Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Train spotting for Grizzlies.


In recent years I've found that the novels I've read and really like are hard work at the beginning and I've learnt that, hopefully, quite quickly though who knows how many really good books I gave up on simply because they were hard work to begin with.

But I'm supposing that if you are taught to write, to make it a way of having a living, then it'd be all about hooking the reader, baiting them right off the bat so they become willing participant in their own catch. So right there is that fishing analogy... with a little side order of clubbing the prey into submission too.

Pop songs too are about hooks and being catchy. Seems just about all our efforts in one way or another allude back to those good ol' days of hunting and gathering. And how long ago was that?

Fifty thousand years ago? Twenty thousand? Sure enough though it was a very, very long time ago and was it such a huge game changer, a complete and utter paradigm shift, that we have so imprinted it upon ourselves that we really have no choice but to look at things that way?

So going back to these books that were really good it was usually a combination of getting my head around the writers set of perspectives whilst often also about setting up a complicated set of circumstances in which the story could unfold. And if that was a form of fishing it would be maybe something like Ice fishing where the set up to even do it in a modicum of comfort required quite a bit of advance planning and setting up and even once all that's done then it wasn't really about catching anything, though I suppose that might be a bonus, so much as a meditative and quiet time to slow things down and percolate in ones own intellectual juices.

Whereas the other extreme end of this fishing thing, this hooking of legless reptiles who still retain their primordial guise, is something like a river when the fish are spawning and some old grizzly bear is just leaning on a rock and swatting the poor tired and half depleted buggers onto a grassy shore.

Now that's done, my own hooks set and cast into the oceans of your relevance I can introduce what I really want to talk about and that's this new programme on channel three “The Housewives of Auckland” and in comparison to Marcus Lush's train spotting epic 'Off the Rails”.

It's not then particulary difficult to define which is ice fishing and which is merely swatting tired spawning fish out of rapids. There is the meditative individual who has worked to secure a place of maybe even a form of worship whilst the other is a big old bear seeing a very easy way to stock up on fat reserves before a big long winter and a vast and easy slumber under the snow.

So yes our brains might be hard wired still in the primordial hunter gatherer vein of how to harvest the natural world and be content and full but surely this technological age we find ourselves in has somewhat abetted the need to store fat reserves for long and hard winters by reaping easily some tired and struggling resource almost at the edges of it's ability to renew it's species?

And thats what 'The Housewives of Auckland” seems to be for me. Big old lazy bears getting fat so they can sleep soundly through the long cold. Moribund network executives unwilling to even try coming up with something interesting and simply importing an idea which is already depleted. And the Salmon, well, they would be those trophy wives and trust fund princesses struggling up the rapids of their own declining physical assets... wooh! Did I say that?

At the very least, within nature, it is spectacle. It is a profound truth of existence in the wilds so when a learned man, say like Attenborough, gives us a commentary... we are moved, we are interested and we are reminded of the stringencies of life to keep struggling on.
But what kind of spectacle is it when the rich and the proud are paraded before us as early evening entertainment? I actually think it's really sad that those big, and very soon to be fat, network executives seem willing to swat struggling salmon onto the grass so we can see them gasping for air as their guts are sprawling alongside them from having their guts ripped open.

The thing is I'd like to see myself as a bit of a renaissance man, that having had vacines and schools and all kinds of technological breakthroughs given to me as convenience, that all this has been quite enlightening and as such I have a willingness to raise the game, as it were, of humanity.

So before I go on with the ripped carcasses of trophy wives and trust fund princesses, which yes, we all still do enjoy a kind of tragic carnage, it's that hunter gatherer brain enjoying the splendours of spring and fall, isn't it somewhat behoove of us to get a little more introspective within our entertainments, to embrace a little more, actually a whole lot more, the character of our species aligning ourselves with the possibilities we do have as we fall, supposedly, into this new age of information?

Could we please acknowledge that train spotting of the technological soul might be better entertainments?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Artists colony?

What was I thinking?

I worked with a woman a while back who lived in her own house all by herself and she had an idea that once her mother died and she had real access to money that she would buy up a big bit of land with as many old buildings on it as could be utilised reasonably easily and start an artists colony.

And my working for her, as in she would define what she wanted and then I would do what I figured out, as I went along, what was best and this created all sorts of problems because she would have to confront her need to control what I did... in the sense that I would basically ignore her and do what I thought was the most appropriate.

It seemed somehow to make sense that my attitudes towards art needed somehow to be incorporated as a reality within her idea of what art making was especially in regard to her having control of this ideal made concrete, eventually, as an art colony. I suppose it was that I was one extreme, as in just intuitive and no figuring out, and she was over the other side in intellectual and planning and whilst I mostly came to terms with the way I saw it, my being there, it was also good for me to encounter her ways of being especially now that I've actually decided my place is going to be an artists colony.

The thing was that as soon as this woman did get her hands on the money then everything changed. World trips and doing up her house using pro's became the thing and I was somewhat shuffled off to the edges as a struggling artist in need of care... which was weird and then wasn't so weird once I cottoned on and began to question, albeit humbly, the choices she was now making... and soon enough I was cast out.

Here I am then this morning going in to tidy up one of my own messes and in doing so the ideal of my own ramshackle assortment of ramshackle shacks ever becoming useful as regards something to hand on to other people, in parts, for their own uses has come into question. Not because it isn't a good idea I'm well inclined to favour so much that I have so much collected odds and ends which fill almost to brimming over in all my spaces that emptying them all out so others can use them just seems an inordinately difficult task.

In this regard then I am apt to see that while I thought I was training this particular woman what was actually happening was that I was training myself. Or more honestly what I thought she needed to learn was much more specifically what I needed to learn.

This brings to mind then the sense of visionary and whilst I don't think I'd call myself visionary I would tend to the idea that what such ideas encapsulate describes quite nicely how I actually work. What that means is that whilst I wander about in life and see things and meet people I often get a sense that I know what needs to be done. And not only what wants done but that I'm the fellow to do it.

It used to actually be visions as in fully rendered ideas would pop into my head and it was merely about shifting things about, clearing a space as it were, and then just making whatever it was that was supplied as what to actually go toward. Now though it seems deeper, a kind of knowing without knowing, and that makes sense with what might be my understanding of how these things work as regards energy content and transference into transformation.

It's like the God's speaking and trumpets blaring as Angels sing is just too big a show. Needed maybe if we're not paying attention... to get our attention but that once we attend to how possibilities actually work then that energy which before went so much into just getting our attention is lessened to a degree which allows it somehow to be spread further.

Anyway, that all said, I even wonder why I'm here writing about it and the simple answer to that is that the mess I've to get through just gets slightly overwhelming so I take breaks and this is one of those.

The other fairly cognisant point about this whole visionary thing is that while the idea of an artist's colony is somewhat my driving force it also doesn't mean that that's actually what I'm doing. It's like the vision or whatever is the motivation to get started on anything, it needs to be held loosely, because often once you actually get started on something the doing opens up new directions and so it pays then to be able to let go of that which was only the inclination to start.

Monday, August 15, 2016

My Dad.

I went to see my Father the other day. I haven't seen him for ages and I have no idea why. He's out in Howick, in place overlooking the sea, and when I do go see him I prefer that lounge with those views than sitting in his bedroom with him as that space just looks out onto a wall.

The first thing, after pleasantries, Dad remarked on was a bruise on my cheek. It's seems now that I'm older the skin where I find pimples that are worth the effort doesn't like me doing so and bruises easily. He thought it was just dirt, which is more likely I suppose with the me he knows, and I'd forgotten it was there so it was either me painting or working on cars or machines and then just going out into the world not thinking of approvals. This then might have been why he asked me how old I am now, 54, and this surprised him. "Well, Dad, if you're 82 then it stands to reason I'll be 28 years younger as that's how old you were when Mum had me."

And Dad is the oldest man now of the family that issued from Mum's side and even those on Dad's side of whom we didn't have much to do with. I went back to Canada in '95 as the Matriarch wanted to see me and she payed for it except I wasn't so interested in her and hung out with the old men dying. My uncle Ralph had Parkinson's and though he shuffled about he wanted me to meet Indians and take store of that lands needs as if this coming closer to his God, and I smoked my pot out at his altar in the Garage where he smoked his cigars and ruminated before his Pope, gave him access to deeper streams he knew I swan in.

Uncle Ralph had a model A pickup that he couldn't drive anymore so Uncle Davey, who was dying too, came 'round and took me for a drive and while we rattled and chugged he too spoke of his dying as if he too, being close, somehow understood my way with ghosts.

And it is, this town by the lake in Southern Ontario, a steel mill town and Uncle Ralph spoke of a dumping of Cobalt out on the edges and how it seemed to be taking all the Men and maybe that is why my own father has age because we left that place and went way across the earth... I don't know.

And now my Dad is walking again which is rather amazing though he has a toughness even the doctors find somewhat miraculous especially after their cousins, the psychiatrists, fed him willingly quite the huge doses of anti-depressants over many years. So Dad getting walking again isn't really surprising and it seems this toughness he has way down has just gotten bored with being a victim of the after-effects of these tranquilizers and no Doctors being able to do anything about it... so he will.

Dad was the youngest son of his fathers wifes second man and that family was the poorest of the poor in a shipyards attachment of tenement housing in Glasgow and though they were Irish Protestants, the blackest of the black, they finally had accrued some money and so he was sent to a Catholic school and there my tough but thoroughly sensitive father was scared out of his wits, or into his wits, as the case might actually be.

And maybe it worked because as luck would have it he was given an apprenticeship in plumbing after leaving the Nuns and the Priests though, my father, still at a tender age didn't see his life as shovelling shit and maybe that, somehow, was too alike the racial slurs those Scottish neighbours seemed far too willing to heap upon him and his as if five to a bed and a shared outhouse weren't enough.

To the high seas then my father went and still young he signed on as a cabin boy in those rusty old hulks that crossed the Atlantic to Islands in the Caribbean where just two dollars bought more than enough alcohol to forget and lithe young dark skinned woman for the whole of a night even if they were only forgotten and sweating warmth alongside.

Then at the opposite end of these rolling and huge swaying through the Atlantics high seas were the ports of Europe where the same occurred except more silver was needed and the grasses of mattresses more refined but still it was the same heathen crawl.

By this time too I think his own father had died, of a cancer in the stomach, and a step brother too morose from a war spent in bombers killing wholesale the innocent and the guilty, so it was only then my father and his slightly older brothers in a whole family of older women who altogether made flight to Canada to leave this bitter place.

Within all that which was so hard and crushing my father remembers high summers spent fleetingly at Lochs and a small and intensely loyal terrier which had a penchant for attacking and trying to kill old mens long beards so even in the Northerly place not quite North enough in it's mass to be really cold there seemed just enough sunlight, just enough warmth, to keep him knowing that smiles and laughter were precious.

And he knew tenderness too. Somehow as still a youth and on those rolling seas he saw the life almost completely beaten out of a man whos love was the kind not spoken of, that love which is furtive and secret but still just wants to be love. He saw this and he knew somehow it was more honourable than the rage that would kill it, stamp it out and leave it bending upon which ever surface it fell.

So I'm glad my father is walking again for the truth is he was boring me. It was just, when we sat in that small room, stories of his time in the Army. Stories of more drunken days and the stealing of trucks to go on binges where he was always freed of time in lockup because he wore his uniform well, his body filled it out and stood straight, so he was pulled early and shined up and stuck out the front to grace the high born.

And it was as if this trolling back was an invite to dementia alike his two sisters who have completely forgotten. That it was the years crying down to his green eyed soul and the flamed head was left shining that the recourse to a doctors easily prescribed advice had made the flames of his red locks engulf his legs and make them burn as if he stood waiting in some inner clarity aligned to his toughness that whilst others walked quickly upon flaming coals that my father stood still and waited for permissions none, it seemed, were willing to give.

So even Dresden and it's bombed out glories could hold him for long and bring him to forgetting. And me, it's taken me years and years and years to piece together all these fragments, not even necessarily because they were offered but because I too have chosen my own narrative. That somehow it was less about the grist of the stories, the chewy bone ends of the telling, and more about the changing perspectives somehow, despite worthy traumas and any significance that made the choreography a set of juxtapositions, that it was about choosing our own camera angles, directing our own scripts to even see beyond them.

In then comes the Canada days and me the first squalling infant who as soon as I found my legs whacked a head throbbing father across it's cranium with a bottle emptied the night before that ended all his drinking days. That my father who drenched his history had now to wake up and set things out for my own methods of undoing. For by this time my father had become a socialist, a man of union hopes, and that dull surge of righteousness called McCarthyism was instilling a pernicious and loathing  pride in it's adherents in the Maple leaf lands and men aligning with the carmine of Rus were disappearing in molten vats and under the crushing wheels of trains though mostly it seems that that matriarch who called me years later back to that land was a bitter rival for the now owned daughter, his sway in those circles about not having freedom in men so we found a plane willing to carry us far away.

I was seven and already far too old, already bitter somehow as I have found photos of this time and my eyes are much too distant and calculating. New Zealand became straight away an adventure and a forgetting place with my first freedom being finding myself alone, making sure I was, and climbing a very noble tree and jumping onto a high roof then scrambling up it's steep and dangerous to get atop the ridge of Parnell and having the whole magnificent harbour before me and knowing this was a place just for me, that calculating could end and the boredoms of the slow cast aside for real adventure.

Now I've lost the thread. It could be that the New Zealand story is so completely a new thing it cannot be joined to this. That all this clumping of the old world is such a different set of colours it demands it's own canvas... or I've simply had enough for one morning and the hot is here. I felt it on the cat, Tutti, as I rubbed across his silken back, him back in wondering if food has appeared. These are the things I trust... that cats become silky with heat, especially the new sun's grace, and so being lazy and soaking is a worthwhile thing.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A draft is caused by ill fitting doors.

One set of ideas I tend to have fun with occasionally is that even my own art will last beyond my death and be found interesting to the extent it could even be defined as great and therein become a set of resources, for not only other artists, but that great clinging and often swamping phalanx of opinion making, the academic.

And so I wonder how I could disguise the scents I might leave in my work and throw them off what could actually be a trail so, and this is where it's fun, it sends them off into the real bush where they might forget such trivialities and learn survival with their own brilliance.

Except all of that means I have to own a foreknowledge that I might actually be good at this stuff called art. Thats, of course, the tricky part, but it's good at the same time, because whilst one is playing with these ideas of possible genius, really, is one quite the shining light or is it just a tendency to get lost in our own mirage making? And this is good because it seems somehow to skirt edges of madness, you can actually feel the stupidity, and scariness, of such over intellectualised indulgence... so you just go back to doing art, plain and simple.

But that world of critical judgements, somewhat cast aside as ridiculous, is still there, it is still alive even while art is being made and right through to the sermons of it's mightiness and glory well past the use by date of it's authors corpse becoming food for all manner of things crawling and tunneling under graveyards.

I can't help then, having touched on the insanity of measuring myself as worthy or not, look out into the world and see how this constant measuring of that which is not only dead and gone but also that which is seemingly alive and well is a vast and engulfing industry which baffles me.

I am right here writing therefore it seems safe to assume I am a writer and yet when I look at the world of writing it seems a whole other monster. Something I might stand on the edges of and wonder where the admittance gates are and how it might allow me ejecting myself into it, or even dejecting myself into it, because it seems to have all these rules and regulations wherein the defining of takes precedence over the doing of.

Because I am in a world and it's full of people, people I come across everyday doing all kinds of mundane people doing things, and yes, I have chosen that art thing to do which at it's very basic doing is simply being a decorator for all these people I share my life with.

The simple question for me then is if I enter this world of writing does it mean that all these wonderful normal people must start carrying dictionaries so when I use the word uxorious, because friends and fellows I have entered the world of writing and seek to be a 'writer' therefore my... what the fuck is that word, even now I've... ah, my vocabulary is a wide, wide sword and sharpened, oops, made poignant to keep the thrill alive of other members of my golden gild (guild), that all these unwashed whom I share my days with rise up with me willingly because they now, almost without blinking or even having the brain stuff even close to non-comprehension, that uxorious means ' having or showing a great or excessive fondness for ones wife.'

That then is the question. Specialised knowledge. Do we go off into these new worlds and feel fitting into these worlds is fitting of us? That they are big enough and with enough adherents to these specialisations that we might have enough memory retention, having amassed this new currency of defining, that we can survive in them and that they will survive alongside us?

Or do we willingly embrace possibly being uncouth, unknowing and ignorant, and just swim in the pool without regard to it's depth and how long we might hold our breath as we dive deep into for the medals such feats might bring?

And so two worlds exist. At least for me they do. One world is simply the one I have always inhabited and within that world I have founds words both reading them and writing them an interesting and fun thing I can play in, and this other world, this new one I might enter because this playing of words might seek to be beyond amateurish and become professing and currency worthy, is a whole other thing and it's seems to have forgotten it's use, by my simplified reckoning, to be much greater than merely decorative.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Creativity; skill, sensitivity and trauma?

Someone gave me a nice big slice of unpublished writing the other day.

It was great in so many ways I think it's going to take rather a while to wade through all the possibilities it's set off.

What's been brewing for me for rather a long time is writing a book, which would possibly be more like a collection of essays, sort of tentatively called 'Creativity for Dummies' except that most probably, as a title, wouldn't strike the audience I might be after to even pick it up.

And one of the chapters, or essays, would have been about how this piece of writing lent to me, in confidence, started out except I can't, of course, use an excerpt from it but I did come across a similar portrayal of the ideas behind it while watching one of my favourite shows QI.

It was the story of a composer when young who'd had synaesthesia but didn't know it. His parents had taken him to concerts and he'd taken for granted that the lights being darkened before the music played was because everyone else had what he had which was the music creating all kinds of colour displays for him to enjoy.

So this young man possibly without the synaesthasia might not have been so engulfed in music to go on to be a composer as well he might not have been 'placed' in an environment whereby the music he had access to created the same chance to inhabit it so personally to set him on a course of it being his life's work.

To me then this question of how we perceive, and even possibly much depth there is behind the perception, is of just as much importance, if not more, than what is being perceived.

My own family story, and I remember nothing of this yet my whole life has been about adjusting and adapting to it, is that at about a year and a half old I wasn't interested in life, I was lethargic and un-animated somehow so my parents took me to a doctor and this man said my eyes weren't very good and they needed to be stimulated and he suggested that my father take me for walks and encourage me to look at things. So he did but then Dad added his own two cents worth and gave me paper and crayons to draw what might have interested me.

We could say then that this is how we learn to draw but what also sits underneath that is I learned to be in the world by watching and walking, journeys of looking which were then followed by attempts to record those journeys.

This though came with a side effect and that was that I drew so much most of it was thrown out, it was waste paper, and good riddance too as I doubt much of it was good but this too has effected my art practise quite significantly... I'm really not very interested in the art I make after it's finished. I mean sucking up the odd bit of admiration never killed anyone so I've never been entirely adverse to that part of the process, the results of doing, but it always was the doing that has done it for me though, as I'm getting older, the significance of the watching is becoming something just as, if not even more, important than the doing.

Then when I was 5, at the end of my first year at school, there was another story which too seems to have significant bearing and that was my father telling me that all the drawings we'd done during the year and took home on that last day shouldn't be thrown out, cast aside on the walk home as all the other art I did, and he made me promise.

It was a steelmill town and so the fathers of first years were given the afternoon off for this special occasion, maybe part of a folklore lazily abided to as some illusion within industry to the care of children, I have no idea what it was but, in this family story, it was quite an event.

As the story goes all the other children dutifully arrived bearing their gifts and in driveways down our street the glories of life were revitalised except where was I? Time passed and still there was no me but then eventually I did arrive though I didn't have any drawings... Dad was angry and I told lies "They kept them, I wasn't allowed them'. My Dad, as far as knew never hit me but I'm pretty sure I would have gotten a good telling off and I would surely felt scared, fearful and also, within that, disturbed at not being believed.

Turns out I wasn't lying as after summer holidays and going back as a first grader I came home with a note that my drawings were so advanced they'd been sent to the local university... end of story.

Here I sit now just about fifty years later and I want to somehow unravel what seems, in shorthand, to be creativity as skill, sensitivity and trauma. That the three together somehow make up a trinity of sorts whereby it isn't about gifts at all, there is no instilled ability, or at least not so much as a possibly quite slight inclination towards certain mind-body skills being a little easier to get started in, but that its far more about somehow setting the scene in which the three can come together and be what will eventually result in some talent.

Now I'm suddenly reminded of a quote.

A man who works with his hands is a labourer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.    Louis Niser.

Quite interestingly I could easily then ascribe hands to skill, brain to sensitivity and heart to trauma without too much of a jump. Oops maybe its brain to trauma and heart to sensitivity... hmm?

Except why trauma? Trauma comes from the Greek wound and this is interesting.

I'm kind of sensing now that I'm on the right track... theres something here worth unraveling.

Trauma then is quite loaded in a psychological way... as in it's not a good thing and best avoided but if we take it back to it's original sense and that of wound it's almost a different story altogether, it's not a bad thing at all and maybe even a necessity. It's then, not quite the 'that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger thing, the idea that to get talent, ability and skills that theres an abrasive thing going on, sandpaper on wood even, to polish and make bright.

The kid who loves running and gets faster and slips and falls, abrades skin and bleeds, teaches themselves to be more aware, not so lost in the talent but aware that it can cost, that slipping away from vigilance means hurt...

Then there is the idea of where a line might be and where things become dangerous.Is this then where sensitivity comes in?

Now I'm lost. I'll have to come back to this.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Shifting couches.

These days, in terms of my internet addiction, I have two favourite hangouts.

That opening sentence already offers a problem worth pulling apart, I started with an idea, jumped in and straight away found a quite reverberate dissonance between addiction and favourite... how I get anything done alludes me, but, and this is me and how I work, let it go, leave it for some other future unraveling.

Though what is interesting is that I could be more proficient in my use of words, know them better, but I don't so I grabbed quickly what was to hand, that which easily sufficed, and therein by doing that but at the same time wondering why those words might do the job I have uncovered another sense of myself in the world worth investigating, and in my usual laconic style, let go now whatever time that might be need , choose it's own gap of relevance later, find itself as opposed to me pushing the issue. Therein to if I was more proficient this lack might not have arrived, too confident to question... keep it away!


So these two places (favourites) that interest me are facebook and spiritualforums and what interests me is that they are almost worlds apart. Each though has a kind of stated, though possibly more unstated, sense of itself and what it is, and these two against each other are almost poles apart. One a place for lazy relaxing and the other for concerted seriousness, one a wide but shallow pool, or even puddle, and the other a deep shaft filled with water though it might better regard itself as a lake.

Me, then, I've picked two almost opposing ways of being, both as a projection of self and as a sponge to define self, and so can I act in SF (spiritual forms) as if I'm on FB (facebook) and vice versa, or even more pertinently, can I just be me honestly exactly the way I am in both places without regard to the set, but unstated, natural foliage of each environment?

And this too raises other questions alike what is the real me? Is there even such a thing as a solid centre under the chocolate coating which meets the world, or is that too actually an opposite whereby often the hard candy surface is the outside and the inner thing, the deeper us, isn't solid but soft and malleable alike chocolate?

I don't know? But I love that not knowing... I am the idiot boy floundering about having learned all these jerky non-syncopated movements are actually my own naive dance in life... That's a recent realisation too, that there are no answers, there are no solutions, and it's absolutely all about questions, that perception, as in how we look and see, isn't a fixed thing at all, that our perception is our playground.

And thats it really. Giving ourselves room to move. Find spaces and move in them. Not too wide though, have edges... edges are feedback.

Okay, back to square one, SF and FB.

FB seems this place where we go to relax, and either take ourselves out of the world we've engulfed ourselves within to throw amusing anecdotes about as if we were fairies throwing the fairy dust of happiness about, or it is this very serious place where the tools we might wield if we were Helen Clark or Donald Trump, those weapons of shift that make worlds move, we can put the worlds to right by telling everyone how it should be. This I find interesting. That its both a place of rest and a place of action... but each in negative somehow.

Whereas SF is an entirely different creature, yet it is somehow the same too. SF, as so many places where learning is the stated commitment, seems to revolve around a caste system, that it's where the experts are and if you want to learn this particular learnedness then be a learner and know your place. In that regard too then there seems far more jostling for position than there is a set of principles about what passing on knowledge is all about.

Now for some reason I got handed a memory. And this serves quite nicely to explain somewhat how I work. I focus in on something, this writing, and I just follow it as if it's a prey I need to catch, circling around it getting closer, but then I break away, as if I completely forget what is uppermost and concentrated and just shoot off empty headed... I did that. I think it's years of meditation and being able to quiet the mind, let go all relevance and just empty my head... and how that, over time, builds up a sense of trust, a kind of vitalised calm almost, that no matter how determined one might be to own something, to have crafted it into use in the world... you can just let it go, it doesn't matter.

And it's total irony because having let something go it sort of does it's own work, becomes almost individualised and finds it's way home having lived life, even as a succession of empty moments, as a competent being... words fail me so much. (Excuse me, as in words fail me so much, it's my sense of how and what I am are mostly intuitive and this writing thing is a squidgy bloggy mass I'm not fighting with but wondering at as I troll this space between new tool, writing, and old task, being.)

Anyway, this memory is from my mid twenties and myself and my group of friends had turned up at an absolutely huge bonfire on the foreshore of Mangere bridge for an evening of amusements. It was massive, or at least it had been as it was now dying down but the massiveness was still there as it was about 10 metres, at least, from side to side.

At this time, way back then, we were all fans of drinking beer and smoking dope, and I don't know how many others did this but our thing was to drink about 3-5 bottles of beer, be warmed up as it were, and then smoke a few joints together.

In this way, a bit of drinking first, we still had quite good control of our bodies but they were looser, more apt to sway easily, and then when we added the dope, a jolt almost the other way, our brains kinda joined in with this really neat fun weirdness appreciation... So here we are facing this huge burning mass, having just reached that enjoyable and subservient call to play, and me and this one other rascal suddenly decided to go fire running... whatever that is.

I think I went first, but I do know that me and other rascal boy had made this completely stupid pact of idiocy. so completely out of the blue, as there was quite a crowd gathered and this in and of itself was somehow an important factor, and without out any reconnaissance to even see if it was doable, I went running through this fire, jumping from cold spot to cold spot closely followed by my friend... And we made it... we didn't fucking die.

The thing was, and I can almost know this now, except even now it scares me a little, is that we knew somewhere in ourselves that luck was a real thing, that if you swayed your perceptions just so that on the edges of that your senses could pick up possibilities of enactment which were existent, in a real and tangible way, if you didn't think and just did. It was intuitiveness taken to the levels of dangerous and thrilling... and it was a very heady mixture,

But then again, what we also did a lot of, and never did alcohol during, was ride motorcycles as quickly as possible as much as possible under the influence of dope, not a lot, but just enough to focus and somehow get into a zone where time and space slowed down and one could weave through what now became ponderous.

Me and this fellow did our run, our brains somehow detected at a pace our thinking mind couldn't keep up with that this wasn't a difficult thing at all but just balance and a jump from rock to rock, as if these rocks were within ponds of water, and that within that that it was fire made it seem spectacular... it would be impressive and we would be admired!

But then, and it was admired, because others had a go at it. Oh no, oh fuck! reality came biting and gnawing as others far less fleet of foot and further along in drunkeness suddenly saw a way to be counted as brave too.

Suddenly and without remorse our actions were setting a very dangerous precedent as idiots who should know better sought to follow in our foot steps.

Luckily no one fell. It was quite simple but even as it was simple it was also very dangerous and as I look back at it now it was as if a group think took over. Me and my friend had decided somehow to push this group think by being irresponsible and that twanging of a deeper sense brought forth a responsibility in the group to dampen that irresponsibility... but in  the jarring of reality, the willingness to stretch boundaries, even in my semi inebriated state I got a real sense of what responsibility might really be.

And that was no matter how capable I might be that it was far less about proving that and far more about realising others capabilities in a relationship with my own... that's to me what being responsible is... at least in regard to capability and talent.

Ah, and now I know why that memory bubbled up from the silts of my life.

It is that I could conform, reasonably accommodate what I think I am, to preset definitions of being on both FB and SF, except I question my conformities between these chosen poles, and that this then leads quite nicely into one of my favourite quotes.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw: Man and Superman (1903) 'Maxims for Revolutionists'

Basically then the reasonable embrace becoming heroes and set the stage whereby their capabilities are shown for applause... except that's easy, that's what everyone does. I am impressive therefore I am.

Whereas me I look at FB and wonder why it seems so readily to conform to a way of being, a way of use that is merely a perception shared around and agreed on. Who is it says it should be a certain way? And SF too seems to somehow skirt the issue of pupils becoming teachers and most often be about teachers defining what great teachers they are simply by hanging out with the highest knowledge... stupid.

Well, maybe not stupid, but certainly boring because I really don't see progress as a thing driven by exclusivity in the sense that great athletes being hero's is to me more about being allowed to sit on a couch and watch from the sidelines whereas inclusivity, which spellcheck tells me isn't a word yet, is far more about how a great athlete might be ignored and shifting couches about become an exercise regime.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Grumbly bastards.

It's a real pity but some stuff you gotta be real secret agent like with codes, mis-information and double bluff stuff. So this day had just been cloaked in dagger stuff with right at the end me admitting my thing, and it just occurred at that moment, is that I kinda con the con-men, nothing nefarious mind, gently as she goes and all that... but still.

But let this cliche start at the beginning, let's wind it all back, and push the start button just after dawn, well a fair bit after dawn as it was still dark when I got up, but suffice to say the chill was still on many.

Another anonymous government department meeting to decide the countries future even whilst that percentage is well behind the decimal point, it's still a percentage and the percentage is me.

Even outside waiting I've decided to spread the chat about and it's old Holden's and what a lovely scarf that is and if I ever did get to Fiji it'd be up in the mountains with the dusky hillbillies... I'm contagious today.

And inside and it's a nod and a wink, bygone days of growin' weed, the motorcycles almost given away 'cause luck shouldn't be tempted too much even if it grows wings. Man, rest in peace, I have got your back.

So outta there and still a free man I went chasin' after the Nuiean but he weren't there so I passed on the good luck that I might be able to swing a buyer for his trike to the wife and theres a man in the office, all above the boards, and he's on our side. She'd said no money comin' in, no pay cheques at all, and he could sell some 'merican iron but he does love that trike, and yes, learn to let his love go and she's smiling.

But she did tell me where he's at. Top of the road, a rented space, and there I am and again I'm offering connections just found to the Hindu man and his son who told me he can do the moon walk, except in my haste I managed to lock the key in the car. I found some of that strapping plastic but it wasn't wide enough and the door jambs are too deep anyways for that old trick. 'Got insurance? Just smash the window" said a few, but back into the dairy asking for wider tape to at least try that way the old man behind the counter hands me a wire coat hanger. That's even older school than my old school but by then a Tongon chap turns up with a window wiper tensioning rod... they also make good thumb piano blades. Long story short the Nuiean turned up too and we levered the top of the door with a screw driver, and as all the attempts to move handles and pull knobs didn't work, it was simply a matter of grabbin' the key sittin' on the seat in plain site, duh, and fishin' it out through the forced gap. Sorted and bows all round.

The days still well early so I head off to see the Californian. He's almost as old as my Mum and I found him way back in the late eighties to teach me some skills. But he was way expensive and it turned out this land was too mad and intricate for a man used to a Long Beach telephone directory so we did swaps where I'd find stuff he needed and he'd give me info and choice bit's of exotic timber to play with.

'Cause he'd called me, got hold of me, and it might even be work so off I go and this guy is a legend. Brought up on a military base where naughty was the kids takin' tanks for joy rides then got a technical education and was there in Nasa for Rockwell doing Apollo shit, dropped out which was the done thing and supplied exotic weed to the Grateful Dead and other such luminaries of the time before easing back into repairin' and moddin' the gizmo's for sound weirdness.

So yup, we go back a ways, though I don't see him much and it's another wife answering another back door and the Californian ain't doin' too good but she did go and ask which kinda makes me a credit card with preferred status. Hope he's not dyin' though...

Then I remember power station girl lives up the road, the new rented abode got for a song,  and just remember the address. Yup, 'nother long story but she's missed her bus so a chat as we drive her to a festival movie... nice.

Nagging though isn't the word, kinda of an itch, as i drive away so the meeting spot it is. That infamous road where all you gotta do is find a place, which I've got, and all sorts of weird and wonderful gets refound, linked in and connected up, for whatever dastardly plot might need dastarding.

And there he is, even he knows it right away. Turns out he's got screen man's old place and a dead man's collection of super high end thermionic play stuff, hand wound this and NOS glass bottle that from a Maestro I should have known... and it seems I was in his will, which was never written of course, but praise be, it's all for me. Quite possibly a done deal when I mentioned that this summer's playlist will feature lifting a roof to do a new room designed at base camp to be the electronics and yoga studio.

Maybe the industry of music is calling out again to jump right in 'cause then it occurs grumbly bastard, last time I visited, with his heaped up collections of tarnish and well handled, might be worth a visit. His initial though is abrupt, like I said grumbly bastard, but I'm just here to browse but then he clicks and it's a marathon of inconsequential connections from Italian brassworks to garden store and poolshop chemistry... good, we're friends again, not that I ever ain't with nobody, but peoples funny that way. Get a glitch and ride the self importance scolding all and sundry... grumbly bastards.

All the stuff's fair heapin' up like the World's well over my holiday and wants me back... maybe that's how it works though? Some ultra fine line between completely uninterested and fuckin' passionate as, maybe not even a line and the only two for one deal worth not reading the fine print... ever.

Now I'm home, the cats are fed, Cookies sleeping and Tutties out patrolling the boundaries... time for a fire!