Category Archives: gisborne adventures

My burnt thumb and the Lost Salmon of Knowledge

For a few days now I’ve been carving my first Pounamu (greenstone/nephrite) from a piece I cut with my newly built diamond saw here at dreamspace – a fish which I was calling the Salmon of Knowledge, from the Irish myth of Fionn:

“The poet Finegas spent seven years fishing for this salmon. One day Finn Eces caught Fintan and gave the fish to Fionn, his servant and son of Cumhaill, with instructions not to eat it. Fionn cooked the salmon, turning it over and over, but when Fionn touched the fish with his thumb to see if it was cooked, he burnt his finger on a drop of hot cooking fish fat. Fionn sucked on his burned finger to ease the pain. Little did Fionn know that all of Fintan’s wisdom had been concentrated into that one drop of fish fat. When he brought the cooked meal to Finn Eces, his master saw that the boy’s eyes shone with a previously unseen wisdom. …”

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon_of_Knowledge

Strange things happen when you carve an archetype… Yesterday I got a steam burn on my thumb from my kettle – a first for me in 63 years. Later, swimming at Kaiti beach (where Captain Cook first came ashore in New Zealand), I had the fish in my pocket behind a green plastic doggie bag. It must have slipped out while I was floating on my back in the shallows. We waded back and forth until dusk, then told a young German camping couple what had happened and gave them my card, offering a reward if they found the greenstone fish at low tide. As of this morning, when we looked again ourselves, and the couple was gone, the fish is at large, whereabouts unknown, doing its wise thing out there. I want it back if only to finish carving it, but meanwhile I ponder the magical significance of this happening. It came at a time when I was pondering how to come out and teach my learnings, arts crafts, and philosophy. Perhaps I’m not ready yet. Perhaps when the Fish returns I will be…

Watch this space…

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Dreamspace video uploaded

The latest project, Dreamspace Gisborne. I gave a Pecha Kucha talk on Friday the 13th at the Dome theatre. It’s fun to participate in an evening where people of various walks of life share their passions, hobbies and missions…  I posted on this in www.dreamspace.nz which is where I’ll tell the story of this project as it unfolds and put up related resources.

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Concept card of the Dreamspace Gallery

Now with better photoshopping! And some words to the effect – if you like this concept, why not get in touch? Renaissance is a together thing… Share this image and message… website coming, looks like the name is DREAMSPACE, and the place, hopefully, is 61 Carnarvon. Early adopters who might want to share a space here, and also artists wanting to exhibit in a positive, spiritual space…and get true feedback by a variety of means. Also any ‘friends of Dreamspace’ wanting to be a part of the group/movement/process…? for my philosophy on art, see http://www.altarsofart.com – art is about the sacred, and Beauty Truth Love and Freedom – the Possible Human. The world has had enough reflections of its filth, nihilism and anti-romanticism. ‘There ARE still Blessed Isles’ (Zarathustra)

Two men looked through prison bars; One saw mud, the other, Stars’.

Dreamspace Carnarvon concept reduced 27 4 16 copy.jpg

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Towards a Eutopian Dreamspace

Last post I put up some photos of a possible site for arts, philosophy, crafts and the making of hobbity cabins and sculptures. This is a photoshopped one of the front with possible name: Dreamspace Gallery and Workshops. Does this look like a place magic could be done?

blue and gold front 26 4 16

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‘Go Big or Go Home’ for sensitive artists

Happy Earth Day! Excuse the animal metaphors which follow. ‘Go big or go home’ – this saying, from a Trump documentary, got to me in a good way! I thought ‘Yes we can!‘ – to quote the Obama side of the elephant. Both ends of the human spectrum in  their saner moments know there’s only one elephant in the room, and it’s called Homo Sapiens, and it’s uber-smart, uber-adaptable, a veritable rhinoceros of the intellect in the animal kingdom, unstoppable in its problem-solving power, in any situation or environment on or off the planet, dammit!

So why do we artists and thinkers feel so stopped and powerless sometimes/most of the time/when not high on caffeine? ‘If we’re so smart/creative, how come we ain’t rich?’

It’s called Learned Helplessness. Some humans (ughh!) actually benefit from spreading it. They even started public schools to inculcate it, and make the baby human rhinos of the spirit attend 6 hours a day for a decade or so, and progressively cut off their little horns and geld them too. Then tell them to ‘express themselves’ in art class or English essay assignments. Horrible but true history… it’s changing now – isn’t it? (Not if the Muslim faith triumphs in the West.  Or any other religious fanaticism with a Book to back up the apes of the mind and spirit with a Thus Saith the Lord).

So, to continue my own slow emancipation saga: I have rung up about the space for a gallery workshops and general Mad Art pursuit, and the agent told me it was under contract and would go unconditional next Tuesday… This Tuesday he rang to say it fell through and do I want it. I had a feeling he would! Gulp… ‘Put up or shut up, I said. So now it’s the ‘putting up’ stage. Funny thing about Home – it can be a haven – or a cocoon, or a prison. I was going to do all my thing here at appletree haven – Home. Now I am looking at Coming Out, doing it Out There, in town, at 61 Carnarvon St, Gisborne. The energy is there, and the ability to pay the rent for a 6 month trial (just) ; then I’ll need to have used my homo sapiens unleashed creativity to make a financial go of it.

Sound good?  Go thou and do likewise, human rhinos, and grow back that horn of the spirit, and the other bits, and Go Big or Go Home! 🙂  Not sure what the name will be – ideas are Eutopia Gallery, Renaissance Workshops, Heartstone Gallery… Dreamspace Gallery?  Photos follow…

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Being me now – everyone else was taken!

Three fifteen is a dangerous time to wake up. If you start thinking it usually goes downhill fast. So you try to go back to sleep.

What if you don’t, but instead look at why your thoughts are gloomy, why your energy is so low?

I did that this morning at around 4 AM, Gisborne time – we’re ahead of the world so maybe I was the first soul to wake this day?? Well apart from the worthy farmers and shift workers. OK the first artist? OK at least the first philosopher! So, I got to thinking… I’m so… blocked. I have a monstrous block. Maybe I need a phsychologist to sort me out. No, I really know what he’d say, and if he didn’t I’d now what he should have said. So why not just do that!? What would a good psychologist say to Peter Harris aka the Wizard of Eutopia? ‘Put up or shut up’. Or what Paulo Coelho’s  Alchemist told the Englishman who wanted to become a real alchemist and not just a book one: ‘TRY!’ Try and transmute that lead into gold. Even if you think you tried before, now, this time, in THIS moment, TRY it.

What did my inner Alchemist tell me to try? What all inner Alchemists tell us all the time if we’d only listen: BE YOURSELF ALREADY! But what is me? Well, what’s my name? wizard of eutopia… hm… wizards do what? Well they change situations, make eutopias happen, catalyse. They’re alchemists of culture, turning the leaden societies about them into gold. They create portals through which people may go into a golden era. They hold a space, they plant a flag, they declare the ancient divine platitudes to a new generation of unbelievers who want the courage to believe them. Hm… haven’t I been there, tried that?

So I need to come out and TRY it AGAIN. Better. Eutopia is a phoenix bird, needs the wizard to revive it. But first he must revive himself.  ‘The kingdom of heaven is within us’. Amen!

SO, my plan is to

1 Get a space (I have one in mind – it’s big and spacious and cheap, here in Gisborne), start communicating with people who come there, have a round table with a phase timer so we remember to do all the dynamic things, in good order, in the divine Balance: 1 Love and listen; 2 Imagine and envision; 3 Reason and plan; 4 Act and communicate. For the logic of this see my www.4phase.org

2 Do my art in that space, and make the ferrocement hobbit havens and other sculptural icons.

3 Maybe open the space to other ‘harvesters, creators and rejoicers’. On the front it will say something like  ‘Eutopia. All welcome’ Or Altars of Art. Names and naming does tie me in knots often, but not this time!

email me wizardofeutopia@gmail.com if you like the  sound of this. If in Gisborne you could join me

So, what has been my biggest, monstrous, block? I think those who know me would agree (?) it’s shyness, this huge reluctance to engage with normal people out there in the normal world. The more I become ME, the weirder and more alien and threatening that ‘normal’ world and those ‘normal’ people seem to become. This morning I got that I am NOT shy per se – just shy of the idea of these implacably normal people, the System they represent that’s the real Monster out to get me, kill my soul, deny my dreams and visions. So it’s simple, really: I get with people who aren’t like that, who do want to be truly alive and think for themselves, and create new things and a better life and a better place. Eutopians… and ‘show them the rainbow and the stairway to the overman’. (thus spake Zarathustra)

Zarathustra’s monster he called the Spirit of Gravity, that mole-dwarf of leaden spirit that denies and drags down. His weapon against it was to fling it off his back and say ‘Stop dwarf!  I! Or you!’ And to show it the endless circle of life and to say Yes to it. I think what really defeated the dwarf was that Zarathustra danced. And that he laughed… like the shepherd in his vision who was choking from a black snake crawling into his throat. He bites off the head and jumps up, no longer a mere mortal but an overcomer, and he laughs. And Nietzsche writes, ‘My longing for this laughter consumes me…’

What is your monster?  When (and how) will you bite its head off and leap up, laughing?

 

 

 

 

 

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Sleepwalking through a wonderland

I realized today that’s what I’m doing when I’m ‘busy making other plans’ all the time and miss the staggering wonder of life – people, babies, children, dogs, cats, birds, trees, flowers – a cascade of things and beings, most of which are not out to get me or ruin my life, and some of which (take dogs, for example, ok Poppy and Honey) have amazing, unflagging love and devotion for me. If you are also lucky enough to have someone who lives with you and puts up with you and even occasionally tells you they love you, well  – thy cup runneth over!  Then there’s children and grandchildren – a huge theme of this year for us as our second grandson was born.

Why the sudden appreciation of all life? A near-death experience? No, mercifully all it took was a few hours collecting some of the photos we took this year, for a pictorial Christmas card. Some of grandchildren, some of children, some of my art labours. Here’s the draft.

Christmas card A4 2015-1Christmas card A4 2015-2

Maybe this WAS a particularly lovely year to look back on and wish I had been more ‘present’ to it. (Yes – thanks to brother John were were even in Paris and Oxford, and Florence and Cannes this year, and nobody shot us or anyone of the peaceful multitudes we saw). But really, life is so abundant and fractally amazing, even a year in gardens looking at leaf patterns could have done it for me – if necessary! Those adorable beings which periodically invaded our Appletree garden were a fantastic bonus.

Life is like the transfinite numbers, from which you can strip whole infinities of lower order and they remain the same (!!?). That’s why I suppose many of those who have least have learned the secret of appreciation of what remains – and can see ‘infinity in a grain of sand, or eternity in an hour’ WOW! Right on! And I am not even (and never was) stoned, either!

Why not try making a compilation celebrating YOUR kaleidoscopic, fractally infinite, year of 2015?

 

 

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