Praise You

This is a link to a radio programme here about Bertholt Brecht, activist and theatre practitioner.

It is about his poem ‘Vergnügungen’.

One of the contributors talked about how the poem, just 16 lines, came out of an adventure journey he took, fleeing the Nazi party. She relates how he moved to Denmark, then Sweden, then Finland and on each move discarded more and more of the things and people he knew. In the end all he had was what was before him. Hence the poem.

It was in equal measure inspiring and interesting and set me off on my own adventure journey.

Vergnügungen

Der erste Blick aus dem Fenster am Morgen 
Das wiedergefundene Buch 
Begeisterte Gesichter 
Schnee, der Wechsel der Jahreszeiten 
Die Zeitung 
Der Hund 
Die Dialektik 
Duschen, Schwimmen 
Alte Musik 
Bequeme Schuhe 
Begreifen 
Neue Musik 
Schreiben, Pflanzen 
Reisen 
Singen 
Freundlich sein

Pleasures

First look from morning’s window
The rediscovered book
Fascinated faces
Snow, the change of the seasons
The newspaper
The dog
Dialectics
Showering, swimming
Old music
Comfortable shoes
Comprehension
New music
Writing, planting
Traveling
Singing
Being friendly

The idea of journey or adventure struck me as a form of moving meditation, that whilst journey being a moving thing, it always brings you to the ever present here and now. To the simple pleasures.

There is a quote from Renny and Terry Russell in ‘On The Loose’ that goes

‘Hot fudge meets deep needs’.

Renny and Terry Russell

I always thought of it when I got to a campsite, wet and cold, and put up the tent and put on my dry clothes, and had a hot drink. Deep needs were met.

In Germany, Vergnügungen is a standard text, and another contributor talked about how it is used to invite students to write their own version of Vergnügungen. Their list their own ‘hot fudge’ things.

I listened whilst looking through my own ‘morning’s window’ to my back yard and the scrub beyond. It is a sea of green, the cow parsley is as high as an elephant’s eye, the fledglings have fledged. We have a pond full of froglets. Simple things. Pleasure.

The poem is about simple praise of simple things.

My mind went to ‘Praise You’ by Fat Boy Slim and Spike Jonze video.

Praise You

It is a deeply wonderful thing. A simple pleasure. Insane. I like it when the crowd defies the cinema security man.

Now… Should you find yourself out somewhere and available to do some insane wonderful thing, here’s what you could do.

Look and list the things you can see that bring you pleasure and praise them. Or plant a single foot and gimbal around it, and reach and touch all the touchable things that give you pleasure and praise them. And, if there is a bunch of you, or just the one of you, go somewhere nobody can see you and dance, or if you are brave enough, do your own flashmob in the street and scare the neighbours.

Simple pleasures.

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