Journal

Morning Meditation

Deep in the meditation I discover that the Divine desires nothing from me: not praise, nor worship, nor my love. Northing is wanted, nothing is regretted.

I contrast this with my love. My love has wanted another’s love to enrich it. My love has needed the child to love me back, to obey, to show respect. My love may not diminish but it has been wrapped in desire. Is weakened by this.

The God of my youth which delighted in our response to Him fades like an unwanted mirage. A purer Divinity is dimly seen.

Power of Zen

There is nothing like a power outage to test my Zen like calm (or lack of it). RedBubble was down for a number of hours this evening because of a power outage. I was watching the cricket.

The Artist Magazine

There is a great profile of RedBubble in the US based (physical) September issue of The Artist Magazine. The online article should also be out. Extracts follow:

Visit to Saatchi Gallery

Prior to visiting Oxford for TED Global I had a few days in London. I decided to visit the Saatchi Gallery. It was interesting.

There was an exhibition of American Abstract artists. Some of the work was wonderful (to me). A huge pile of clothes on legs by Guerra de la Paz was both intriguing and worrying.

But some of the work was incomprehensible to me. In the latter category was the work of Gedi Sibony.

A work of plastic wrap and tape (see below) on the wall is described as a “monumental assemblage of plastic wrapping and packing tape. Its overwhelming scale magnifies its fragile physicality, making its precarious presence simultaneously awesome and embarrassed.” Just to be clear it is not monumental in scale (it is about 6’ high). I genuinely don’t know if the c…

At TED

Last week I got a chance to attend and (very briefly) present at TED Global in Oxford.

Here is a link to my talk.

Highlights of the event for me were:
- a surprisingly engaging and moving presentation by Gordon Brown
- a incomprehensible but very funny speach by Stephen Fry
- a brilliant performance by the Sudanese Rap singer, Emannuel Jal
- an extraordinary tale by of innovation by William Kamkawamba (he built a windmill out of scrap to drive a pump during the Malawi famine)
- innumerable extraordinary scientific, design and economic ideas.

As for RedBubble. We were very well received. People were a bit surprised that such extraordinary art was being created and shared on the Internet. It is a bit of leap for people to understand that the world of creativity is so much larger than the availab…

Going on Vacation

Specifically a 10 day silent retreat until 5 July without phones, Internet or email. So am going to turn bubblemail off also while I am away.

See you all in 10 days with a new attitude and small (uncomplicated) smile.

The Substance of Things Not Seen

Have just got back from the USA. And am jet lagged and grumpy.

Have been mucking around with launching the quick but hopefully worthwhile challenge The Substance of Things Not Seen.

For reasons which don’t need explaining I managed to post it multiple times. Not entirely my fault but apologies if you received it more than once.

Hopefully we will be successful in getting to show it at the TED conference. It really is an amazing event and to show the wonder of some of the art on RedBubble would be an enormous joy. We would set it to music and make it quite special. It is worthwhile checking out some of the videos on the TED website, some are quite inspirational.

Anyway, nice to be home with well horses, girls and wife.

Harry Didn't Die

What can I say. He was in hospital for 9 days. It was very touch and go for the first few days and we have been reluctant to breath out. But in the end he is now home and eating grass. A bit thinner but otherwise in fine fettle.

See previous entry here

Fogging the Glasses

I bend fixing a trough. The horses gather around a little bit thirsty and curious. Its cold and I can feel them close. A young, brave colt nudges up close, fogging my glasses. Making the work difficult. I push at hm – not annoyed. I return to the task. They jostle about, strange and engaging.

Later that night we find one of the horses, Harry, has come down with colic. He is a big, bold adolescent. Beautiful and scared with pain. My wife takes him to the vet hospital late last night.

He is there now, almost certainly going to die. I am willing the universe to a different outcome.

Panic

I am in a state of acute anxiety as I don’t know whether to panic more about swine flu, global warming or the global financial crisis!

2,200

That is how many emails I just sent out to all my dearest friends. It is amazing how many email addresses you can pick up over the years if you never clean up your address book. I thought I better lead the charge to encourage people to get out and vote for RedBubble for a People’s Voice

There will be a lot of people who will be a bit freaked to get an email from me after years without contact. It will be interesting to hear from them also.

Too Damn Close

Some tools are genuinely dangerous. Some can be – like a hammer – but rarely are. Some look really dangerous but aren’t – like a welder. Some look dangerous and can be but you need to work at it to really do yourself mischief. Chainsaws are like that.

And then there are the few really dangerous tools. And the worst of them, at least that I own, is the 12 inch angle grinder. It’s the mother of all cutting instruments and it combines all the elements to make it really dangerous – heavy, unwieldy, awesomely fast and with momentum that gives it a life of its own.

Mostly I leave it on the shelf.

But today I really did need it for something.

OK, the job was cock-up from the start. And it was late and I should not have been anywhere near using the angle-grinde…

Too Damn Close

Some tools are genuinely dangerous. Some can be – like a hammer – but rarely are. Some look really dangerous but aren’t – like a welder. Some look dangerous and can be but you need to work at it to really do yourself mischief. Chainsaws are like that.

And then there are the few really dangerous tools. And the worst of them, at least that I own, is the 12 inch angle grinder. It’s the mother of all cutting instruments and it combines all the elements to make it really dangerous – heavy, unwieldy, awesomely fast and with momentum that gives it a life of its own.

Mostly I leave it on the shelf.

But today I really did need it for something.

OK, the job was cock-up from the start. And it was late and I should not have been anywhere near using the angle-grinde…

Happy Easter

Too all my joyous and wonderful friends on RedBubble, a very Happy Easter. I pray all your worries, fears and anxieties may be calmed. And that you may have peace and joy in your hearts, families and communities. I hope for a world renewed with a spirit of love and compassion.

Two New Quizes

Folks here are two new quizes.

Firstly, let me know how you go. They are hard!

Secondly, tell me if you will forward to friends. And if not what would make you.

These aren’t worth doing unless people are prepared to forward as they really are a marketing gimmick.

Impress Me
Sticker Shock

Martin

It is as it should be

I just put this up as a piece of writing here

It is not strictly original but I think it is out of copyright as it is at least 2,500 years old.

What is it about?

Not sure really but I can see the universe and be quietly confident that it just is as it should be.

And even … and now it gets hard, look at deep injustice, human tragedy, natural cruelty and understand that even this is as it should be. The origin unknown, the destination uncharted, the reality perhaps almost unbearable, but even then as it should be.

For me this has been very hard recently. Many troubles and then I just learnt that my lovely new niece (my younger brother’s daughter) has just been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. To rage against injustice. To thump hard the table of my soul. But the world gathers aro…

Nice to be Home

I have spent almost two weeks in the USA. I like America and I was in the Bay Area (outside of San Francisco) which is really lovely. I stayed with dear friends and I even got to go skiing for the weekend (the snow was amazing). But even so it is lovely to be home. The US is quite stressful at the moment and I found myself feeling anxious about life/RedBubble and all that. So being home with the kookaburras, kids and earth is wonderful. And it is raining which is such a bonus.

Fires About

I had been hoping it was over but my trip home (from the city of Melbourne) was a bit fraught as i got blocked twice by road closures because of new fires. I could see them over to the South and had two girls getting off the school bus and who would be home on their own. I had to do some scrappy driving around some back roads and made it home.

So animals are up or in the stables, girls are fed and insisting they need ice cream because of the anxiety and I am watching the weather and the Internet. I am pretty sure it is all OK – at least for us. Fires are a few kilometers away but it is reasonably calm and the wind is blowing them away. There is a great plume of smoke which I can see from the study.

It has been a truly awful year.

Changing Nature of Art

The New York Times art critic, Holland Cotter (love the name) wrote an interesting piece called The Boom Is Over. Long Live the Art! which looks at how the art world may adapt to changing economics and changing technology.

To quote him

But there will be many, many changes for art and artists in the years ahead. Trying to predict them is like trying to forecast the economy. You can only ask questions. The 21st century will almost certainly see consciousness-altering changes in digital access to knowledge and in the shaping of visual culture. What will artists do with this?

Will the art industry continue to cling to art’s traditional analog status, to insist that the material, buyable object is the only truly legitimate form of art, which is what the painting revival of the last few years h

Zen Masters

“I have lived with two great Zen Masters, both of them cats” Ekhart Tolle

They simply are. Fortunately oblivious to human neurosis.

There but for the Grace of God

Fires are only a few kilometers away but moving away. I cannot help but feel we have dodged a bullet. It could equally have well been my home, my town that was incinerated. I thought our fire plan was pretty good but have significantly revised as I look at the devastation of even well prepared properties.

New plan is retreat to the stables (which have independent pump and generator and lots of clear land around) and leave the house to fend for itself. Too many people have died defending houses for me to want to take that risk.

We pray for those who have lost loved ones and we pray for those who have been lost.

Twittering

I seem to have taken over the RedBubble_hq twitter responsibilities. Not sure why but I am now the main twitterer. It is a strange sort of thing. Anyway if want to know what I am up to you can follow it all on twitter at

http://twitter.com/redbubble_hq

Cant say it is very meaningful but then ….

Martin

The Dawn of the Universe

It just occurred to me that I was created at the dawn of the universe – of time and space.

I don’t make this statement as a philosophical point but rather that every atom of which I am made was created at the precise time the universe was created. They are essentially unchanged since then. And now they are arranged in such a way that they make up me.

And you too were created at the dawn of time and the universe.

Is this a bit mind-blowing?

Why is Art Important?

I have been reflecting over my break on the importance of art/creativity. And relatedly why RB is important. At same time been doing some spiritual reading (Echart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and some New Testament!).

It occurs to me that through our creativity we give external expression to our deepest thoughts. We make them concrete. In our meditation we try to do the same thing. And in both actions we realize that we are not our thoughts. This helps us to go beyond them to the deeper reality.

As we go beyond, we grow still in time and in place. When I am creating and when I am experiencing another’s creation I perceive the object so deeply that I begin to move through it. I am completely alive in that moment – absolutely aware but not caught by my ego-self and free in the now.

Ou…

Now - With a Chainsaw

I am on holidays at Lakes Entrance, a small fishing town in Victoria. Among other things, I am reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. It is a profound and useful book – very much in keeping with my own thinking.

As I am reading it occurs to me that I am most in the present, aside from when I am meditating, is when I am using the chainsaws. This generally is cutting up fallen trees (it happens a lot on the farm). It is dangerous work involving the chainsaws, the tractor and muscle. Generally the thinking is on a very quiet, non-specific level of consciousness.

At some level I am computing the dangers of falling branches, tensions, where to cut. But on another level I just am. The planning is happening in the moment. The thoughts come and are quite clear – if I cut here…