A slap on the butt of consciousness – 3 Lessons

Falling Back to Earth by Cai Guo-Qiang
Falling Back to Earth by Cai Guo-Qiang

Yesterday three lessons came home to me soundly, like a slap on the butt of consciousness.

I was taken to see the Illusionist and an exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane yesterday.  My daughter had booked months before for this amazing show for the family but her husband had to work and I was invited along in his place.  I almost didn’t go.  I was deeply into my enneagramatic #2 at this stage, the others-before-me emotional bolthole that I frequent. I reason I have genuinely a lot of work to do and don’t want to stand in her way – ‘Surely one of your friends…?’ I ask. She looks hurt ‘No Mum I offered it to you.’  There was disappointment in her voice.  Like Robin hearing the call of Batman my server #2 leapt into action, how could I let her down ‘then of course I will come.’  Where was what I wanted in this equation?  My heart expands with joy with the impact of live art whether it be a play, a show or a stunning exhibition and yet – I was as usual dumbing down my desire, work to do I should be at the computer face instead of out enjoying myself. The day was magnificent beyond my wildest expectations it renewed me, it filled me with inspiration and wonder.

Lesson #1: don’t deny your heart grab each and every opportunity to make your heart sing.

The Illusionist Show was a collection of six magic maestros from around the globe all performing their signature magic art. I refuse to call these tricks.  Each illustration of their magical smoke and mirrors prowess so brilliantly conceived and delivered. The theatrical production of strobe lighting, three dimensional viewing and pulsing music filled your senses and each magic completion left you in awe.  There was talk from people in the interval about how the ‘trick’ was done ‘didn’t you see his hand up his sleeve?’ I moved away I did not want anything to interfere with my childlike wonder, like my grand daughters, I was simply in awe of the mystery.

Lesson #2: when you are in the ‘how’ you loose the magic. All you have to do is simply be present in the moment and you will be taken upon a technicolour joyful ride beyond your wildest senses.

The exhibition of Cai Guo-Qiang’s Falling Back to Earth with 99 life size animals from every hemisphere of the globe drinking from a large pool of sky blue water was in contrast serene, no music, no frenzied lighting no backdrops simply a steady drop of water to break the tension of the pale blue pool that rippled softly to the shore.   Of course we all read into it what we wanted, there the artist’s explanation and also in his gravity defying flying wolves exhibition.  We don’t all follow in an orderly conformist opinion even if we glimpse an understanding of the artistic intention.  Art goes beyond the creator and touches others in ways the artist could not imagine.

Lesson #3 we each see what we want to see but if we are open and still ourselves to truly absorb we see what we need to see.

One final lesson – receiving with an open heart is just as beautiful as giving – truly grateful for a magical day.

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