Category Archives: musings by the wizard

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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I’m 61, washed up, and in a Good Space!

What’s a good space to be in that takes 61 years to get to? The space of knowing it’s up to me to be me, and that it is possible, indeed it’s natural! And knowing that all I need I have in memory, experience, and the present, and that creation ex nihilo is right now possible…

I’m writing this post in Gisborne where I never thought I’d be. Dislocated, most of my tools up north, unfinished business everywhere, a flat to set up, no one showing up yet, a grandson to frequently drop off and pick up, and some way of earning money to be developed (the plan is hobbit cabins as in www.hobbithaven.nz ) But the opening into that space has already come, as I have looked within and seen things that inspire me, and abilities that still remain – writing and thinking and painting and sculpting and building. But above all, doing Art. That is, coming from the space within and around me that is mine. Electric with possibility.

What else do I know now that helps me feel sure I can do good things? That I don’t have to unify it all – it all comes through me, and that is unity enough. I love that! So much energy and time spent agonising what to do next, and what not to do. Well,

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” (Kerouac. emphasis not intentional – it pasted like that – but good!!)

need i say more? Now I will go out and paint something. Not ‘I should’ (god knows i probably ‘should’nt’!) but I WILL. Probably a vision of the future, of the place I will rent a little space in – the old Gisborne railway station. Just today got the word there’s a room available. It’s run-down, spacious, dreaming sort of place, a waitangi settlement apparently. I had a vision of such a place before we came here – run-down, spacious, cheap, near the river, the beach, and the city centre. It didn’t take long to find. Wow. There’s magic in the air… and birds: a flock of pigeons, some white heron, ducks… the doglets love it here.

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Helped today reading ‘steal like an artist’ by austin kleon. one of the quotes in it is: ‘don’t worry about unity from piece to piece – what unifies all of your work is the fact that you made it.’ see some of his work here: :))))

Now get the heck out into the world and make something great that is YOU! (please! And get let me know what you did).

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When Zarathustra was sixty years old, when Christmas came he said to his soul…

…there have been fewer christmas cards than ever this year – sent or received. Hm.. Is this part of a general overwhelm leading to apathy, or is it part of being sixty and a bit washed up? Must reread Tofler’s ‘Future Shock’… Is it finally upon us, but everyone is too busy/jaded/overwhelmed with stuff/lack of stuff/money worries and techno-socialmedia angst to notice or bother to comment?

Here at the land by slowing down I am regaining some gumption after the rush and social overwhelm of Christmas. Good old Nature! It’s like coming home after long journey in the desert to find a beloved still as fresh and beautiful as ever. Of course, I know, some people find it in people. I rarely do. They’re too sped up, I’m too sped up, too much in shoulds and should nots and projections. the reflection of the true self is best seen in the stillest water.

After the Bird, I struggled to begin the hobbit cabin I was planning. Angst about money and going to the Bank… physical tiredness and symptoms… approach of Christmas… blame and complaints from certain ones expecting more sooner quicker and better… sigh… But Barry Brailsford sent a greenstone rock for a ‘Mauri stone’ for the Dove boat of the Ark. And I saw a Lady and child in it…and a sperm whale and ship with dolphins and mariners at the bows. So I carved it:

magdalene greenstone back view magdalene greenstone front view

The Magdalene sailing to France…Got a numb thumb for a week from pressing with the vibrating dremel handpiece… needs padding in it! I will make a mould of this one too…

Now I’m doing a Lady in an egg (a big ‘gempod’ with two halves joined by magnets. See www.magnut.co). Finishing needed. On the outside I think there could be a masculine image – the Lady is within. The Anima. Or, it could be the exterior face of a woman – the Magdalene being her real self within… sailing into the West and a new life.

inside of Lady gempod 2 1 15

Now I’m casting some of the new gempods for jewellery. How hard it has been to keep up the conviction and optimism to develop these and make them easy to cast! Jewellery for me is a sideline, well down on Maslow’s pyramid, a market bauble really. Sacred artefacts yes, but anyone could do them. What am I leaving undone while I do these? Flowshare, the books… But I know these will sell. Straight off, unlike  the higher things. In between is the sculpture. Higher but correspondingly less sure to sell. And dollar pressure continues. Ah, life! I am over-rich in good, little, imperfect unfinished things. Time for new resolutions, I suppose…

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Throwing down the gauntlet

In the course of a long life there comes a time when a lot of stuff at last, belatedly, decisively falls away no matter how much we try to keep it. Then we think, ‘well that wasn’t so bad after all…I feel freer.’ But what remains is not necessarily a free person. No, the worst stuff clings like a second skin, a suffocating armour. For me it has been mostly the glove or gauntlet – the apologetic sidetracking prevaricating moderating mediator between my creative powers and a world I have always expected to reject what my unfettered hand would create. Now I plan to throw down that silver glove which was meant to armour me all these years against the slings and arrows of the ordinary world and ordinary people, the bourgeoisie, that is, the sheepish, judgmental hordes who follow the safest leaders of the spirit of the age. They didn’t like my watered-down offerings anyway. Or me.

Now, with Nietzsche, as a creative spirit unbound from the world, inured, made indifferent to rejection by long years of the world’s indifference, I have come down to a simple fear-free, joyful will to ‘press my hand upon millennia as upon wax.’ Direct. Honest. No gauntlet to soften or simplify or protect me from the true contact with whatever rock I intend to mould. Perhaps now, at sixty, I have become an artist. As the Mask says, ‘Somebody, stop me!’ 🙂

So, after the nice dove, what? Watch this space! Something to rise up heroic, noble, uncompromisingly my creation, perhaps in the courtyard behind the head of the dove. Of course, the dove for me is of Aphrodite and represents passion, eros, desire to create. That it returns to the Ark is proof that the Ark is an Archetype of new creation, out of the floods of loss and death, to a new day. It comes to rest on a craggy mountain, and the rainbow appears – a rainbow of unlimited possibility as the voyagers come down from the mountain to inhabit the new world…

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Artistic nihilism: The Matrix, a miasma in the air, or addicts and drug pushers?

I am keen to begin this new phase, here at Studio 14 in the Quarry, where I will do art instead of multiple crafts and services. In spite of money worries, which most of the crafts have not helped anyway.
In between petty concerns (such as attending to three boomerang pets) I’m having all sorts of ideas.
I hope to keep a blog as I go, on the ideas as they unfold. And a blackboard which I photograph as I sketch and jot thoughts down in chalk – real (black) blackboards and real chalk are good! (The solvents in whiteboard markers put me off, even though the whiteboard is seductively smooth.)
Media: probably acrylics on:
– ply/hardboard, possibly cut out and multi-layered for 3d effect?
– conventional canvas stretched on conventional frames? (how strange!:)

– reinforced plaster sheets, carved and painted

— illuminated book-like sheets. – writing surrounded by images and decoration; or an image surrounded by textual marginalia.

– ferrocement garden walls, carved in relief.
As usual with me, the medium complexifies and threatens to engulf the message – but i wont let it this time! A nice balance and dialectic instead…
The art will be non-ironic, romantic, in opposition to the Zeitgeist, naturally. Done outside the walls of the establishment’s opium dens of narcissistic nihilism.
How will the art world react to what I do? It probably won’t. But whatever I do I must keep myself ‘clean’ – the opiates are poison to everything I want to do with art. The decadence and philosophical bankruptcy of the art establishment has (mostly) put me off doing art for 42 or so years; but now at last I think I can do positive art and not be contaminated or tarred with the nihilistic brush, nor be discouraged and give up before I start…
I nearly did give up before I started, yet again, on Saturday, after almost no response to my post on art and then I looked at one or two Youtube clips on the subject ‘What is art’, which REALLY depressed me – I felt that anything and everything I might try to say with art will be viewed through the lense of subjectivism ; nothing will be see as more than self-expression, nothing will be taken to seriously REFER to something the artist believes to be objectively real and worthy of thinking about. All a person sees from within the mental bubble of subjectivism is the finger, whether it is being pointed at the moon above or the mud below.
Then later in the day I saw a new metaphor which is i think truer. I had been seeing the Zeitgeist or spirit of the age, the prevailing paradigm, as a sort of miasma we all have to breathe, and which I would somehow have to fight everywhere at once. But I think it is much more like a drug (the ‘blue pill’) which is pushed in the schools, the playgrounds, in books and plays and films, a drug individuals may or may not swallow (often too young to know its nature of course – hooked before they know any better. We have all been  more or less affected by it, so we are all either users or ex-addicts trying to stay clean.
But there is no irresistible miasma, thank God.
So, if I am careful, I can keep myself  ‘clean’ wherever I am, and then instead of fighting the whole drug empire, the whole self-perpetuating interlocking system of errors, I can just keep an eye out for addicts who have bottomed out and want a healthier life, and offer them the Antidote, the Red Pill, which dispels the personal miasma,  which allows them to be well and see clearly again. Or speak to young people who have not yet been hooked. Or just keep ‘singing outside the city walls’, and let those with ears hear.
The Zeitgeist drug is of course a complex cocktail of philosophy and art, and it is supported by social-financial structures which finance an army of pushers. Fortunately it isn’t the ONLY game in town, not yet! It’s not like the Matrix, where we are all literally jacked into the Machine. There are other drugs, and there is still good food and water (ok, and coffee) to be had.

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