Zen and the Art of Susie Cooper


Having counted up to the 14 day s of quarantine, we are now counting down to our first removal day, 28 June. That’s 12 days from now, so that’s why I feel physically anxious. Short nights as Midsummer approaches don’t help with this, and there is a lot of time pressure on blog writing and yoga practice. Also taking a little time to see the friends that I haven’t seen ‘in the flesh’ for almost a year and a half.

I am afraid I am still wrestling with my books. This is a really visceral struggle, and I can’t seem to develop a grounded position from which to make proper judgements. This morning I looked at the shelves and saw this book:

Now, I know that this book was influential in my life, but how? Why? Now I am intrigued. I open it up at random, and here we are. It’s an American road trip, combined with elements of philosophy.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has become the best-selling philosophy book of all time.

Aha! Now there’s a reference to The Rubáiyat of Omar Khayyám. We were introduced to this in the 6th form in ‘Cultural Studies’ and a seed planted in the fertile mind of a 17 year old is bound to take root. This is not even my original copy, a bootlegged hardback copy with thin paper and a mostly green cover. My current copy was bought at a charity shop for £1.50. I could replace it for 20$. There is a fascination in dipping into this river and maybe finding a rock that seems entirely familiar, but perhaps the trees behind it are much taller, or have disappeared or an entire housing development has been built, or maybe it just stands out as a mental landmark with perfect clarity.

And Susie Cooper?

You wouldn’t think that we would be buying anything, when the main task is to persuade stuff to leave the building. There are a couple of exceptions. Al has bought ANOTHER guitar (don’t ask how many that makes!). I have say, it’s a very pretty black and cream electric, an Epiphone version of the Gibson played by Jimmy Page on Whole Lotta Love.

And Susie? I had never heard of Clarice Cliff or Susie Cooper until I made a short piece for ‘Craven’s Collectibles’ for Anglia TV (yes, laugh away but those gigs paid the rent and I learnt lots about collecting and collectors.) Our crockery is mainly about Ikea plates and glasses, now all the £1-a-plate blue edge Habitat has all found its way into flower pots. So what’s the point of carting it to Crete? I am going to try buying a very few Susie Cooper pieces that we can enjoy eating from until we break them or wear off the designs in the dishwasher. Yes, life is for living and things for enjoying.

END MUSIC – just for the energy

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