Saturday, May 02, 2009

Bend with the wind

(I've decided to start posting some of my artwork to spruce up this blog. Like the piece above, most are untitled and are left often to the interpretation of the viewer. This one is from a spacey-themed series I began in 2007 and which I want to go back to sometime soon. Hope you like)

I haven’t had much to say of late. I’ve just been having one of those weeks - low energy physically and not much energy emotionally or mentally either. ME can be horrible that way, sometimes you find yourself in a sleep-walking state. It’s enough just doing the basics and even then, they’re done in a semi-conscious kind of way. I’d love to wake up one day and have the energy to leap out of bed and really lap life up and do all the things I want to do, the things I feel I’m being called to do. I have a lot of plans, but at the moment they’re dormant, or tightly in bud. In time, I know, the bud will open and blossom...but until that time, you just have to sit tight and let it be. The tree with the buds on it doesn’t get upset that the buds haven’t opened yet - it doesn’t convince itself that it ‘should’ have happened by now and get upset that it hasn’t. Nope, it just IS - it’s fine with what is, because what is really is what ought to be. Only if the tree had a mind would it get upset, thinking it knew better than the actual process of life itself. Mind is both a blessing and an affliction (if it's untamed, that is). This Buddhist saying sums it up so beautifully: “the mind is a great servant but a terrible master.” Thankfully the tree doesn’t have to contend with mindstuff, so it’s just content to be with what is. The buds open when they open. There’s no attempt to rush it, no concerns about what it thinks ‘should’ be; it’s just at one. At one with itself and with the process of life.

I’ve recently been re-reading the Tao Te Ching and the real essence is to get back in touch with nature; to observe the natural processes unfolding and to get back in harmony with that. There’s a brilliant track on the latest Enigma album called ‘We Are Nature’; and how true is that. Get back in touch with the essence of life. It doesn’t fret or struggle, it just unfolds. It flows with what is. When it’s sunny the flowers open their petals, when it’s dark they close them. No recriminations, none of this ‘life isn’t fair’ mentality the ego so easily slips just is.

This approach helps greatly in dealing with life’s bumps and bruises. Whenever I feel lousy and am about to descend into a whole load of mindcrap, engaging in all the old stories “this isn’t fair, I should be feeling better than this, I should be in a different place doing different things, this shouldn’t be happening” I usually manage to stop it and just come back to the simplicity of what is. The fact is that IT IS. No amount of mental argument and complaint will change that. I try to accept. Then, if there’s something I can do about it, I do it. If there’s nothing I can do, I just have to accept it all the more. Arguing with reality hurts...and it’s not an argument you’re ever going to win. Again, that doesn’t mean becoming apathetic and powerless. I guess that’s a trap you could fall into, but ultimately it’s a balance. The trick is to be in a state of non-resistance to what is (because frankly resistance causes pressure and it hurts - and it ultimately exhausts you) and yet also do what you can to change an undesirable situation if that’s what you want to do. I try to do what I can to help various causes, mainly relating to cruelty perpetrated against animals and our fellow people and the environment. At the same time, I have to try to accept it to begin with, because when I get upset about it I lose balance, my energy dips and energy that could be better spent helping is wasted on grief and despair. So I accept the inhumanity and then act to change it, signing whatever petitions I can, writing whatever letters I can, raising awareness, then letting it go.

I guess the lesson I’ve learned from it all is a simple one, yet one that’s worth its weight in gold: accept what is, stop fighting life, yet follow your heart and do what you feel you must, while remaining in a state of inner non-resistance.

You have to bend with life I think. Resistance exhausts and eventually cripples you. The strongest trees are the ones that bend in the wind, whereas older more rigid trees are far more likely to be broken. Another lesson from the Tao. Life can only break you when you’re being rigid and unyielding, when you’re resisting and trying to put up a fight to stand your ground. Let the wind blow you around a bit if it wants to; your putting up a fight won’t stop the wind. Allow it to be there and allow it to pass. Don’t let life break you by trying to fight it too much. It is what it is, it happens as it happen and it passes as it passes. Even nature in all its might cannot create a storm that will last forever, or even for very long at all.

I hope this makes some kind of sense. It does in my mind, but then again my mind isn’t always attuned to the more commonly-received radio stations.

I’ve decided to let the wind blows and it wants for now. When it dies down I’m going to muster whatever energy is on offer and forge ahead with getting my book published. I’ve received encouragement and been told to persevere from so many different people lately, often without even having asked for advice; it’s just been there! A whole wave of synchronicity has been pointing me in that direction. I also feel other books gestating inside of me - there are ideas brewing and concepts forming and it’s exciting when that happens! It’s unfolding....


GaySocrates said...

Love the art work Rory!
What materials did you use?
Reminds me of something by Matisse.
Love the Tao Te Ching too.
[The synchronicity is spooky!!]

A few years ago I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Magnolia blossoms. Just as they were about to burst forth-which for me is the best sign that spring has truly arrived- there was a severe frost.
The frost destroyed the blossoms which went yellowy-brown and withered on the branch.
I was upset and appalled and feared that losing their blossoms would affect their ability to flower in the future.
The next year spring arrived and the blossoms burst forth as strong as ever. Looking forward to your blossoms arriving.

Weston Elliott said...

Writing is the best catharsis I know of - reality can be whatever you make it!

As for being blown by the wind - my best advice is duck low and lean into it! Easier said than done, I know (boy, howdy, how well I know!!) But leaning in headlong is the best way to not get knocked over by it - literally and figuratively. To paraphrase one of my favorite books : "All these things will give you experience and be for your good!" Every doubt, every hard moment, every question that plagues you will give you the depth that you need to form your own character and the ones in your books.

Lean in, brother - lean in!!

Weston Elliott said...

PS: I put a link here on my blog.

Rory said...

Thanks for the comments :) I appreciate your words of wisdom very much. It's all good. My painting was done with watercolour and acrylic ink, and is made up of different layers, I love cutting out and pasting things together, so I tend to do that with my paintings to build them up. I guess its 'my thing'! Thanks again guys :)