Tuesday, April 23, 2013

rethinking everything...

An apt thought for the moment...

Michael Chase: area of interest 
I'd posted this word/image on a much earlier blog post here: http://sophiemunns.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/we-must-rethink-everything.html and tonight, doing a major renovation at this somewhat neglected Visual Eclectica blog it just seemed to sum up my current preoccupation in general.

Nothing like having a good think about things... not just the old stuff that ails us... or what we are doing tomorrow... but the big stuff... the out there stuff that we are all part of anyway. Like how one can open the covers of a book such as this one... a library book I started to read a while back... to be reminded about big ideas, big inventions, changes, eras and such.

I remember being curious about why the writer chose to include what he did in his history of the world in objects... 100 is not many to narrow it down to.. 

Its fascinating to consider the uniqueness of our responses to questions, big and small.

Years ago I was deeply touched reading about a Dominican priest, Matthew Fox, who'd been silenced by the Pope in the late 80's for his outspoken views on a number of things ... but if I recall properly it was his speaking about was happening in Central and Sth America at that time that had really brought this about. Liberation theology rings a bell.

From WIKI:
Matthew Fox (born 1940) ... was an early and influential exponent of a movement that came to be known as Creation Spirituality. The movement draws inspiration from the mystical philosophies of such medieval Catholic visionaries as Hildegard of BingenThomas AquinasSaint Francis of AssisiJulian of NorwichDante AlighieriMeister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa, as well as the wisdom traditions of Christian scriptures. Creation Spirituality is also strongly aligned with ecological and environmental movements of the late 20th century and embraces numerous spiritual traditions around the world, including Buddhism,JudaismSufism, and Native American spirituality, with a focus on "deep ecumenism".
Fox has written 30 books that have sold millions of copies and by the mid-1990s had attracted a "huge and diverse following".[2] He was likened by academic theologians in one New York Times article to the controversial and influential 20th century Jesuit priest, philosopher and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, particularly for his interpretations of issues such as the doctrine of original sin and the Cosmic Christ and for the resulting conflicts with church authorities.[3]

I particularly loved one of his leading thoughts : Its not what we are in the habit of doing that matters but what we might be able to do... the world doesn't really need people to do what they habitually do... but to ask what would the world really like us to do... or what it needs.

OK...to be honest the words are terribly hazy now... anyone familiar with this whole story might shoot me down and say I've got it all wrong. I apologise for misleading you if thats so... BUT!

Think of that question: What does the world need us to do?

I like to think that somewhere between what we like to do and what the world needs / is aided by... there is a task for each and every one of us... should we chose to consider that, believe that and move towards it. 

Ideal world perhaps you say? The stories we love it would have to be said very often have this key theme at their heart. The person who finds their joy doing something that gives joy or hope or support or aid or ideas and learning to others comes to stand as an inspiration to others. Then again, some are so under the radar most have no idea what they spend their time giving to others.

I remember in late 2011 when in London taking in the crowds at the Brick lane market marvelling at the vast crowds or people from every corner of the globe. I currently live in a city with a remarkably submerged cultural diversity. It exists... but not in the populous, exuberant way it exists in a city like London.
Brick Lane Market London

I walked for hours taking in the multiplicity of offerings... the sights, sounds and aromas ... and then I came across this plaque on the wall on my walk through the teeming masses!

Buxton I had not heard of... but I had to stop and say to myself ... well... if this isn't a reminder that it takes people, not just one either, to change things... I don't know what is. Loved that juxtaposition of the plaque to the masses swarming around me sharing the late Sunday afternoon party of many nations!
LondonVia here.

So what are we in the habit of doing?

Why do we do what we do?

When we fail to find some enriching relationship between what we do and what others are supported by, the world is supported by... it can be a tough life. Stuck in really difficult jobs we are certainly challenged to find a way it bring something more to that work. Life can really test us... so we need people who can remind us of other ways through... other things to strive for or risk doing.

The Groucho Marx question is interesting! I've borrowed that quote to include in slideshow presentations I do on my Homage to the Seed project. It gets a chuckle but is of course quite poignant.

Recent blog posts of mine this year are discussing change on the personal front with the current transition I'm in ... studio packed up and in storage, work on hold... selling one home and looking to find another. Its so interesting to be reminded that when one uproots, soon enough the questions start flowing. Initially one can feel inconvenienced and unsettled and be out of sorts or simply disoriented. Things are easily misplaced and ordinary tasks can become more challenging.

Then, if one is fortunate to gain some time to think during this change, it can become an intensely creative period. Many have said this to me also... its been very much their experience.

Tonight I decided to focus on this one blog. Rethink what its been, how it developed and where its going. I started with the visual element and borrowed 2 background images to use from Lost and Taken Gallery. Free high resolutions textures was an interesting place to search.

Lost & Taken textures are made freely available for use in both personal and commercial projects including web templates, designs, and other materials intended for distribution. Attribution is appreciated, but not required.

The background n this blog is from the paper samples... watercolour on old paper and the header background in the old worn cover of a book ... loved the particular green... so mellow and I'm happy it works with the other background so well.



Theres 100's more for you to see.

Well i have edited just about every possible part of this blog... but the one thing I have yet to do is update the blog-lists i follow. They are tow years out of date in some cases. New people I follow I have not even added to the list.

Ive been very remiss in blog-land... but that was how it was.

Next Tuesday it will be 4 years exactly since I started this blog... my first online site... but now one of many I attempt to keep up with. So if you are reading this and you have visited before and returned... i thank you... and if this is your first visit ... welcome indeed!

I want to say a special thankyou to all who have popped by or click on to follow ... whether its just been a week, a month or a long time now... thankyou ! The opportunity for exchange has brought so much that I could write pages on that alone!

Best wishes to all!
Sophie x


Carole said...

Oh my gosh, if I really had to "rethink everything" I'd be overwhelmed and confused! Some days I'm at a loss as to what I think at all! The mysteries of life, the evil, the good, the beautiful, the ugly, letting water run while washing up, recycle this or that, who to donate to, what to do if the Island is cut off from Vancouver...........
but it's an idea I'd like to ponder on more.
Have a marvellous week, Sophie!

Sophie Munns said...

You're not alone in thinking how overwhelming it is/would be to rethink everything Carole!

Sometimes I cower and want to run and hide my head in the sand at the thought of the pressures on life as we know it on this little globe of ours.

Probably why I wrote this particular post last night is that I Have finally had enough time to catch up with the process of transition I find myself in and get past the disruption, listlessness and fluctuating anxiety that causes to start enjoying the process.

I'm reminded that i moments of emptying out "what was" we find space fro new thoughts, new possibilities... and thats reminding me to consider Matthew Fox's question....to go beyond what are we in the habit of doing to think on what we could be doing.

I like that in the moment of having cleared the slate so to speak... there is a chance for something slightly fresh or daring even to enter in.

GLad you offered your thoughts on this Carole!

Sweetpea said...

What a wonderful post, Sophie. I follow, and almost always read every word here, but don't tend to comment all that much ... which has nothing at all to do with how much I enjoy your missives. Time is a stealer of good intentions, I'd say. Seems we might each be having the *problems* that you are mentioning. It's good to periodically come to attention, I suppose and in this moment I'd just like to say, I for one, am very glad you are out here doing what you do.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Christi,
how lovely to come home and read your comment this evening! I know that thing about commenting. Sometimes one reads a post and the thoughts take you off somewhere most fruitful but words don't always form to leave in a comment.

I'd hazard a guess and agree with you that many of us bloggers have found other online processes if not important undertakings elsewhere have meant less blogging time.

Usually its around Xmas, New Years and Summer holidays when I catch up with blogging... but I think this year we were preparing our home to sell and now its more like the slow holiday time of catching up, reflecting and having all these thoughts.

I always remember when I first found your blog I was totally enchanted. It was amazing to think that something as ordinary as a computer could be a vehicle for such magic!!! Thanks indeed Christi for stopping today and leaving a truly delightful message!

Wendy Austin said...

rethinking everything .. better begin now..

Sophie Munns said...

You are good at rethinking Wendy... cant wait to hear what this will involve!

Anonymous said...

what a lovely post, deep musing... i have several times had to reinvent my life after major traumatic events and find it has left me with an attitude people without that experience find bewildering: that it's always a new day, that we carry nothing with us through this life except a willingness to meet the opportunity before us, as best we can in each moment and the quiet times are great for building acceptance and the fun times are necessary to keep our balance... i just got a rollator (walky wheels you push and then sit down as needed)and lots of people are surprised i'm happy...but now i get to walk at least twice as far! it meant i could do the health and safety assessment when i chose the site for my first public park installation of fibre art! how cool is that!?! to them the glass is very empty, i need a mobility aid, ach sigh...taking the long view and keeping a sense of proportion are very valuable... anyway, all good wishes, and love the new background and thanks for sharing the link ;)

Sophie Munns said...

Singing bird artist... this lovely message desrves my full attention so I will be back later today.
Thank you !

Sophie Munns said...

I returned singing bird artist!
Thank you for taking a moment to leave your musings here for us to read.
I know what you mean by life calling you to the task of reinvention. The discovery that you've clearly taken on board is that if one chooses to meet what comes to you from life with an open heart and mind one will be able to find all kinds of inner resources, and outer, to deal with the new circumstances.
You sound like finding ways to spread your wings despite clear limitations gives you great joy and a sense of more being possible ... the all-important anticipation of more good thing coming to you!
Yes that is bewildering I'm sure to those yet to know how deeply life can test one's mettle. Its the paradox of life really isnt it... when things happen that you fear you would never cope with it can be incredible to find how one can actually rise to meet this challenge.

I had a really interesting test with a house fire in 2000. What happened is that everything had been going wrong previously for a time because I had lost a sense of what was next for me... I wasn't taking up the challenge to make a really big change in my life that was necessary... I guess I'd become too uncertain and stuck!

After the fire I suddenly saw everything differently and apart from a small anxiety everytime I smelt smoke for a long time i actually was able to make crucial BIG changes after that event that significaantly set my life on a far better journey!
I learned to tank my lucky stars over and over for that house-fire. It acted as if like a friend who'd come to my rescue. That is found fascinating!
Best wishes with all your endeavours Singing bird!

Sharmon Davidson said...

Rethinking everything would be an overwhelming task, but sometimes I am attracted to the idea of starting over from scratch- just tossing out all the old life and doing better next time. It seems terribly unfair that we had to make all the important decisions at times in our lives when we really didn't have the experience needed to make wise choices. At least now I have learned how to think, a bit...

Sophie Munns said...

HI Sharmon,
I'm so with you on the difficulty of having to make choices that affect or define our lives years before we've understood or had the experience to make these choices.

Many of us come to regret things later... but then again that shapes us as humans who can deal with paradox and uncertainty with humility and depth of character ... the tensions can help forge a much truer direction inevitably... so long as we don't get stuck in disappointment or despondency.

Rethinking often happens when we've reached a point of feeling we have no choice for some reason and something in our lives demands change...so it is not something that I think we necessarily wake up one day and decide to do. ALthough that can happen and people sometimes mention that.

I've noticed lately many more farmers saying they've had enough! Maybe not first generation farmers... therefore people who've thought they would stay on family property and keep some of the traditions alive. Collectively they've been tested by so many factors and seem to be leaving unwillingly... I don't hear a lot of stories of what happens next.

SO whether change come to us collectively or individually all one can say is that its certainly happening on a broad scale in these times.