extensive market research. That is, I asked my 5-year old and he chose the one you see above. I couldn't help but agree. No, seriously, he can be quite insistent.

All the best,

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Fragment: The Misplaced Cog

In keeping with the previously published Fragment, here is another bit of writing--actually two bits--that lives in its own little space. While I will let the writing speak for itself, I should mention that the background image is borrowed (without permission) from a graphic novel titled 'Neurocomic' written and illustrated by Drs Matteo Farinella and Hana Ros, and published by Nobrow Press

And of course, the lyrics that make up the second part of this Fragment are a parody of "Home on the Range", considered one of the 100 greatest songs of the American West. It speaks to my origins, I suppose ... Sing along, everybody!!!

 In an interesting occurrence of serendipity, not long after I wrote the above, I came across an interview on the YouTube channel Theories of Everything, hosted by Curt Jaimungal. In an interview with theoretical physicist Abhay Ashketar, Prof. Ashtekar discusses something very much along these lines. The particular part of the discussion, of what is a very long interview, begins at about 19:30 and continues for about four minutes. Much of the interview is about mathematics and physics that is unfortunately beyond on the capacity of this particular mind but for the first 30 minutes or so. The channel is generally quite interesting if you're into some ... headier topics. ;^)

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!