Sunday 25 November 2012


I've just watched the movie Undertow (2009) original title - Contracorriente. Beautiful! I was in tears. One of those movies that reminds me of the eternal spiritual truth of being who we are.

Getting the details for the link above I see a Facebook link and there a comment about the movie Weekend; an other great movie.

Both of these movies are about gay love. Although easier than in the past, for many it is still a challenge to come to terms with being gay. I recall my own coming out over twenty years ago and consider the ongoing unfolding of life as an out gay man. I recall in the early years of my relationship with DC listening to rabbi Lionel Blue on Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day'. He was saying that sex was very spiritual. In those days I was 'pre-spiritual' as it were but deeply knew that statement to be true. Having let the denial, fear, frustration, confusion and isolation slip to the side I was feeling the wholesomeness of actively being who I was. If there was a God I thought, this is definitely what He would want for me and not what I had left behind.

Although it can be very painful to be outside 'the norm' it can also offer increased awareness. That is certainly true of being gay. The archetypal story of 'The Hero's Journey' which is told through so many variations of detail points to the eternal truth of the homecoming and the driving force of love in all forms. Of course the true test of all this is in the mundane, for that is the seedbed of the wondrous.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Terrier Truth

I started writing this post a few days ago and wrote this:

I acknowledge that I have a 'fast energy' and an irritable and / yet tenacious tenancy.  All summed up quite well by the nickname terrier. I find it difficult to be slow, relaxed, gentle, graceful. And yet some part of me probably wants to be more like that. And an other part just can't stand it! [And] Because I am not really working at the pace required of most modern work places some part of me drives me on against the fear of slowing down and never being able to 'cut the mustard' again. Or maybe deep down I feel it's too late anyway; I've been away from it too long and can't work like I once could. Or maybe it's just frustration at not being involved in a demanding project and part of a team of professionals. Anyway, the feedback from people in the community here is often that I should be more soft and feminine. Now I know that even in the construction industry people have found me abrasive, but I just can't stand this so called feminine softness. And I can think of a few feminists who would take you to task over the whole thing anyway! But there is something here. How much of this is adapted, defensive, limited and limiting ego and how much is just the basic flavor of the undefended self? Hard to say.

But the muse was not with me and I couldn't find the pith of the post.

Earlier today at lunch and again whilst out for a walk with a friend the subject of my terrier nature came up again. I'd forgotten that I'd started a post on this and during this afternoon's walk took some pictures of a wonderful pink-red sunset. As I suspected the phone-camera could not quite capture the scene. I tried with three different settings:

Just which is the truest image?

And this question of seeing 'the truth' is a tricky one. It requires a great deal of wisdom. So, returning to that question How much of this is adapted, defensive, limited and limiting ego and how much is just the basic flavor of the undefended self? Again, Hard to say. On the one hand there is as they say, no smoke without fire and I acknowledge that the fast, driven, tetchy stuff is connected to contraction in the body-mind. And it is no doubt that contraction which is visible in my deportment, especially my gait. Yet on the other, there is the feedback 'oh but you are a mover and a shaker; you make things happen, you keep the show on the road'.

And it's all an aspect of 'the truth'. 

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895, Act IIrish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 - 1900)

And yes, I do from time to time see gentle people who (still) have a liveliness to them and it is quite wonderful.

Saturday 17 November 2012


Yesterday driving over to 'The Park' to check the progress made by contractors installing temporary boiler plant the radio played Desert Island Disks. There was time to hear two snippets between the talking; Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: Dolce e calmo (5 VIII. 1957, Athens) and Nimrod from Elgar's Enigma Variations. Both very moving pieces evoking the inevitable sadness at the bottom of human existence and pointing at the same time to that deep knowing of our true home and the desire to return there. And as when any work (of art) becomes a finger pointing to the moon we see where we are and feel a gap (between heaven and earth) that is almost filled by the pointing. Almost yet not... The Lark Ascending but never quite reaching... Rothco's paintings opening a portal to an other world that we feel we could almost step through... Almost, but not quite, at least not literaly. There are of course no gaps; they are filled by experience. This experience is our appreciation of the work (of art), of our world.

There is of course, a place here to explore the connection between life and death; the most basic of all dualisms. Eros being a good place to start. For love and life force, move us with all kinds of desire (both wholesome and unwholesome) to have experience. Not the least of which is the experience of some La petite mort be it through sex or art.

And the particular shape of the gap seems to be determined by my general mood before experiencing the work. Yesterday I had a sense of purpose and attcheivement; I was making things happen and they were going well. There is a connection here between this inner longing to return home and our time here in human form, on earth, in the world, where we do 'our thing'; purpose. For me the fall of Adam and Eve points to the need to come out of the garden (of unity) in order to experience (that very unity). It is by engaging in useful meaningful work as part of the wider community of beings whilst holding an awareness of our true nature that we return home. Hell is our separation. But as ever, it is the same separation which lets us see; Samsara and Nirvana one and the same.

These were my thoughts as I drove along. I parked the car and called DC to check on how he felt about the Wagner. We've had a talk before about Wagner; Wagner was not a dude. Wagner could have been a dude but he was just too nasty. Which is a shame, because fundamentally this means that he failed to fully grasp the connectedness of life and thus the value of all beings. A dude you might have gathered is a character who is sorted, knows the (true) nature of human life, is thus happy and good to be with. Fundamentally someone at ease and aware. The application of the name dude was one of DC's during a conversation about the 'greats' of history. Bach, apparently was a dude (I'll have to check that with DC). Einstein was a dude. The Buddha of course was a dude. Yes, DC confirmed Tristan und Isolde did point in the way described... but that doesn't get Wagner off the hook, in fact it puts him on it!

Philosophising at an end I commented on my deft shift between such things and engineering skills and chalked up a few cool points. We all need a few positive strokes.

I walked up to the site and said 'hi' to the guys setting the heating plant to work. Heat was soon flowing into various buildings and warming the occupants. The archetype 'Engineer' is a dude.