Saturday, February 24, 2007


I’ve been on holiday for the last week and enjoying a bit of time to myself. Mostly I’ve been writing. David’s feedback on my ‘Binding one’s self without a rope’ article was that it was too short, raising interesting ideas and but not always fully exploring them. So I’ve focused on that, so far I’ve doubled the articles size. I’ve become more aware lately that my writing process has very similar characteristics to my painting process; slow in evolution, methodical, detailed and thorough in its execution. Where it differs for me is that I enjoy the evolving nature of a writing project, though occasionally I do lose confidence out of, an unfounded, fear that I might be rambling incoherently. Painting, however, I sometimes find tedious in the extreme in just getting the level of detail and precision I want. Though I may not always know what I need to do next, I am happy to let the process take as long as it needs. This confidence has grown over years of experience, learning to trust my own working style. My writing process has not yet reached this level of trust and confidence, though it is developing. Writing longer articles, and steering the flow of thoughts and narrative effectively, is still a concern.

Last Saturday I went to London with my friend Paco. He wanted me to introduce him to Modern Art. So we went to the Tate Modern. We covered only a quarter of the collection, in an exhibition called Surrealism and beyond. After visiting the Tate so often when I lived in London, the works on show were very familiar. At Art College I was particular fond of Dada, and by association Surrealism, so I was able to talk reasonable coherently about it. Having to talk about, and to some extent explain the artistic processes at work, renewed my interest in the paintings and sculptures. Modern Art is incoherent if you don’t understand the influences, ideas and processes involved; the social, political and psychological zeitgeist that fed into the artistic trends of the time. For the first time, how it came to be made, became more important than the end result. For the Surrealists letting unconscious, random, chance elements surface, removed the presence of rational logic from the final result. After viewing this we were a bit pooped mentally. The Gilbert & George retrospective, which has just opened, looked tantalising from the foyer, but alas not this time. I did come away with two large postcards of their colourful photomontages called ‘Life’ and ‘Death’, which now adorn my shrine. After this we went to Oxford Street, trying to find somewhere decent to eat - not easy I can tell you. Then went to Selfridges to see an installation by Brian Eno ( review to be posted )

Since my encounter with Ato Rinpoche, I seem generally to be in a more positive frame of mind. I’ve meditated every day since. I’m beginning to believe that my lack of enthusiasm for meditation in recent years, results from lack of inspiration. Ato Rinpoche was just a very inspiring human being. I was quite surprised when my friend Saddharaja said Ato Rinpoche was his first Buddhist Teacher when he first came to Cambridge. He told me quite a bit more about him too. What a small world.

This last week, I’ve been unwinding from a highly stressed physical state, most of my bodily tensions have lessened. I went swimming for the first time in months, which was hard, but benefited my sense of well-being. I know doing this more regularly would help me cope better with the stress at work. I just need to get better organised. I think that is another thing that has changed. I am now up for getting things sorted. I’m going to see an acupuncturist next week, to see if he can help with my back, hip, foot and shoulder pain. I’m not falling apart, honest just creaking a little.

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