Tuesday, 26 April 2011

the pigmy

There are no problems in my life.  No tangible, real problems.  I've no problems with circumstances, no problems with people, no problems with family, no problems with friends and loved ones, no problems with work.  Any foreseen problems in any of these areas are summarily dealt with; life goes on clearly.

There may have been problems in the past, but there are no problems now.  No real problems.  Sure I'm depend on my job for my livelihood, but doesn't everyone?  And for those that don't, are they any happier?

In fact, from a moment to moment basis, excluding past circumstance and future speculation, some aspects of my life may be considered to be 'perfect', or near perfect.  If "perfection" is about 80-90% good and 10-20% then I'm definitely in this category of doing well for my self and situation within the context of coping and living in a large city.

But there seems to be one problem, one massive almost insurmountable problem.

This problem, if it could be called that, is an energetic problem though no less substantive.  It is the problem of dealing with an unwanted guest, in my own body - a residual ball of emotional pain that seems to be permanently lodged within my stomach region.

Life now seems to be a battle between the forces of good - my body, my being - versus this dark ball of energetic discomfort that sits right there under my solar plexus and that I seem to be aware of all hours of the day.  Sometimes it vanishes but invariably it makes its return.  The more that maintain my awareness of this energetic sod inside of me, as I seem to be these days, the more this thing is staking its claim as the aggressive squatter who has no intention of vacating its premises whatsoever.

I've read and listened to much about this energetic ball of pain that is ensconced in almost everyone in this existence to varying degrees.  I know how to be rid of it.  However, being rid of this ball of psychic muck involves invoking the classic paradox of a technique that is fundamentally very simple, yet unreachingly difficult.  It involves focussing or meditating on the ball of pain using the pure sensation of the body without allowing the ball of pain to move, to go into the brain and make one think about the painful past which only adds to the ball of pain, to eventually dissolve it.  It does this because the accumulated ball of muck can not withstand the purer life energies that come into and animate each body. This is so damn difficult.  But that's where I'm at, I can't turn back.  My pure sensation is the lance to defeat this thing in the stomach that wants to come up and think about the past, make me jealous, make me resentful, draining my well-being in process.

Well, half of the battle is in knowing what's going on.  But it is so hard to dissolve this alien thing, this psychic ball of unhappiness.  And even by discussing it in these terms, by giving the thing credence by acknowledging it, only adds to it.

Don't think about the past.  Don't look to see what others have.  If something needs to be done, take action.  Be true to the situation.  Act and look but don't dwell on the past or compare what others have.   Oh how easier said than done.  It's easy now in the confines of my cosy room but one must be vigilant in those vulnerable moments, when you're out in the world during a busy day and you're walking down the street, rushing about.  A thought comes up into the awareness - bang!  You get emotional, think about the past, and it's wash, spin, and rinse with the ball of pain that takes over the body and its thought processes.

Geez I'm fucking sick of this thing - just wish it would vanish.  It doesn't seem to want to just fuck off though.  It's precisely like the squatters that keep put in their premises holding a gun out to any copper or law enforcement agent threatening to step in and remove them from their digs.  This thing is not welcome in me, but it won't leave without a god-awful fight.  

I haven't been playing as much music, nor have I been writing much - two of the activities I love and need in my life.  I feel that the conquest of energetic unhappiness is that which needs most, if not all, of my devotion and attention.  My frequent walks into the wondrous hinterland or along the sea are only a temporary panacea really.  After a while the dark, pungent cloud reasserts itself, gets into my brain to make me think so as to generate emotional negativities, and I'm off again.

But as I write this I'm aware of the energetic good in my body, which is in all bodies.  But the sensation of the good is far more subtle, less tangible, than the emotional pain body.  It is there nonetheless - take a few deep breaths and focus on the energy in the hands, arms, legs, feet - it's a good sensation.  I'm aware of gratitude and being grateful for all I have, which is much indeed.  I have much to give and to serve with.

No matter how much good I perceive or how grateful I am, there's no doubt about it, this life is a battle with the dirty rotten spoiler, the alien, the psychic ball of past, of emotional pain, that has gathered in my body and seems to have taken its lodged itself most comfortably (uncomfortably for me) at the feet of my solar plexus.  There's no choice left for me other than to face it and deal with it rightly.  I can't run from it - I'm too self-aware for that.  But it's a battle alright, for to die to this alien thing in the body is a darn difficult process.  Because when you sense you're making progress, the thing will distract you one way or another, and often quicker than your consciousness can perceive with.  It is dark mercury.

And yet it has to be done, it just has to be done.  And I won't be turning back.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Yass, Wee Jasper, Berrima

Prior to Easter I took off on a two-day road trip down to Yass, situated at the westbound edge of the Great Dividing Range.  Yass is just over three hours drive from Sydney.  No-one goes to Yass for the sake of it.  Yass is a pretty, though pleasantly downbeat town of about 5,000 people and it's very much a passerby, truck-stop sort of town.  It's generally a wool centre, but for me I was attracted to rolling hills, space, sheep, cows, and I happily encountered all of these.  I also wanted to be far enough from Sydney to avoid vestiges of cosmopolitanism that tend to creep in up in satellite villages surrounding the city,  without having to drive too far.  Here, in Yass, the cafes and shopfronts were delightfully ordinary, and I reveled in the peaceful feeling you find in a small town away from the big city.

Monday Morning in Yass is slow and sanguine.  The big city, even in its quietest moments, can in no way compare.  Below is a photo of a local park with the big trees set behind the playground swings.

Yass is about 600-700 metres above sea level.  This moderate elevation enhances seasonal contrasts and attracts lovely, fresh air all year around.

Venturing out to where I needed to be...

Here's a rock with an animated face that looks something like a prehistoric lizard.

Wee Jasper is a tiny settlement about an hour's drive south of Yass.  It was only 52 kilometres south but the drive was often windy and even treacherous so it took me longer than an hour to reach this destination.  I wasn't about to risk anything in my old beaten-up Hyundai!

Here's a cobblestone church set amidst Wee Jasper Australiana fauna.  Wee Jasper is in a valley and is settled on a lake.

I came to Wee Jasper as it's a focal point of the long Hume-Hovell walk that takes days to do.  The Hume-Hovell walk commences at Yass and travels all the way down to Albury on the Victorian border. I only did a small stretch of it in the one day I had, but it was a most marvelous walk, probably the loveliest bushwalk I've ever done!

This was my final stop before turning back.  I stayed close to an hour at this spot.  It was all up about a 300 metre climb to reach.

It was utterly glorious.  The air was so delicate and so fresh, full of subtle fragrance and purity, untainted by nought.  I was the only person hiking.  It felt timeless to be where I was.  It could have been Woodstock 1969 or California - the sense of time and place disintegrated into something altogether more joyous and timeless.  I was elated, so happy!!!  My pledge, when I finally turned away, was to keep as much of this energy in my body as I could, particularly when I was to be back in the city with its grinding, oppressive ways.

Purity, love, bliss.

Saw quite a few cows and sheep.  Loved them!!

Loved driving through all these moo-cows!  Loved the sounds they made, "moo" "moo" "moo".  They were very sweet and gentle even though some of them were quite huge.  I couldn't help but notice, being a city boy, that these cows didn't use toilet paper.  Each cow had a shiny amber rear-region.  At least it was grass they'd been eating.  Cow-pat don't smell so bad..

Murrumbidgee river on the way back to Yass.  Sublime countryside.

It's no accident that in my blog profile I list "tiny towns and abandoned railway stations" as one of my likes.  It's tiny towns and abandoned railway stations where I find my inner bliss and peace, a sense that all things pass but remain, in some joyous and spirited way, eternal.

Autumn leaves.

Prettiness by the Hume river, Yass.  This was my second day.  No city hustle-and-bustle here.

By now, on my way back to Sydney, I passed by Berrima which is situated in the Southern Highlands.  It's an exceedingly pretty town and is about 650 metres above sea level.

 And here am I in a winery near Yass.  I'm not really into wine at all but I visited a couple of wineries so I could imitate Paul Giamatti in Sideways which is one of my very favourite films.   I told the winery guy that I was doing a Sideways caricature.  He was a very nice man, probably thought I was a bit kooky though, but it's fun playing out your favourite role for a visit to a cellar door!

There it is.  Something is calling me deep inside.  That purity I discovered on the rolling hills of Wee Jasper is a reflection of a purity within.  I wish to keep that channel of awareness open, particularly as I tend to get bogged down by city living and its stresses and negativities.   It takes an enormous amount of power, or lift-off, to contain the energy needed to be free of negativities when surrounded by noise and distraction.  But, at least, I had glimpsed externally the most pure reflection of the natural internal state that is possible.  The summit of the walk in Wee Jasper was probably the most glorious place I've ever encountered.

Paul Hewson shooting star

i'm in the sunshine A mate of mine produces a monthly songwriter newsletter which goes out to a hundred or so mainly Sydney-based...