Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Drinking Cocktails With Lee Krasner

For Christmas one year, my friend Angela gave me a container of Chinese fortune sticks, billed as "The Oldest Known Method of Fortune Telling in the World." The sticks resemble skinny blood-stained tongue decompressors with writing on them. Most of the fortunes range from mildly ominous to downright awful. Every now and again, a good one pops out of the can like today: "A friend has traveled far and from this you will both benefit." It's better than yesterday's: "Someone you trust is a secret enemy." The sticks are For Ages 8 and Up, the kind of toy that I'd put in the category of my favorite children's books like one about Jackson Pollock that has illustrations of a very pissed off looking Pollock painting, drinking cocktails with Lee Krasner, and disturbing people with his work. The language is hysterical -- Some people may feel upset! It's not exactly Hop On Pop, thank God. And it also reminds me of my other favorite, a book for second graders on the Kennedy assassination that teaches kids to sound out conspiracy. It's objects like these that give me faith in the future.

And, of course, the fortune telling sticks are a nod to that vast expanse ahead of us that we cannot know except in hints from the next world. I took a meditation class once, the point of it being that we stay in the present moment and send loving thoughts to ourself and others. This was a while ago, and I couldn't focus on the present at all. I kept thinking about what I was going to do that night which was going out for drinks with friends and what I might order -- I had a propensity for screwdrivers in those days, before my stomach ulcer made orange juice verbotten. Then the teacher said, Take those loving thoughts and focus them on someone you really hate. This is an advanced form of yoga meditation, she told us, something that would help heal the world. I forget the name for this, but I tried it. Weirdly, it was easier to conjure up these feelings than the vague loving sentiments for people for which I already felt fondness. That was the only class in meditation I ever took, but I think about it sometimes, my mind as scrambled as any Pollock painting, wishing for the end of the day where we'd go out for drinks with Lee Krasner, the future and the past bleeding together, the way it is and always will be.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Men do not mirror themselves in running water, they mirror themselves in still water. Only what is still can still the stillness of other things." Chuang Tzu

Cocktail Hour

Drinking music suggestion: Songs for Lovers Chet Baker

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Wednesday!


J. Pollock said...

It doesn't matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said.

The Walking Man said...

I would give you christmas presents but then that would make you special, I don't do christmas. At least not well, I do have that grandaughter I feel an obligation to remember but my grown children well...I'd rather owe them something or other than cheat them out of it.

I will leave them all of my unpublished work and that will be the sum total of everything, every gift from every special occasion they thought I had neglected them on. They only have to wait until i decide to seperate before they shred that million plus words.

Metta is the transcendant form of meditation I believe you are refering to, the ability to find within a moment of time the way to deal with them you have animosity towards,yes it is easy to pull the love you want for them because it resides in your heart wanting to be distributed.

It's a cool place to be if you can get there, the getting there and staying there is the trick; but even in that place i have found i am allowed my anger only like the great peace and calm the anger becomes a fury.

Your comment a couple of days ago is the key to reaching that place, samsara, the Bhuddist belief of a continuous cycle of change and rebirth while in this body to eventually get you to Nirvana and all of the other places of peace that are named differently is the moment in which your heart beats and is the moment in which you concentrate on.

Every heartbeat is a new life time and a new chance for rebirth and change to move you closer to Nirvana, if that is where you want to be.

In that place I have no future and I have no past I only have the thum thump of that moment and I expand it into a new life every time. A billion lives lived in a distance we refer to as time each one new and different from the one before and after it. Metta forgiving with love them I have been wronged by and myself for them I have wronged in one of those billion lifetimes, is the peace I always refer to not the lack of conflict but the forgiving of all conflict.

Pulling a stick out of a can is fun, but like fortune cookies they are made by the hundreds of thousands and the random act of doing it can Pollock your day or it can Michelangelo your day.
Like opening to a random page of one of the texts we call holy and where your eyes fall that is what you are for that day.

I hope today's fortune stick is true and yesterdays was just the wrong damn stick coming out of the can.

Did it ever occur to you Michelle that just because you can read a hundred fifty words a minute that maybe like you told me once or twice that I write to much, you read to much? That maybe you have read and remembered so many books that it may be time to leave the library for awhile and have a donut and a hot black quadruple espresso?

and look my comment on your blog is not at 4 in the morning but actually in the mid afternoon...how the fuck did that happen? hehehehehe


JR's Thumbprints said...

If I ever meditate, I'm sticking to water colors.

Jon said...

It matters how the paint is put on and how the words are expressed. Beauty may just happen but art is an intentional thing.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, what an interesting view and post and lovely as always. The Oriental sticks sound charming like chopsticks in paint. I saw "Pollock" and enjoyed the performances which were delightful but not nearly so much as your blog. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

"the future and the past bleeding together" in the present moment, now that's a meditation. Time is an illusion anyway, so wouldn't that make "separating" the past from the future from the present the mistake?
Yes, we only have the present - because the present is all-encompassing.
Or what is "instant karma's gonna get you," then?

Anonymous said...

Interesting post michelle. I don't meditate... I tried a few times and my mind wanders and I get bored.

Bonnie said...

You are so adorable, honey. Very cute.
kiss kiss
Bon Bon

Johnny Diablo said...

What a very strange and wonderful blog you have here, Michelle. Some sadness, but a lot of hope and confidence. We are all finding ourselves every day. Peace.