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. …”
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…
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!
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!
Just for you who follow Wizardofeutopia but not my Facebook: my ‘Dreamspace Gallery and Workshops’ project has actually begun, at 61 Carnarvon St., Gisborne, with the signing of a lease and getting the keys. See the website and click ‘follow’ to get news on this – www.dreamspaceweb.wordpress.com. (note June 2017: was dot nz but this expired unknown to me cos my peter@eutopia email failed – now using firstname.lastname@example.org)
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…:)
Well we had to choose, and we chose Eutopia in Gisborne (and grandsons) over paradise in the Kaipara. I uploaded the ad with 20 nice photos today
Hard to let go, harder to try to live in two places! ‘The snake that cannot shed its skin, dies’- Nietzsche. ‘Simplify, simplify!’ – John Harris 🙂
Share this if you know someone who wants a great place to build their dream home overlooking the Kaipara… The Dreamspace project was the final nudge for me; for Raewyn it’s the danger that prices will start ramping up here in Gisborne as they have in the Kaipara. All these money things – almost can bury the sense of wonder and adventure that should be in all we do – especially when starting a new adventure like Dreamspace Gallery and workshops…