Quest 2016 Drumming for the Tribe?

Reconciliation as the Theme of a life reflected in very varied books.

Aren’t words the devil? Dangerous too. I confess I recoil from all these buzz words like ‘tribe’, ‘brand’ ‘platform’ and even ‘quest’. They seem to position each of us with a loudhailer spitting in the wind. But give them a subtext, as Jeffrey does with ‘running with’ and suddenly the tribe is flashing through thin woods in moccasins in hot pursuit of a meal, a fire, and maybe ultimately rest among cheerful companions.

I confessed how reluctant I was to hail. But having accepted that conical amplifier and hardly before I put lips to mouthpiece the Cosmos took over.

(Don_Quixote) by Daumier

Now I have written a book, much maligned as weighty, or erudite, ( it is in fact light-hearted and irreverent) about the synchronicity of thought and event, and yet it still surprises me when its timing is immaculate and instantaneous. No sooner had I joined this new ‘tribe’ to take stock of where I stood then my past knocked me over, fairly viciously. I had to terminate its claims, and I did. The past was now another country.

Into the cold winds of a new and undefined freedom , and after three years of being wholly ignored I received within the week the attention of two publishers both suddenly interested in THE BOOK. One for its ‘literature’, the other for its ‘philosophy’. So the baby may not need to be discarded with the bathwater?

I read this as the Cosmos claiming the book and wresting it out of my hands. Nothing may happen with either of these but the message has been taken. No book belongs to the author, anymore than a child belongs to its mother.

Chris Brogan’s Quest 2016 prompt

How will you better clarify whom you serve and what you do for them in 2016? #Serve

All is now being ‘better clarified’. Involution was ‘addressed’ to entirely the wrong audience, the closed world of conservative, suspicious science. It was written as poetry to appeal to their hearts, but scientists don’t allow themselves a heart when evaluating a new theory based on experience, not even the experiences of their own geniuses! Especially when those solid hypotheses are losing gravitas, and shown to be crumbling. They will shore up, rather than ride a wrecking ball. I tend to be seen as a wrecking ball, however quietly I speak in dulcet imagery.

So its audience will be unlikely to be found in academic circles, unless it is the students facing the disappointment of such closed minds. Both these publishers believed in a different audience, and what that clarified was the broken lance. A kind friend who knows me and it well offered to remove all windmills and said I could call her Sancho.

Then when an embryonic and sobered modesty was ready to settle for something less ambitious and I was deliberating the matter of three fountains ( three possible books)…and which would make the most of the few years left, two things (again in synchrony) conspired to narrow attention. Yesterday a fellow Quester Suzanne Petersen Chriastiansen answered my appeal but unconsciously. She quoted most generously from a short story of mine she had read and said it .’brought back memories of all the beautiful Earthy books I grew up with like Cry thy Beloved Country or Kringe in a Bos…I especially love the African muse in the Afrikaans language… all African books have the thread of EARTHyness running through them…THAT is what I miss the most…and my thoughts are driven by me – or driving me? towards a new project’ . We Africans never shake its dust from our feet.

This observation fell like rain on parched ground.

I had bridged the great divide between Europe and Africa, and her longing had recognised it. Bridging the divides has always dominated precisely because ways to reconcile them has been the central search in myself, and my family which was to be explored in what now has a working title ‘The Tribe of Strong Women’.

With her comment arrived a book I had ordered weeks ago called ‘Every Writer has a Thousand Faces’. IT is a slim gem. David Beispiel ( the name could not be more apt to his message) suggests one should delay starting any writing as long as possible, and instead lay out an arbitrary ‘palette of words’. They will suggest themselves. Let the unconscious select what they point towards, and ultimately shape. The book has already been written, and the role of the writer is as scribe.

That seems as good an answer to Chris Brogan as I can find. The unconscious is the field we all share. All I can contribute is the vocabulary and I hope some sherbet humour, and interesting synchronicities. Forty five years ago I sought to ‘serve’ science. It has taken me almost to the end of my life to accept that was not the plan. Perhaps the plan is now simply to harvest the debris of experiences that spanned the divides, and find words for longing. It is what unites us all, and we shape it uniquely. If my drum is audible it will be heard by the longing heart.

Have another picture.   Less despairing, getting there.          DonQuixote2

“Honoré Daumier 017 (Don Quixote)” by Honoré Daumier – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

“Don Quixote 5”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

Finding the Quest2016(ion)?

Your Quest2016 Prompt (2)today: from Jonathan Fields

You wake up to discover a knock at your door. A wealthy uncle you barely knew has passed and left you a fortune. It’s more than enough to live out your days in glorious splendor, but there is a condition. To be eligible to collect, you must commit your full-time working energies to the pursuit of an answer to a single question of your choosing for the next 12 months.

You are welcome to continue that pursuit after the year ends, for years or decades if it warrants, but you must remain fully focused on seeking the answer until the last minute of the 365th day. A minute shorter, the entire inheritance goes to your annoying and equally long lost cousin, Philly.

The Quest2016 (ion)?

Tempting though it might be to assume the position of the long lost cousin Philly and just wait ( since I already have her name and am probably equally annoying) I realise this is a very pointed challenge.
My first answer to the first prompt was to find an aim for an arrow, a true North for the next year. To understand and reapply that understanding creatively.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery to whom would I play page and study in their footsteps? (Getting out from myself, you see)

Question to be answered

Why has Shakespeare never been equalled or surpassed in four hundred years?

(He invented a language? He used the language of drama with its deep roots in Greek theatre ( Tradition) to talk to his contemporaries about everything (Invention)? He trusted himself to make poetry out of the mundane? He managed to tread a careful line between patronage and independence. He gloried in every aspect of life, and mocked its conceits. He was endlessly inventive and able to work to a deadline. He remains anonymous).

Yes I know, as role models go, very ambitious if not presumptuous. How will Shakespeare help me for a twelve month? In a guided adventure?

It brings me back to ‘The Play’s the Thing’. I have a half written play which began a dissection of failure. I am anonymous, so nearly there. Patronage I know nothing of, nor deadlines, but independence is a familiar and talking about everything comes naturally. ‘Something in particular’ is more difficult. Mocking conceit comes like breathing and gets me into trouble. In a theatre you can just drop the curtain. The poetry of the mundane must be honed so it does not end up as mundane poetry.

If playing to one’s strengths is a good idea (and at 75 makes a virtue out of a necessity) I reckon answering that question by writing a play may be no bad answer. It will cover what I know a bit about; the sound of one hand clapping.You never know, I might hear a sound of two hands clapping.  It will do to be getting on with.

(I must attribute the original idea to a very good friend Brian George. I wasn’t listening when he spoke!)



Tell Yourself? Quest 2016

Life’s Odyssey.

( I have posted on this site which is all about the human odyssey, but derived from my small recapitulation of it.)

I have pledged to take myself to task with ‘Tracking Wonder’. It has become an inflamed need to forge or find a clear path. Not long ago I had an amazing esoteric ‘reading’ ; not of my personality ( all too familiar!) but my soul’s path. William Meader is an extraordinary visionary, whose clarity is compelling. His astrology is not concerned with the surface, relationships, money etc but the driving influences that shape an individual life, and accounts for the repeated patterns within it.

Since I have always believed I have been ‘called out’ to interpret life differently I wanted to determine whether this was a egotistical afflatus that gave my life purpose, or was justified from another perspective, and I really did have a ‘job to do’. Three years ago I published the book that I thought was that ‘job done’. Its conspicuous ‘failure’ is not (I believe) a reflection of its quality ( it has won accolades and prizes) but perhaps a failure of discrimination. It was originally 45 years too early for an alternative science, and now its re-written form as poetic science might have been too late for the sound-bite world of twitter.

So my search is to reconcile either a life mistaken, and misapplied, with little time left to remedy OR to see the perspective entirely differently. The exhaustion might have incubated a little precious time, or brought me to the point when giving up (on that over-long journey) is true maturity?

In answer to Susan Piver’s first prompt ‘What I most need to tell myself in 2016’ I can only at this point offer this ‘To stop rehearsing what once was true, in order to listen to other voices, both inner and outer’ William Meader acknowledged that I was a compulsive pioneer in everything (Aries at a zenith with Jupiter coming up fast) but the danger of Sagittarius as an influence was a tendency to point the arrows in too many directions without taking a fixed and true aim at the most important. I want to be able to see that aim for the arrow. Then I will be able to release it! That is my hope.

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