I really enjoyed this post about a bus trip a father and his son take together to visit family.
wearily, the king inspected his ragged group of counselors, the budget long since exhausted, the tin soldiers melted, the castle but a shack with weeds growing through the cracks, human miscellaneous mistakes, crooked timber all of his entourage, and yet there was a light in their eyes that the glorious days had not known, and he was glad he had taken their erroneous advice.he pointed out the fine detail of the scratched figures in the rock, the fish, the symbol of the ancient ones, which so far seemed to have gone unnoticed by his advisers whereas thibeas concluded that their travels had lead them along the old path which they had wandered unwittingly, their tired feet drudging over the worn out stones like so many tired feet before them. wonderingly now they looked back and saw indeed that the smooth surface over which they had come bore the polished colors of legend: crimson red, trout blue, slate and deep emerald.the king looked at thibeas and considered his state of mind. for days had the old man not spoken and on two occasions had he stumbled as if he was about to give up but then had gripped his staff and – without complaint – had started walking again. the king nodded and finally gave the signal which set the whole rag tag army in motion almost at once as if their feet had been craving movement, anything but to stay in this place, but alas, they walked with more care now as their feet, wrapped in woolen and leather rags, touched the mellow colored rock, polished it of the chalky dust and left deep glowing imprints on the old path. crows perching in the bare november trees cawed condescendingly as the people passed underneath. from time to time the northeastern wind soared through the high branches like an echo of the past. the recently devastated fields ahead of them smelled not like death but like freshly tilled, fecund soil only, like a promise.
just ordered the “garden of evening mist” by tan twang eng to meet the japanese gardener arimoto. my heart desires it. who says that book characters are any less real than people in flesh and blood? they are the voices that live in our minds, they have a life of their own, manifest in a form no less tangible than the body that is but a physical expression of a compromise for all those voices we have to integrate to become one acceptable social being. if allowed to express themselves as single beings, if being placed in their proper, ideal environment (like arimoto might, as i suspect, in the garden yugiri) they develop back into the full character they crave to be, rid of their siamese bonds to multiple twins inside one mind, and can induce you to be wiser, fiercer, more compassionate than you would be had you not known them. you grieve for them if misfortune befalls them. they can play to your most intellectual and your most archaic impulses. they answer your desires but only if they feel inclined. they disregard you if you fail to live up to their standards and refuse to be conquered by an average mind.
No human wound on this earth has ever been healed other than through gentle touch. No human spirit has ever been mended other than through love and compassion.
Be weary of the bitter potion of self-chastising you justify taking every day by calling it medicine, it might just be what it calls itself: poison.
Yoga teaches to adjust your practice to the point of no pain, to accept the slowness of your progress with a humble spirit,not to break yourself to succeed, you are but human. I shudder of the practice that mortifies your flesh for some idealized purpose.
To be asked how to heal pain I would answer with love, not with more pain. The part of us we might call the soul is like a newborn, requiring care and gentleness. You would not cause a newborn pain, and you would justly call anybody a madman who thought that causing a child pain could be justified by any benefit.
True, pain is an unavoidable part of human existence. The Buddha teaches to answer it with compassion. Christ asks to love yourself as you would others. Allah is fond of mildness and does not give to the harsh. Would you cause your own children pain to better them? Would you feel justify hurting someone else for their own
longterm benefit? I know you would not. Could you possibly embrace the idea of treating yourself with the same gentleness?
Will you accept yourself as you are? Will you allow compassion with yourself, forgiveness with your own weakness, smiles for your own pathetic inadequacy?
Put down that cup of poison and drink from the clear water of life untainted by interpretation.Trust your senses. The hands of your children or your friend, the beauty of being warm or cold, of being alive still to sight and sound. Life is a celebration. Celebrate.
And when you get upset with me for writing like as if I knew how to accomplish such a complex thing as healing (which I readily admit not to know)I just ask you to believe me that I am not writing it from a privileged, theoretical point of view, that I have known pain as much as you might have, that I know the terror of waking at three twenty-one at night – and yet I ask you to open your eyes to see that life is beautiful despite its apparent shortcomings and that you are good as you are.
See the people on the left, right out of “Waiting for Godot”,real and possibly identifiable by their puzzled expressions and shabby clothing, confronted with the ideas and forces of the Mahabaratha, the great wagon of creation, that rule their existence whether they are aware of them or not, whether they approve of these ideas or reject them or are capable to form an opinion on the ethic implications of them in the first place.
The Mahabaratha, one of two major Sanscrit epics, is one of the first known written attempts to address the question of whether there can be a just war. On the wagon you will be able to identify the military commander as well as the celestial (winged) beings who discuss the fate of humans calmly and without apparent distress or compassion. Stylistic resemblances to Guernica through the more compassionate woeful expression of the face to the left of the commander, moving towards the human sphere as if in a warning but alas without reaching them or even being conceived as possible, points towards the reality of human existence: even though war has but destructive consequences it is an ever reoccurring reality throughout history, sweeping away everything in its path.
Do you feel that what you see in official exhibitions and what you conceive as important contributions to art through your own experience as an artist are related? Or do you feel that there is a disconnect between the relevance of “official” art and the art that is relevant in your own political and cultural environment?