(A weekend reflection)
Jeesus I’ve been roped into some bizarre things by some very strange ladies God bless their souls and tantric postures! But a bloke gets swept away by that feminine mystique and enthusiasm for the strange, spiritual and bizarre … and crikey! … I ask you other chaps; who are we to deny them, hmm?
Take the time I was “encouraged” to be a part of this “Dromenom Labyrinth Circle” gathering. Just what is a Dromenom anyway?
“One set comes from the Gnostic tradition of the Chartres School, and the other from Sufi beliefs.” (Wikipedia). Well, there you go! And I had in mind ‘Greeks bearing gifts’.
Many years ago I was “involved” with a lady who was deeply immersed in the psychic (hey! I don’t make these things up, you know)! And so I was taken on the trip with the Full Monty (what’s that Groucho Marx ‘aside’: “I was in love once and I got the “business!”). I still have a couple of pics stashed somewhere with myself and a couple of the faithful holding sticks with some loosely tied chook or crow feathers on them as a kind of symbolic “connection” to “our” spiritual ancestors. And why not? My grandfather did breed chooks after all, and granny had her turkeys! But it was at one of those weekend workshops where people go back into their past lives and discover their tribal roots (marvelous how many Native American Indian princes there are in the Anglo-Saxon gene pool). Of course, one wouldn’t like to discover a spiritual ancestor who was, say, an Outer Mongolian prince … the image of “horde”, “massacre” and Genghis Khan springs to mind. The same with those Germanic types: Attila and all that! No … no … safer to wander the ancient forests of Seattle with, and pardon my ignorance in these matters, Pocahontas or Running Bear on ‘the shores of Gichigoomie’ (spelling ?). After all, all they did was hunt buffalo and make jokes about two dogs!
But I had to give that relationship away when it got to joining in spontaneous public performances of full-moon circle-dancing on the suburban beaches. I mean, fair go eh? There’s only so far a young bloke can be expected travel for some things. (sometimes the journeying ISN’T better, etc, etc). And don’t get me wrong. I’m a great believer in the spiritual myself. Why, I’m almost a Buddhist, y’ know?
There was this moment at one of the monthly meetings of “The Dromenom Circle”, where we were all expected to bring some example from our day-jobs that would show the spiritual connection between our everyday working life and our inner soul. As you know, I was in the building trade – heavy then, full on! I thought of Ron th’ brickie … my mind went blank on spiritual connection somewhere between sweating and swearing. After all, the “thing” in building for the tradie, is the finishing of the product. Or as James Joyce said to his portrait painter (wtte); “Don’t worry about the spirit of the thing, just get the tie right!”
So then I made models of three different wooden joints as an example of the advance of human vanity from the ancient Egyptians with a heavy-beam “scarf-joint” for spanning the rooves of temples, to an early concealed “fox-joint mortise and tenon” used in high-class chair manufacturing, to the creme-della-creme; “three way concealed dovetail” joint for use in the corners of display cabinets. I thought they were symbolic of the innate desire in humans to conceal the structure of a thing, yet contain the strength of construction of a thing … that sort of stuff. I know, I know … getting a tad philosophical for a chippy, but that’s the kind of bloke I was. Jeez! … they took some time and effort to make, especially the three-way-dovetail. But then, in spite of the work slaving over them, you see they were a little too “industrial” to be given much more than a curious glance, a wrinkled nose. Nothing spiritual in the actual working structure of things (isn’t it ironic how a lack of understanding of a thing swiftly precedes a lack of further interest in a thing?), so much more in the facile facade. The evil grin of the gargoyle gets more attention than the corbel supporting it.
So that was my experience with labyrinths. I walked them, I talked them, I did a lot of listening about them … them and Joseph Campbell on mythology. Jeez, he put out a lot of books and tapes. Cheerful bugger … that’s it; Cosmology. There’s a science there somewhere, I’m sure of it, though I’m buggered if I know. One can only travel so far down someone else’s road and then it seems that while they are spiritually walking a “field of wild-flowers and buttercups”, all you are seeing is brambles and thorns. There comes a time to walk another path. Perhaps a road less traveled.
But I do recall that “parting moment” that severed the relationship – preceded by my unstoppable, lip-pinched, spittle-flecked guffaw.
I was “encouraged” to take part in that “circle-dance” in the first moon cycle on the beach at Henley Beach. We were sitting on the sand there at the bottom of the steps of the jetty, waiting for “Marcie” who at that moment appeared at the top of the steps.
“Oh look!” one person whispered, “She isn’t wearing her glasses. You know, she’s been taking that potion to strengthen her vision and she has been seeing “Joyce” about ‘overcoming with her mind’ so she can stop using her glasses”.
Indeed, there she was, head poised staring straight ahead, hand on the rail stepping elegantly with pointed toe straight toward us measured step by step with all the grace of a queen. We sat there staring in silence, in awe. Then at the foot of the steps, while staring dead straight at us, she suddenly threw a leftie and started to walk away up the beach. Yes … yes … blind as a bat!
”Marcie, Marcie” we called.
And that was about when I got “The Look”.