Category Archives: Friends

Twinkle Toes Walker goes Walken

Chris-Walken

Watch this GREAT dance by Christopher Walken https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6ta5Y3xAhk

“I tink OI’ll do dat dance misen.”

step dancer2

And here’s me old mate Duncan Walker mimicking him.

Twinkle Toes Walker does a Walken.

a tinker sm

Then advises me,

“Nah then lad, tha’s gottu git thar olde buk owt.”

OK 19.4.16

So we all experience self-doubt and of course as I work thru the final prep of the final version for print of the SI sometimes I wonder if it’s worth continuing? My old pal IEPWoolard says, “Yes, you have to Pete”. Another friend, whose opinion I take very highly, talks of the ‘yes to carry on’ but also the need to make sure that when copies are ‘thesis-bound’ that there is also some stitching along the bound end to preserve it for not just 20 years but for 100 years plus when, ‘It’ll be of even more interest (because of its context)’. That’s not to say he’s saying my ‘writing’ is of a great importance, no, it’s the statement/evidence that the work brings with it of a time, a time in the early 1970’s. Now, that time is already gone, it’s history and my ‘book’ is (further evidence) of life then.

19.04.2016

I had a nice little fillip today when a member of the staff at Firstsite said of my Outlaw Pete gig, ‘It was an out of body experience.’ She had not watched my whole gig. Said what she saw was very strange. I retorted, ‘That’s good cos I never want to be perceived as ‘normal’.’

20th April 2016

I just laid page 70 into my Quark* layout for my ‘Shrewd Idiot’ (SI) buk. It happens to be 3 drawings I done back in 1971 (December) of the character I had realised that I had just ‘invented/created’ AppleHeadedMan aka Apulhed. Well in fact two of ‘him’ and one of PearHeadedWoman. The sketches fit nicely over the two pages of the SI manuscript which lay over one page of the new version. There’s lots of different links there, including the visual link of the two intersecting on the page. In fact I never again drew Pearheadgirl, never ever even to today, which is fascinating, cos Applehead could have had a constant ‘fruity’ companion thru the past 40 years. In fact in the notes on that same page I am forlornly saying that my then erstwhile girl-friend was not replying to my letters and that when we were to meet up again, as planned around my 21st birthday, it would only be ‘as friends (not lovers)’. In fact we never were to meet up again, not so far anyway. Maybe the slipping away of Pearheadgirl is a living analogy of that aspect or sequence of things which happened then did not happen in my life? [An analogy is ‘a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects’.] The disappearance of Pearheadgirl is synonymous with the non-re-appearance of ‘Rose’ in ma life.

Quark* is one of the two big packages which offer design strategies for print layout. Although I found them difficult to make contact with I went up to their address in London and did find a human being who was very helpful. So much so I have decided to stay with them and move to their new ‘2016’ version despite the fact that my printman’s company uses a rival design package, which will cause some difficulties because one system is not compatible with the other. I am relatively unschooled in ‘graphic-design’ and have a lot to learn but I always did find ‘learning on the job’ my preferred route to skills and knowledge. Creating this new version of my SI buk is arduous, mostly because I insist on using scans of typed script from the 1980’s manuscript when re-typing it into a modern digi-form would be much much easier. All my life I tended to do things the hard way, as my SI buk still shows. Its form & content show an idiot (idjet) at work but he end result he knows will be, well let’s just say, very different. And ‘all me own original werk’.

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Let’s Do It, Live Art…

‘Whilst Live Art remains elusive to most mainstream commentators its influence is pervasive, and intriguingly the concept of performativity – its central tenet’ from an article by LADA (Live Art Development Agency) Director Lois Keidan that appeared in Guardian Online on 22 October 2015 when I was half way thru the two week course led by Jurgen Fritz which has totally re-aligned my thinking on what my art is, was and forever more will BE. I am so determined to do Performance Art in my future and have just come across a conversation involving a friend I made (Andrea Pagnes http://www.vest-and-page.de/ ) at the IPA fortnight with a man whose work totally blew me away when I discovered it in a book that I saw at the bookshop in the National Theatre (I’ve yet to see anything other than photos of the man), Ron Athey. Their conversation gets to the hub of the issues in PA and altho I am a novice by comparison I felt so privileged that both Vest & Page said such wonderfully constructive things to me about my efforts. I received so much encouragement to carry on. Recently I have heard it said that ‘art’ is a minority interest (but today on Anglia BBC morning news they tell me “Creative Industries are worth £76 billion per annum to the ‘Economy’- why don’t i see any o that?), well it may be a minority interest to some but it’s been my obsession now for 48 years. I still have some more to say and it will be thru PA/Live Art which is so much more demonstrative in its appreciation than the ‘art world’ [sorry art-world but I been trying to make a dent on you fer 48 years and the door won’t budge! At least when I do Live Art they clap and cheer (when I get off)]Hee Hee.

v & p latex dancers

That’s Andrea in the mask on right hand side.

Some words from Andrea Pagnes in conversation with Ron Athey,

AP‘… the richness and uniqueness that can emanate from personal experience, lived life and the consequent artistic research which arises directly from the deepest inclinations and existential urgencies of an individual.’

‘…when performance art intersects life directly and uncompromisingly, and draws on the most basic instincts, processes and transforms the deeper reasons and urgencies of Man’s presence in the world … it is revelatory: a sincere, transformative experience on human scale.’

RA says, ‘…How, in any medium, to bring something esoteric to

life, how to disturb a given, how to represent the super natural.’

AP you have … challenged conventional bourgeois mores, tastes and expectations

…by addressing viscerally emerging social hypocritical worries…’

RA performance art today… is not populist. Why not do benefits/write for funds/self produce in an amazing site-specific place? Cuz it is so much work but so worth it!

 I love the bit about ‘the richness and uniqueness that can emanate from personal experience’ and that underpinned what 3 of my course leaders said to me. Andrea saw the natural clown/fool in me in two settings which he commented on. I see from the vids on V&P website that he has done much work with clowns.http://www.vest-and-page.de/#!the-smile-at-the-top-of-the-ladder/c1orh

They all encouraged me to use my life experience in my PA, something which comes easy to me I must say as I’ve reached a point in my life where I treasure every moment I have lived and I am ready to go out there and bring my stuff to folks in a variety of settings. At IPA I used some of my Ashtanga Yoga practice in some of my pieces, particularly the Jug Dance but there were other ‘moves’ and references too. Ashtanga Yoga is a fairly vigourous form which emanated from the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya thru his pupil K. Pattabhi Jois. Another of his students B K S Iyengar popularised his Iyengar form in Britain from the 1960s. The main difference as far as I can see is that Iyengar encourages the use of aids like cushions to ease the new student into the forms that can be somewhat excrutiating for a long time for starters. I for one have massive difficulty trying to do a lotus position but no matter, you do what you can and you gradually move towards perfection.The good thing is people do yoga into their 90’s which is fortunate cos I never started til I were in ma 60’s!arnolfini outside jug dance smPhoto by Nicole Murmann (thanks!)

This is not Yoga it is Performance Art, why? cos PA is what the artis says it is, Jurgen told us that, didn’t he?

I discovered a book on yoga which I’d recommend to anyone who wants to know its benefits, it’s called, The Reluctant Yogi by Carla McKay http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15000943-the-reluctant-yogi

I have been doing yoga once or twice a week and now I am so glad I began as it’s obvious it has so many astounding benefits.

Namaste.

About LaoTze

I like this story about LaoTze

“Patanjali and Lao Tzu came to a stream. Patanjali began to cross the stream by walking on the surface of the water. Lao Tzu stood on the bank and called him to come back.

“What’s the matter?” Patanjali inquired.

“There is no need to cross the stream, because this shore is the [as] other shore.” said Lao Tzu,

That’s the whole emphasis of Lao Tzu: There is no need to go anywhere; the other shore is here. There is no need to do anything. The only need is just to be. Effort is irrelevant because you are already that which you can ever be. Go nowhere. Follow no path. Seek nothing. Because wherever you will go, the very going is missing the point because everything is available here already.”

I’m not trying to challenge the world, it’s always been the same. Conflict happens. Underpinning that and vastly more important is Harmony. Harmoniousness has always been there. Witness the Indian master Tshengregacha’s visit to Zarathustra. They were the roots of the so-called ‘Great Religions’ but what underpins both is Belief in Spirit as One Everlasting Harmonious Being, of which we are part.

There’s a story about a king who thought he was being deceived by his wise man:

“So the king sent a caravan to a great Indian mystic, Tshengregacha, to whom came disciples from all over the world, and with the caravan went the same messengers and the same treasure that he had once sent to Zarathustra.

After many months, the messengers returned from India with the philosopher, but the philosopher said to him, “I am honoured to be your teacher but in frankness must tell you that I come chiefly to your country that I may meet the great Zarathustra.”

Then the king took the golden box containing the grain of wheat and answered, “I asked Zarathustra to teach me. See, this is what he sent me. Here is the teacher who shall teach me the Laws of the universe and the forces of nature. Is this not ridiculous?”

The philosopher looked long at the grain of wheat, and silence fell upon the palace while he meditated. At length he said, “I do not regret my many months of journeying, for now I know that Zarathustra is in truth the great teacher that I have long believed him to be. This tiny grain of wheat can indeed teach us the laws of the universe and the forces of nature, for it contains them in itself right now. You must not keep the grain of wheat in its golden box. You are missing the whole point.

“If you plant this little grain in the earth, where it belongs, in contact with the soil, the rain, the air, the sunshine, and the light of the moon and the stars, then like a universe in itself it will begin to grow bigger and bigger. Likewise you, if you would grow in knowledge and understanding, must leave your artificial life and go where you will be close to all the forces of nature and of the universe, to the sum total of things. Just as inexhaustible sources of energy are ever flowing towards the grain planted in the earth, so will innumerable sources of knowledge open and flow towards you until you become one with nature and the organic universe. If you watch the growth of this seed of grain, you will find that there is an indestructible and mysterious power in it — the power of life. The grain disappears, and in that disappearance there is victory over death.”

“All that you say is true” answered the king, “yet in the end the plant will wither and die and will be dissolved into the earth.”

“But not until it has done an act of creation and has turned itself into hundreds of grains, each like the first. The tiny grain disappeared as it grew into a plant, and you too as you grow must turn yourself into something and someone else. Life always creates more life, truth more abundant truth, the seed more abundant seeds. The only art one needs to know is the art how to die. Then one is reborn. I propose that we journey to Zarathustra himself that he may teach us more of these things.”

Extracts, with thanks from:

http://www.energyenhancement.co.uk/yoga/Osho-Yoga-The-Alpha-and-the-Omega-Vol-7-Discourses-on-the-Yoga-Sutras-of-Patanjali-Chapter-4-Be-A-Seed-Question-1.html

The one about Zarathustra comes from Edmond Bordeaux Szekely’s Book of Asha. http://www.amazon.com/The-Essene-Book-Asha-Journey/dp/0895640082

I found the yogasutra site last night and I thought I were in heaven. I saw a lacewing yesterday it flew past me onto a leaf. They are angels to me bringing messages from my father who died 1993 after he’d introduced me to one about 200 foot up an industrial chimbley.

Ailing & Aliens

Some of my friends are ailing. I near said aliens. Would that be correct? Maybe, if you think we are just passing thru. I sometimes get real bad cramp, say, in my calf at 4am, I just did. I guess am lucky (to be alive, it reminds me I’m alive!).Some of my friends don’t get cramps, they have strokes and heart problems. Yes am lucky. Reading Osho and all of that, they say don’t yearn to do the world, don’t run to get to the other side where the grass isn’t really greener. Just be there, just be. I intend to be myself Now.

I am collating buk(s) from previous books I prepared. No hassle. Keeps me off the streets. Here’s some writings I prepared (+published in my buk The Dull Jodrell, which I may do in a new revised second edition soon…ish) earlier:

dj hopi cava sm

THE DULL JODRELL DUCKS THE ISSUE

dw foto sm

It’s nice lovely coming to chez Duncan Dragonhat because everything comes together.  Despite the blocks of flats, cars and planes it’s a beautiful place, overlooking Kew.  Although you can’t see the gardens you see the trees, hear the crows and witness swan-like ducks fly three abreast over the roofs.  But it’s more than that.  Last night he gave me religion.  Not Duncan.  VAN.  Van the man. Saw him at the Dominion Theatre and it was like a religious experience.  I used to be a Van fanatic.  Now I am just into the music, so to speak.  But last night was such a beautiful experience as Van took us through his repertoire and the audience went ecstatic.

Afterwards we came back for the hot chilli Janet made and I went to sleep from 2.30 till now at 6.30.  It’s light and warm enough to sit undressed and it looks like being a good day.

And Duncan’s little library here, I don’t know where to start, books on everything and all, and he’s read them all (nearly), records galore.  One called Achalay is all original Latin American music – pan pipes, flutes and all, and his books, more ducks fly by, his books are a sight for sore eyes; just the ones I put by to look at – Russell Hoban’s ‘Riddley Walker’, Bukowski poems, Casteneda’s ‘Tales of Power’, the ‘Lunar Effect’ by Arnold Leiber, ‘The White Hotel’ D M Thomas.  There are books about Castenedas, Gurdjieff, Enstein, Krishnamurti, Buddhism.  He’s got Kerouac, Genet, Hesse, Beckett, Alan Watts, Brautigan.  To list them would be futile, so I have.  But suffice it to say I’ve already said it.  A jet plane majestically interrupts my writing.  I don’t mind but it is the sixth one in as many minutes, but in London you forget it, they’re like the bird song.  There, like the bird’s song, the slight blue sky and the mild wind moving the tree tops, and I’d like to tell you all about Duncan but I can’t, because I have, suffice it to say.

The seeds you planted grow and help you when you need it.  ‘Organisms are either in a state of positive or negative receptivity relative to their natural environment’ (Arnold L Lieber).  This quote takes me back to when I wrote about positive and negative aggression, or should I say creative and destructive use of the ‘aggressive aspect’ in all of us.  The ‘natural environment’, Dunc’s got his here, I’ve got mine in the country, so to speak.

He the town mouse,

Me the country mouse.

To begin with we knew not where we were going.  We were kids from the street, like all the rest.  We still are.  But we found the clues.  We followed our Hunches, we saw the light come shining through and it’s shining right on YOU.

Once you begin to tune in more easily, through experience of Effort, through having been there before, you begin to recognise the signs, you look for the signs, the signs of synchronicity begin to aid you.  Everything begins to fit into place.  The most unlikely things occur and become right.  That’s why developing and keeping an open mind is good.  By opening your mind (like a walnut shell pulled apart), you begin to see connections, you begin to cut through the mist that clouds the consciousness.  So; the clouded consciousness clears as your mind opens up to all aspects all around.  My mind opens up as I write this story about the Dull Jodrell.

Duncan is not a Dull Jodrell, nor is he a Shrewd Idiot, but he is a fellow Traveller, he’s with us on the Journey to the East.  He and me are about the same age, we went to the same school, we both went into college and came out.  Twenty years (53 now) we’ve known each other, helped each other, watched each other from afar.  When we get together, by letter, tape, telephone or in person, we talk at length about our various discoveries.  He understands my effort, and he sees the Path I trod.  Now and then he makes observations on my werk, suggests directions, sends books which he thinks will help.

As every creator knows, he can often find somebody to criticise or sympathise, but to find someone who he respects, who can empathize, is elusive.  I found that type of friend in Dunc.  I’ll always remember when I gave him the first part of ‘The Shrewd Idiot’ to ready. We were in the Tate at the time, a William Blake exhibition.  Duncan disappeared.  I found him when I can to leave, in tears of laughter as he read through my manuscript, rolling around the seat in the foyer.  I asked him why the mirth and he said, ‘Because it’s good, so good, it’s so good to us because we know how far you had to come’.  Here are some of his other comments:

a Duncan and the cosmic egg (1)

  ‘I have thought that I spend too much time thinking about how to view reality, which is futile.  As the Zen Buddhists say, “All that is, is”.  This is true, but you must be in a receptive state.  If, by your very nature, you are inquisitive and unsatisfied by the world view our society has trained us in then this ‘Cosmic Egg’ has to be broken and our own personal one needs to be built, otherwise we are in the garden but cannot touch its beauty.  I used to use the concept of a furrowed field, representing tunnel realities.  I strived to build up enough energy to leap onto the next furrow, gain its experience/view point, then leap onto the next, eventually arriving at a point where I’d attained cosmic consciousness and was running on top of all the furrows.

We are like displaced people, trying to get back to our world, we see it fleetingly during our illuminations, which give us energy and faith, but then we are sucked back into accepting this world.’

 dhatdkblu

Namaste Dragonhat, Avatar & Ally,

Love from D. J. O’Dourke.