Fame and Spirit

A cretin’s indiscreting?

 Something strange happened this week, I popped into a Farleigh Hospice charity shop after visiting my dentice, that’s my way of treating myself! I was on the prowl for a cd with some interesting music on. I found a copy of one by John Taverner, so of course I bought it. I got home and played it while I recovered from the evil dentist’s rooting around in my gob. On the news that night I saw that Taverner had died that day. I hear some muttering ‘mere coincidence’. But I believe synchronous events to have strong & powerful meaning. During the night Lennon got assassinated I dreamt a skunk had jumped on my back and no matter which way I twisted and turned I could not reach to pull or shake it off. Synchronistically Chapman was a skunk.

I believe in ‘spirit’ and that some have Spirit which is spirit with a capital S not just spirit, which everyone has. When humans die spirit seperates. There is some (cosmic) law which states, at least on (our) planet Earth that once departed (from the portage device (our Body) we/that spirit can no longer make a physical contact. I don’t understand why but there it is. Like I cannot understand why planet Earth is so isolated in ‘space’/the Universe. It’s almost as if we (our spirits) have been (somehow deliberately) ‘sentenced’ to isolation. I believe we can see Earth bound existence as either Positive or Negative, depending where our spirit is ‘at’ in terms of development. And development in terms of millennia not decades, again I don’t ‘know’ why. However there are Higher levels both for and in us, other than ‘us’ or me mySelf I. Back to Taverner…There was some sort of ‘link’ between us, as indicated by that synchronicity- I could have bought the cd any day before or since, but on the very day he died is a bit much- these links occur, sometimes thru physical contact and sometimes thru the spirit at work. We ‘tune in’ to the work others do. In Taverner’s case I saw a performance of his work at St Paul. I never actually saw Lennon, just loved his music and writings. Significantly I also did ‘portraits’ of both. The Lennon one is in an earlier blog.


This is my Taverner, where I utilised his visage to represent Thomas Plume in the mural that I did in Maldon, Essex with a bunch of children. It’s still on the side of a house near the junction of Cross Rd and Fambridge Rd if you want go see it. It’s not my work, it’s drawings the kids did which I then enlarged and transcribed onto an 8×4 board, then they helped me to paint it using high quality acrylics which still retain their colour 9 years on.I added some images to represent famed historic characters of the Maldon area like Plume, Britnoth,  

OK so my apparent faux pas during Andrew Roth’s talk when I asked out loud with my mouth, “Isn’t he dead?” about Tadanori Yokoo, because I believed that sadly he was. Well, it seems my faux pas wasn’t so foolish after all. Returning to a Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain book about the Japanese artist, whose graphic works I admire after I did a study on them in 1972-73, it seems I had been misled somewhere over the past 40 years. And by Yokoo himself! Actually around the time he was accompanied to New York by Daido Moriyama with whom and from whose photos taken at the time A. Roth did the book he was showing us at First Site. On p125 Yokoo says, “I’m so terrified of death that I killed myself through a desire to be reborn. I even had an announcement of my death published in the press…my wife…was asked [as part of the plot] to go into mourning. Death is an abominable thing we would do anything to dispose of,…I wanted to get closer to death through my fear of it, and cast aside that fear…we should view our lives in this world as playacting.” In fact that is a theme I saw running thru A. Roth’s talk, especially in the books by David Wojnarowicz, Rimbaud In New York and in Pretend You’re Actually Alive by Leigh Ledare whose mother seems very much to view her whole life as an act and is viewed voyeuristically by her son as an act.

So maybe my indiscretion can be forgiven?

But talking about death. Which I shall do more when I blag about Sogyal Rinpoche to report on his Tibetan Buddhist ideas on the Inevitable, and when you read that one you’ll see I am not being ‘morbid’. (Talk of death is a serious taboo, probably seen as worse than ‘expletive deleted’s, in the West whereas the Tibetan Buddhists and some other cultures actually look at death in a creative and more positive way.) I want to dwell for a moment on my own mortality.

Despite my attempts to convince myself that I’ll live forever I shall inevitably step off this mortal coil from this incarnation soon enough. I Am 63 years young. (Six and Three make up Nine, all vital numbers in Gurdjeff’s cosmology). Granted good health and clean living, avoiding accidents and (more) disease I may add another 20 – 30 years more or less active creative living. Even so in 30 years from now I will have passed thru the car to the other side to paraphrase a statement attributed to Lennon. So, I have already lived between two thirds to ¾ of my ‘life’ this time around. I have spent at least 2/3 of my 63 years as an adult whose main interest was making his ‘art-output’. That output has been even by conservative estimate, ‘productive’. Although much of it has failed to see ‘light of day’ in publication or exhibition and my total exposure on TV has been 60 seconds on Anglia about my Maeldune show in 2007 and even less on National ITV in a shot of me laughing during one of Ken Campbell’s shows about science which the producer chose to also use during the credits. So, 90 seconds of ‘fame’. Warhola reckoned I am owed 3 and ½  minutes by right. I’m working towards that.

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