Against Fixed Solutions
'A man who believes in God can never find God.'
Everything is a metaphor for everything else
I feel I should apologise for the mountain metaphor I used in my last blog. Even as I was writing it (and admittedly enjoying the jelly of my wibbly metaphor) I did feel a bit bilgy like I was writing a Daily Mail Sunday Supplement piece on 'becoming an artist'. The trouble with metaphors is they have an infinite amount of opposites. And the trouble with THAT is that that is what makes 'em so flinkin' beautiful.
Fuck the mountain we must climb; we are the fucking mountain! We are the top and the middle and the bottom all the time. It's about getting rid of perspective, see.
The very idea that there is an actual summit to all this fuddledehoy is incredibly misleading. So please forgive me while I try to top my weak-ass metaphor with two crunchier metaphors which will stride around that cliche like diamond studded banjos around a badger burning a bush.
Enter Nigel and Ernest...
I hate myself. I am too smug. I think everyone is a sucker except me.
Thanks to a helpful suggestion from a friend I have two new friends who I am going to have to learn to love.
First there is my Inner critic. Jessica suggested I give this character a life and embrace the little runt with some compassion.
Nigel is a dick. None of my friends enjoy his company and they don't understand why I keep him around.
He's family though - he's always been around - I guess I love him, or at least I care for him. He's mostly rude, and rude to me directly. His parents died young and he has nobody to feed him. His trousers are crap. I feel sorry for the little toe-head and so I let him get away with stuff others won't stand for. Bless him. I think he's a little jealous. Not just of the talent I have but all that comes with it; the friends, the inside knowledge, the cool, the play time the mystique and the endless possibilities.
In completing this exercise I soon realised that there is another dickhead constantly lurking. One of equal mawkishness.
This is the saboteur who ruins all my activities which aren't creative based. Like washing things and visiting normals. He's called Anton; he's a 'creative' and he is as smug as Nigel is nervous.
Anton is best friends with none and enemies with most. He is a snide, presumptuous, judgmental numty who wears horsey blinkers with eyes crayoned onto the sides.
He's a knowitall show off in a shiny suit too tight for him. He forgets my birthday and he tells people he is always forgetting where he parked his car even though he doesn't have a car and he thinks it's funny that people think he has a car when he doesn't.
I am deeply afraid of being compared to this dooshbag despite the fact that he is very good looking.
In the middle there is me.
The third way.
And what of it?
Miss Rose had us littluns do yoga first thing in the morning. Easy standing Stretches to start the day well. When we did it I would gurn and throw shapes and have fun with it. She never once told me to take it more seriously.
'Keep Smiling' she wrote in my year book on the last day of School.
Miss Rose was a hippy.
Let me share an ancient Zen Koan she once told us kiddiwinks.
There was an old woman in China who had supported a monk for over twenty years. She had built a little hut for him and fed him while he was meditating. Finally she wondered just what progress he had made in all this time.
To find out, she obtained the help of a girl rich in desire. “Go and embrace and caress him,” she told her, “and then ask him: ‘What now?'”
The girl called upon the monk and without much ado caressed him, asking him what he was going to do about it.
“An old tree grows on a cold rock in winter,” replied the monk poetically. “Nowhere is there any warmth.”
The girl returned and related what he had said.
“To think I fed that fellow for twenty years!” exclaimed the old woman in anger. “He showed no consideration for your needs, no disposition to explain your condition. He need not have responded to passion, but at least he should have evidenced some compassion.”
She at once went to the hut of the monk and burned it down.
Nigel is the old woman. Anton is the desirous girl and me, I am the Monk. We even have the mountain thrown in for good measure. The mountain is the mountain.
Put this all together and what do we have?
Well, I have got this for you...
May you Relax.
Things are going as they should.
Change need not be forced.
Results should not be measured.
Solutions will never suit.
Choose the middle way, or one of the others.
Limit your searches.
May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
Live with ease.
I may see myself as the old woman next time I read this Koan but hey, what's the point in thinking about that?
I am committed to making this blog as snappy, fun, experimental and accessible as I can. If any of what I post, paint, paste or print resonates with you, please forward to friends and colleagues with wild abandon!