Thursday, May 18, 2017

Blog as life journaling…

(Excessive word warning. Over 1300 words proceed at your own discretion)

Oh what a day. 
Wednesday began thus: woke at 5am with a gut ache; sleep deprived as usual. Probably don’t need to write this but for the sake of transparent reporting, a combination of back pain and a terrible case of gas has interrupted my sleep terribly over the past three days. I was already quite tired but resolved to go kayaking if I happen to wake early enough. Well I did... so I did.

It was a tranquil morning, the water was still and silent, I paddled slowly in the direction of the boats moored in Fanny Bay as the sun rose and day greeted me with a gentleness that comforted me into a state of semi wakened calm. As I paddled with my companions across to Cullen Bay on water that was smooth as a bowl of jelly, a pair of dolphins surfaced about 50 meters in front of our boats. They rose one behind the other, dorsal fins barely breaching the surface of the water before us, then silently submerged as quietly as they had appeared and disappeared completely from our view,  the water resumed an almost mirror-like state.

At high tide I like to explore the rocky edge of the Cullen bay cliff, just out from the Casino, at this time of year the water is clear and it feels like you’re floating on air just above the rocks. I watched the birds for a while, Drongos, Bee Eaters, White bellied Cuckoo Shrikes and some others which I couldn’t ID because my eyesight is crappy! The birds seem to thrive in the secluded safely of the Cliffside vegetation. Not really paying attention to the water around me, until a splash and a set of bubbles appeared on either side of the bow of my kayak startled me back into some kind of diligence. (Pretty sure it was a small croc!) Time had gotten away from me again so I let the others know it was time for me to return to shore… and to my job. I paddled back to the boat ramp solo as usual. I’m the only one in this group who actually has to go to work. They’re all well past retirement age, but seem to have more life in them than the average punter.

 Spent the day at work…. Got through quite well considering the level of tiredness… Was buoyed by the fact that I’d be going out after work!

AFTER WORK (The Good Stuff)

Was really looking forward to this night! Last week my wife booked for me to go to attend a seminar titled “Death, Rebirth & Karma”, a Budhist seminar lead by a fella by the name of Gen Kelsang Dornying. Then at very late notice I realized that Colin James Hay and Deborah Conway would be playing at the Entertainment Centre! (along with the Black Sorrows and the Mentals) Impulsively I used all my saved spending money to book a ticket! I don’t know why I did that, I think having watched Colin Hay’s doco 'Colin Hay: Waiting for my real life.' and hearing him on the radio I felt I just had to go and see the man!

The night flowed like a dream! The seminar was awesome! It's weird, I don’t think I’ve ever actually attended a Buddhists talk lead by a Zen monk before, I've always kept that whole circus at an arm's length for fear of disappointment or disgust. Even though this is where my personal spiritual leaning takes me, I've been very careful not to get any deeper than the most basic of exposure to other people's idea of what it is. 

When I arrived at the seminar I strode into the hall, showed my ticket, grabbed my complementary coffee and biscuit and headed into the closed conference with all the other deluded pilgrims. I quite liked the experience, Gen Kelsang Dornying seemed a nice guy, the image of Buddha on the screen behind him was soothing, the meditation was quite helpful in centering me for the night and the teacher was funny too. The lesson (Or intro... or whatever it was we were involved in) was pretty fun and I chuckled to myself as I could see this guy talking to a room full of deluded zombies about samsara, while they all clutched their cups of coffee like stoned addicts listening to soothing stories of sobriety. LOL I do not put myself above any of them, as the master revealed the nature of delusional grasping I sat wondering if I should have left the coffee bag in the water a bit longer to get more kick out of my beverage. At 8pm on the dot, exactly half way through the spiritual teaching, (on entry we were advised that we should remain seated until the master had left the room) I made my move and hightailed it to the car park to make my quick dash across town, hoping I wouldn't miss any of the good acts at APIA GOOD TIMES TOUR Concert. 

 Wooo Hoooo! What an awesome night! I was pumped, a head full of Dharma, fully immersed in samsara The Doors on the radio as I made my way skillfully and swiftly within the speed limit to my next joy of life experience. I got to the box office at 8:20 and realized I had booked my ticket using my wife’s account… in HER Name! Spent an extra couple of minutes sorting it out with the girl at the counter and then… I was in! I caught the last three songs by Deborah Conway! And the show was on! She was awesome, beautiful and full of life! 

It was fantastic to be at this show and see performers who have continued to put so much spirit into their music! This is what I wanted to see! Joe Camilleri shone like a star! The Bull Sisters didn't get much of a showing, Vika Bull even seemed a bit tired; until she opened her mouth and pure soul came blasting out! Deborah Conway, who I should have seen years ago if I’d followed my heart seemed nearly as youthful physically (definitely in spirit) as she appeared in the 80s, I can’t wait to get hold of her recent work. And Colin Hay! The man! What a bloody inspiration! He is like an irreverent Bodhisattva  He has withstood so much and seems to have only been polished by the experience! Full of humor, Full of heart and more than anything REAL!
(please excuse my Buddhist word dropping.... feeling a deep connection to Kerouac at the moment!)

It was a bizarre night though, half the audience were pissed, people kept going out to get more grog or to take a leak. They wobbled back into the stalls leaning precariously against the thy high safety rail which could easily tip them over the edge if they fell against it. While Deborah was singing a new original song which had a bit of a domestic (disharmony) theme, some woman in the audience was going apeshit at someone. I was astounded by the number of obnoxious, drunken women in the audience! It seemed at every stage of the show some woman was talking loudly or aggressively or just making a general nuisance of herself. It was so weird and a bit off putting. Essentially the audience consisted predominantly of entitled, white baby boomers, who appeared to have come along to hear the ‘pop stars’ of their own vintage singing the anthems from their youth! FAAAAARK! (which is pretty much what I had gone to do I suppose but I am certain I am not such a dick!)

Despite the amount of creative talent in the room it seemed the audience expectation was solid! Just play those hits from the 80s so we can reminisce while we knock back a few more cold chardonnays. Colin Hay alluded to this a couple of times through the show, which I guess nobody took too seriously because everybody knew they’d get what they came for. And we did! The mentals were almost a carbon copy of the 80s and 90s pop band they were there to represent. 
A few times during the formulaic performance schedule I did wonder if these talented people were just being pimped.. I started to feel a bit dirty from the experience.

 Despite the madness and absurdity of the environment (Or maybe because of it) I had an incredibly entertaining and liberating night! I was captivated by the spirit of some of the performers and their capacity to create this magical illusion! Once my savings are back in shape I’ll be straight out to buy a copy of FIERCE MERCY Colin Hay's new album and searching for more of the awesome stuff Deborah Conway is doing.

After the show, as I exited the building through a throng of Grey Haired culture vultures (and true fans) I recalled the words of Neil Murray after being heckled to play some old favorites at the Groove several years ago.

 “I’m musician not a fucking duke box!”

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