To be a monk swimming?
I love that clip. How quintessentially Irish. And yes, this is a prime example of how to start with a joke, if you must. How beautiful, how sad, how gorgeous, mystical, etc …
Yep, hit the bullseye for me (struck me heavily in my heavenly soft spot). Those lyrical Fenian foibles. I also remember crying hot unstoppable tears while watching the film adaptation of Angela’s Ashes – then laughing my head off as the family prioritized which of the few tatty items to salvage as the downstairs section of their dismal hovel got flooded by the rising Shannon? Liffey?
Life’s ambition – what kind of ambition has life prepared for me? See what i did there?
To find myself? Nah, who wants to be a Siddharta, unable to deal with seeing the beggars outside dad’s palace walls and choosing not to engage but to turn inward, flop down underneath the cool cover of a lovely tree in northern India and opt to keep analyzing how exactly one feels about all that misery out there.
I only (partly) jest. It’s a school of thought that has yielded profound truths.
Strangely, for me it’s now abundantly clear how not unlike my progenitors, having a family life of my own is no longer on the cards. So where does that leave my quest for meaning in the face of a future inevitably dominated by the sobering yet supremely motivating force of the concept of diminishing returns?
Les jeux sont faits. But there’s always more to play for; that insane spinning wheel with those warbly red and black numbers which Lady Fortuna herself seems to have scrawled onto its crooked rim with her own wizened crone-crayon’d talons, will keep turning round and round and round.
It just needs more and more oiling as time speeds up while we slow down, and something dies while something else has not yet started. A game of chance then perhaps, playing solitaire, whose turn is it? are you in or out? are the cards stacked? who stacked them? were they stacked right from the start?
There’s a great line in a favourite novel of mine The Year of Living Dangerously where the intriguingly gifted but diminutive Javanese photographer says wrily: ‘It’s easy for the court jester or dwarf to be blunt and speak the truth. No matter what he says to offend even princes and potentates, no one will ever envy him..’ [NB. entirely paraphrased]
I have so many good things in my life. But I do fear a few things as well, for instance knowing full well that the mercurial (unhinged), magical (distorted), Lionhearted brave-mongery (irresponsible recklessness), poetic fervour (driven speech and thoughts), self election to the role of High Priest of ward 777’s Dionysian Cult of The Delectable Paranoia (why don’t you take a Bexx and lie down for half an hour, Richo?) qualities which have sustained me through the odd scrape or two thousand and two, will not be silenced.
Nor are they pleased to be placated. And of course, there are many more additional complications and intricacies. But then, we all have challenges.
Just don’t get me started on US president Herald who only a few months ago trumpeted the fact that he was made to allow the forces of Gog and Magog to kick off their merry sojourn towards that fabled valley famed for its final foreboding flavour. *
(no extra charge for alliteration)
In short, as I grow more and more into mine own self, and in the process feel some very ancient pre-Tuatha de Danann voices start to whisper their intoxicating verses, I am also ever more fearful of being misunderstood.
The most gifted of them never did see their gems and wonders adorning the mirrored halls and museums of their own aeon, nor those of any others since…
I once quipped to my birth mother, ‘The pram in the hallway is the death of the artist’s career.’ She recoiled in horror but then tried to cover it with an uneasy smile.
How foolish was I not to realise what I’d said? Yet the most insightful lessons in life are invariably those that cannot help ourselves at all. But they can help others.
And so, we’re back under the Bodhi tree where good old Gautama finally gets up and starts taking action.
My life’s ambition, then, is to communicate, tele-communicate if need be, kontá-communicate or even to use esoterikós-communication if that’s what it takes.
To re-link – which is the actual meaning of the Latin word religio – that pesky concept for so many now a misunderstood anathema. Religion: to re-connect that which had been severed.
Yesterday some truly wonderful blessings rained like veritable vegemite-topped manna from an overcast angry firmament. I’d said a prayer, just inwardly, moments before those reassurances happenstanced.
In the end, I think I just want to be understood and should it be given to me, find within the fortitude if not rectitude (one out of two ain’t bad..) to link up that which has been broken, to mend, to rebuild what can be salvaged and dare i say to heal … in the active verb sense of the word, mind you.
I will leave you with two of my favourite songs by that erstwhile muse of mine, probably from her most ethereal, sensitive phase. She still seems so young and it’s hard to see here that she would grow weary of performing so soon into her career.
For me, ‘My Heavy People’ are my loved-ones, my true friends, my companions of the heart and mind such as W. Blake, J.J. Slauerhoff, Byron, Baudelaire, Theo van Gogh; that verbal virtuoso and enfant terrible of the Dutch media establishment and free speech and enlightenment martyr, Archbishop Romero, Fr. Damien of Molokai, S. Dali, P. Sellars, John Paul II, the Swan of Avon, Lady Day and so many more.
Not that keen on Gurdjieff, Blavatsky and all that jazz, too intangible and dense for my liking. But perhaps she’s wailing about physiotherapy? Yes, that must be it! ‘Rolling a ball around, moving’ and such malarkey. Of course.
Must start getting ready for my appointment with new GP. God help her.. LOL
*) Don’t worry, i don’t think all the twelve tribes are back again yet. Also, unless i’m mistaken (it has been known to happen every now and then), I don’t think the temple is being rebuilt at the moment.