Category Archives: musings by the wizard

Joy of rhythm and entrainment

Under all our endeavours lie rhythms we normally take for granted: breathing, brainwaves, sleep and waking, digestion… and most vital of all, the heartbeat. On Sunday morning the cat woke me and I noticed I had an irregular heartbeat.  A really irregular heartbeat. Suddenly it was hard to think of anything else but the rhythm. Raewyn took me to the hospital, where the good people whose whole job is to help people when the rhythms get our of order, tested and helped me so nicely I felt a joy and gratitude for them and empathy for all embodied beings.

But after a few hours in the ward time dragged and the spectre of a life so handicapped by fibrillation kept me from even being able to read (!). All the busyness and goals from before the loss of rhythm seemed impossible to return to. I gave up coffee, got out on Sunday night with a withdrawal headache, a beta blocker prescription – and an irregular heartbeat.

Last night the caffeine withdrawal was almost over and I had caught up on sleep, but the heartbeat thing was distracting and depressing. I had read about ‘entrainment’, how rhythms in proximity tend to synchronise, for example two pendulum clocks mounted side by side, and I thought maybe lying heart to heart with Raewyn with her steady beat might help my erratic one get in line again. It was hard to even settle to trying that – the tendency seems to be to nurse the affected parts and protect them. Then I meditated and listened to music. I prayed to get that rhythm back, and vowed to be calmer and meditative. I found I could imagine opening  Dreamspace after all if I was like that, in harmony with myself (what was left of me) and any others who visit the gallery. I went to sleep more calm about the future.

This morning I noticed I wasn’t noticing my heart – the rhythm was back! I am learning, not the way I would prefer, but it is good! I intend to continue with these lessons. I’m back in the most vital rhythm of life – and appreciating all the other ones!

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A t shirt full of ancient stone

I had an interlude on the old Kaipara today, an impromptu quest for the smooth heavy brown stones that I’ve carved from time to time – including lately as I live alone in the Hall of the Ark while I finish relining the hall for the hopeful new owners (who want to teach yoga in it). I put a crystal on the brow of the Bird and made holes in the pupils so you can sit inside and look through its eyes…:)

It was just an interlude between taking sofas and gas tanks from the land before handover day and going back to the Ark to cook dinner and prepare to get back into the renovations, but a bit of magic opened up by doing it.

I have written a whole ebook on the subject of these stones, kind of – it was discovering them that set me to thinking about loving stuff, all stuff, beginning right here with what is to hand that we relate to. A dollar on Amazon How to Love Everyone and Everything….Starting with a Stone  and free on Smashwords  Here. And I did relate to these strange, ancient smooth stones, all sitting on a section of the muddy shore in a kind of ancient convocation unearthed by time. So, now we have sold the land which is close to the Kaipara, having loaded the trailer I thought why not walk the dogs and seek a few more of these sacred little stones, so unassuming but like gold for a carver…

 

It’s a bit hard to do a good selfie while holding 63 heavy pebbles in your t shirt!  Funny, when I counted them later – that’s how ooold I’ll be this year… So, maybe I went a bit greedy prospector, but I know eventually I or someone at Dreamspace – Tiana are you reading this? -will probably carve them all. Some could just be polished a bit and left as found objects of great antiquity, too…

The lone mangrove tree marks the spot. In the sunset it was like a tree of life standing in the tidal mud and oyster-covered stones…

Magic. Oh yes the carving is my evolving take on ancient fertility goddess figurines. And the adzey thing is a chisel I angleground today from a piece of hard old steel I found inside the wall of the hall.

Next post here I may already be back in Gisborne to stay, creating more things I ‘know to be useful and believe to be beautiful’. Here’s to Dreamspace Gallery and workshops!

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Another one-year-old

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This is my grandson Eddie Firenze Devcich on his First Birthday. I looked into those eyes and saw myself. I hope one day the mind behind them will see the mind behind mine and say, ‘I see you’. Perhaps it already does…:)

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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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Why do Christmas?

Ask this boy! 🙂

bruno with plane at airport

 

 

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Grandson Bruno (here wearing my sparkly hat and glasses) is waiting patiently for his third Christmas  and the pine smell of the tree is already bringing magic into his house.  This is a year I decided to once again try hard to DO Christmas. Why? Because for once I wasn’t trying to cram an impossible eleventh-hour achievement of this year’s goals into the last two weeks of the year – I’d given that up early, for once 🙂 Grandchildren help you to do that…something has to give!  So, I was free to look at what we HAD done – and had – this year, and celebrate it, however wistfully and frugally.

Yes, there were hopes and goals that didn’t materialise; but by Jove! (as my father was wont to exclaim), though ‘much is taken, much abides’, as Ulysses says in Tennyson’s inspiring “Idylls of the King.” I remember the best Christmas and holiday we ever had as a family was one year when we decided to have a ‘poor man’s Christmas’. We bought a leaky clinker dinghy and went North to stay with my parents and go boating on the Whangaroa harbour and swimming in the local creek, and other things that cost nothing but a little planning. After the holiday we sold the boat again and so it was virtually free. And we still have the photographs…

As I said in my last post here, the making of a photographic record of 2015 for a christmas card was a great thing for the igniting of gratitude in the midst of the ever-present struggles of life. Since then I have redone it to put in a few more images for something like balance, though still very far from completeness. Here are jpegs of the card, and if you didn’t receive a printed one, accept this as our offering to you this Christmas. Oh, and let’s all reread the wonderful “A Christmas Carol”, by Dickens! (another exclamation of my late father’s, God rest his soul).  (Did you know that Dickens was in dire financial straits when he had the Scrooge inspiration and this one little book, self-published, brought him back from the brink!)

The first page of the card now includes a little stone from the beach below our land in Kaiwaka that I carved. Picking it up made me realize what a gift the natural physical things around us are. One little brown stone accretion, probably deposited millions of years ago… mine for the picking up and taking home. A precious epiphany.

Christmas card A4 07 12 2015-1

Christmas card A4 07 12 2015-2

Page two – now with Crocodile and Caesar’s penny from our Siblings Great Australian trip after our mother’s departure. And a Hyde Park squirrel, jumping for my potato chip 🙂

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, rich or poor!

Love from Peter Harris

AKA the ‘Wizard’ of Eutopia

AKA grandpa.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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