Saturday, April 13, 2013

Distant rumblings... calling through a dimly lit tunnel

A month or so passes without a word.

Too many things going on, I had nothing to say about it but I wanted to save this video somewhere I can find it again so I'll post a bit to fill you in on the month past... what I can recall...

 Just a quick explanation about the video... A year or so ago I listened to the three audio books by Jed McKenna. In the Book Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment, McKenna presents a pretty wild hypothesis about the book Moby Dick. The book had been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of years, discarded barely touched from the University library, and had procrastinated about reading it.  Anyway about a month or so ago I started reading it and, with my experience of the story already heavily influenced by the mythical teacher McKenna I decided to accompany the book by listening to Spiritually Incorrect... again. Again it has blown me away!

Moby Dick is considered one of the greatest American books ever written and according to McKenna nobody really gets it. There are a plethora of descriptions of the book and explanations of the story but bugger all that gives any acknowledgement of McKenna's description of the story, which I reckon nails it! Why? Maybe it's just too bloody scary for most folks to consider. 
Coincidentally I recently turned the calendar on my wall over to April, two weeks after the fact, and discover the cryptic text 'callmeIshmae...'. The calendar is an artistic combination of sketches and words or some pages just a jumble of letters which come together to make an image. This one is of a guy (the Artist Kris) swimming in the sea and a giant octopus (with six tentacles, my kids have pointed out) the swimmer is sketched but the sea and the creature (the Muse) are made of a thread of letters...  I glanced at the image and the opening lines of the book Moby-Dick. "Call me Ishmael" leapt out at me.



MELVILL'S  Transformation

And what of the month that's passed?

Well back in March there was a major meeting at my work with all the big players. My old boss came back to town a little dismayed by the state of the organization... particularly that part he left in my hands. It's a part of the world that focuses on the metaphysical but requires considerable effort to prevent the ethereal aspirations of it's members from plunging the practical devices of money, property and various other required resources into a horrendous deficit. The fulfillment of the collective mission and dreams can occasionally be confused by personal ambitions. Anyway the whole arena is bizarre to me; convoluted and prone to all kinds of misinterpretation and mischief. We had a chat, it got a bit heated and I may have upset him by laughing at the absurdity of his expectations. Felt pretty good to be free of any sense of responsibility for materializing the ridiculous expectations of deluded power addicts.

The chain broke on my long bike as I was riding home from work. Bike's been sitting out the back for at least three weeks, I finally fixed it this morning and adjusted the gears and once again I'm happy with my bike. 

About three weeks ago I booked two tickets to Bali and back for me and one of the kids. Booked them on a whim with no regard for carbon emissions or environmental impact...  Just booked them because they were extremely cheep and I've gotta go! I'll reconcile my conscience later. Maybe my Greenie friends can help me rationalize when they get back from climate change talks in Europe or Melbourne or wherever they happen to be this week. ;)

A couple of weeks ago I made an urgent trip to Melbourne to visit my mum. She had some stomach problems and it sounded serious. I booked a flight and flew down there on the same day I heard of her illness. Got off the plane at 6:30 am at Tullamarine and walked 12 km through farmland and across small creeks and the Maribynong River valley.
It was magic to just walk. I had a single carry on bag with an improvised strap, a pair of shorts, t-shirt and thongs and a print out of directions from Google maps to guide me. The air was cool and I felt so free just wandering along roads that nobody ever walks. I passed a taxi depot with 100s of cabs, dilapidated farms on land set aside for the next freeway or factory outlet, stands remnant woodland, barely a blur of green to drivers but amazing pockets of nature to me on foot. I passed a mist covered dam with ducks, it was probably full of yabbies, if I had time I could have scored a feed. I saw a yellow rubber duck in the middle of a cow paddock, fog emitted from my nostrils and mouth as I walked, the sky was becoming light, the air was cool I walked comfortably without a bead of sweat. magpies swooped and watched me from their positions on a single power line in otherwise empty fields.


As I crossed the Maribyrnong I discovered a couple of large carp which had been caught and left to dry, getting closer to suburban Keillor I passed a strawberry farm, further on there were tomato crops full of ripe fruit ready to pick... I was tempted. By the time I arrived at my sister's I felt calm and content. My ankles were sore, I'm out of shape, but I seriously considered walking the next 25 km to my parents place on the other side of town.




Walking to my sister's place I listened to the audio CD of Spiritual Warfare. It is a kind of selfish, self indulgent trip listening to Jed McKenna. I suppose it's Nihilism but I don't really know anything about that so I can't say for sure. At times like these people will usually turn to their faith. Faith Works, no doubt about it. But somehow I am comfortable contemplating absolute nothingness! Somehow contemplation of absolute annihilation of the Ego and all it's jingle jangle attachments sets me at ease in times of stress. It's bleak but it's OK. As I walked I focused on my breathing. I walked and breathed and appreciated the novelty of being on the road/path alone, no one to tell me go this way or that way, no one to tell me No, you can't.

I felt right about going down there. Before I arrived mum had been admitted into hospital, while I was there she had a couple of days of tests, two days after I left she spent 10 hours on the operating table! Bowel Cancer! One week ago we had no idea! There's not much more that can be said about it really.


When I got back to Darwin I was exhausted and had a cold. I lay down on the tiles in the bedroom and rested for two whole days. Thinking of mum's illness I remembered the Chi'Kung I used to do. I thought to myself  it would do her and Dad wonders... I started that deep diaphragm breathing and continued for two whole days, off and on. I got up occasionally to eat or stretch my legs but that was about it. Two days passed, I woke up on Monday morning and went to work. I could have stayed there on the floor breathing for the rest of the week. I felt centered, unhurried, not perturbed by anything. Mum's operation took place while I was lying on the floor (meditating?) my mind blank.
  
A whole bunch of weird stuff has happened lately, mostly too weird to tell. Including having a couple of bikes stolen from the back yard by punk kids... All it amounts to though is that life is changing. I'm not sure what into so I guess I'll just try to breath on it.





2 comments:

Chandra said...

David:
First off, I wish your mum well.
Hope all things work out.

Meditation is very powerful.
I try to meditate, even if it is only for a few minutes.
Glad you are doing it too.

I have been walking a bit in my new city.
But, not as much as you do.
2 miles to work and 2 miles back.

I enjoyed reading your post - particularly the trek from the big city to your mum's place.

Take care.
Paz :)

David J said...

Hey Paz,
2 miles to work and 2 back that's a pretty decent walk.
I like bicycle pace for getting around but even riding a bike isn't so conducive to meditation as walking.

I haven't done it in such a long time I'd almost forgotten how much a walk can centre me.