Unnecessary Possessions

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Picture: Rush Hour On Leith Street  by John M. Boyd

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Do you really need it? Will you honour it?

These are the questions that I’ve been indirectly asking myself these cold autumn days while walking into the warmth of art shops. I love art and I can’t help but notice, in myself, that consumerist society has taught us to treat everything as if it was to buy and keep – or throw. Buying something means that you’re going to make use of it in the near or distant future. For example, I’ve been a book stasher for most of my University years, and of all those attractive books I might have positively read 30%. In the last few years, I’ve questioned many of my compulsive behaviours and slowly developed a higher degree of awareness. The other day, I went to a frame and print shop in Edinburgh and felt very attracted by some art postcards, checked the price and considered buying. Afterward, I started doing what I normally do in museums or galleries: observing the painting without mental labels; first the whole pictures, then the details. Therefore I chose to not buy any of those beautiful cards. However, and here’s the trickiest part of contemporary lifestyle, I saved their details on my smartphone – as if the paintings were going to die if I didn’t – for future use or appreciation. I understand that I could use those details to share the paintings with friends or on social media, thus adding value to these people. But, we have to be very aware of the energy behind our actions. Only through presence, and therefore awareness, we achieve a powerful level of freedom in our choices. We can shift our unconscious intention – usually stemming from the constant unsatisfaction of the ego – into a more selfless or creative one. The desire to possess, cumulate, keep or save for ourselves emanates from an illusory state of lack: our egoic identity deludes itself that it needs more stuff in order to survive.

I obviously didn’t need to possess those prints and attach them to the wall to appreciate them. Probably, I didn’t even need to save their details on my web browser, but I’ve made good use of them – the picture in this article is one of those. In the present moment, the only moment we actually have, I have the chance to merge with them, to enjoy their contemplation, naturally recognizing that I don’t need to possess any beauty in order to commune with it.

 

Herons

 

Follow The Fox

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Picture: Sun Fox by Crista Forest

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Alert.

You call me out

And deliver your message.

Untamed dog, silent as the night,

Whisky-ambered,

Unseen and unforeseen citizen

Of Edinburgh.

No memories of the jolly forest

And its domestic fragrances;

No worries for the metal boulders

Sliding loudly on the cold pavement.

You’re only here

And now.

Weird lights radiate yellow and orange;

Humans stroll around

In search of spirits,

In order to lift their spirits.

“Align to your wildest intuition,”

You tell me.

“Be here,”

You tell me.

“And follow me

To the last drop of blood pumped in your heart,

And beyond.”

 

Herons

Mulberry Tree (桑树)

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Picture by Vincent Van Gogh

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So sweet are your children,

So far is your image

In the past, in the future…

Here and now I summon you,

Mulberry tree.

Some might not see it,

Some might not admit it.

Some might not taste

The texture, mild flavour, and aftertaste

Of those red, lilac, purple and black

Jewels, dangling from your canopy-rack,

Mulberry tree.

But I do,

You know, I do.

And so do you.

Sāngshù.

 

Herons

 

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By the way check out this amazing song by Dylan Ryche.

 

Let Them Pass

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Picture by Artem Chebokha

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Clouds swimming fast in the sky,

Where will you take me?

To the open mouth of a river screaming loud?

To the aching limbs of drastic doubt?

Clouds swimming fast in the sky,

What will you show me?

The skeleton of the human race?

A Chinese Buddha with his big fat face?

Clouds in the sky, screeching tires of white,

Where do you run to?

I don’t care.

Because

I’m smelling the breeze on my arms,

I’m listening to the circular saw synth-waves,

I’m feeling the warmth of this body,

Through which I experience the waves.

But my essence lies on the lakebed,

From where I quietly observe the tempests of the mind.

Let them pass,

Like clouds swimming fast in the sky.

 

Herons

Dancing Madman

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Picture: Greek Dancer by Jean Groberg

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Dancing madman on the street,

As free as the wind on his bare chest.

Dancing madman on the street,

Living in the moment,

Happier than the shop-owners

Peering out of the window at the ordinary miracle;

Happier than the police,

Came to extinguish his smile,

Laughter of the eternal child.

Dancing madman on the street,

His house’s a backpack,

His home, the whole world.

He has no riches nor gold

But he’s richer than most,

He’s richer than we’re told.

Dancing madman on the street,

You bestow me a tune

From the beginning of the century,

From the beginning of time,

Or is it from the end?

How?

I don’t mind, for both of them

Can only be conceived Now.

 

Herons

Get Off The Train

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Picture by Caleb McGinn

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Suddenly, you find yourself sit on a train car and you see many things through the dusty windows. How on earth did you get there?

This question takes you back outside; the train has disappeared, you can see the sunrise.

The next moment you’re on another train car, and everybody is talking about the sunrise: “How beautiful is the sunrise.” “Oh the light is too strong!” “I remember once, when I was in France, such a beautiful day, the sunrise…” “Who knows the symbolic meaning of the sunrise? According to the ancient…” “It reminds of…” “One day…”

You start running through the clanking wagons, even in the toilet you find people talking. It’s driving you mad. Wagon after wagon it becomes noisier and noisier; the windows are even dustier. You leap through the people in the corridor, they don’t even notice you: all they do is talking. Finally you find a quiet car, near the locomotive. There’s a lonely guy there. He’s talking by himself – you realize that most people on that crazy train are talking by themselves. But the guy stands up when he sees you, he bows to you, point his finger at the sun outside the window and whispers:

“Oh beautiful, but… maybe, I’m thinking too much about it… maybe I’m losing the real thing…”

In the wink of an eye, you’re outside in the middle of the moorland and you observe the sunrise with all your being, you become one with the sunrise. This time you know that you can get off the train anytime you like. You also know that you can observe the trains passing from a distance, you don’t need to jump up. Even if they look beautiful, with golden framework, red maple walls, handsome men and gorgeous women luring you in with their words. Yes, you can choose to get up, take a look enjoy someone’s company, have a drink, a juicy chat about the old days, fantasize about your plans. Trains take you places, that is also true, and helpful at a certain level. But you know on a deeper level that the beauty of the scenery is incomparable from the outside. Outside there is no comparison at all. There’s only silence, and peace. You’re right where you need to be. No past, no future: only now. Take a deep breath and get off the train of thought. Now you’re one with the beauty of creation.

 

Herons

The Destination

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Picture: Sound of Silence by Milenka Delic

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The rock is standing high in the sky, a massif. You become the rock as you observe it. You’re aware of the gold veins and sand bones inside of you. The wind scratches your green hair. You welcome the birds, they thankfully nest on your shoulders. They respect you as a sacred altar. So they perform their rituals: birth, songs, sex, life, nourishment, death. You welcome it all. Then you become a young seagull. You cry, you laugh with your friends, you witness the shifts of the breeze. You soar joyfully, you reach the coastal cliffs. The salt in the air feels like home, though you’d never dare going too far from the cliffs. So you descend: you become a crab. You feel the water coming and going, refreshing your shell. But, wait a minute, now you’re levitating. No, better, you’re floating, ‘cause at the present, you’re a pollock fish. The sea is so smooth on your scales, you can go anywhere you want. Now, you feel a little bit different; you’re a mackerel surrounded by your family. You all dance in unison, up, down, left, right. Suddenly something rough scratches your belly and you’re violently pulled upwards. It feels dry, you’re knocked out. There’s is too much light. All your brothers and sisters are struggling to regain their personal space. They’re powerless, and so you are. But you migrate somewhere else. The next blink of your eyes you feel the winds carrying you. A new family materializes: you’ve all been traveling for a while and you’re all a little bit weary. But it doesn’t matter, you’re tough and so are the other geese. It gets chilly as you soar upon a huge block of snow peaks and after some time you see little creatures carrying pink salt cubes on their shoulders. However, you descend again, only to find your claws upon the gritty earth. You feel enormous strength in your muscles and suddenly you’re compelled to stalk a deer who’s drinking at a pool. You slip through the plants with precise stealth. Then a jump, and you can taste the soft flesh of your launch drenching blood on your fangs. You eat passionately, your tiger hunger is satisfied. Now silence. No movements. No pulls. Everything is so simple: you drink light from your branches, water from the roots. You’re merged in an unprecedented sense of peace. You witness everything around you, blindly. The years pass, and you just witness. One day, you die. You reach the final destination, a place that, ironically enough, has always been there. It has never been far from you. Even back in the day when you were a human striving for the spotlight, you were never far from the destination. You’ve always been there. Now you know. Now you are.

 

Herons