Friday, October 5, 2007

The middle of the night

I’m just back from the city, where all artists talk about is how much they hate the art they see. I’m just as guilty as anyone else, and explaining the situation over Indian lunch to a friend who’s a food writer, I asked her to imagine how she’d feel if all of a sudden no one cared about what food tasted like or how it was presented, but only wanted to know about celebrity chefs, who’s eating at what restaurants, and the outrageous prices they’re paying for their meals.

So I went to bed with this art malaise swirling around in my head and by the time I woke up at 4:00 a.m. I’d decided to throw it all over and become a Buddhist nun. I already have short hair, and the idea of wearing sensible shoes and hanging out with Pema Chodron was very appealing. Then I remembered, from my hippie days, a place called Findhorn in Scotland, which is said to have such great spiritual energy that plants there grow to enormous size. The Scots have great accents, a good sense of humor, nationalized medicine and probably less severe weather than I’d find at Pema’s abbey in Nova Scotia, so I thought, perfect, I’ll move there. After deciding to buy a small cottage and spend the rest of my days raising cucumbers the size of kayaks, I roused myself out of bed, went to look up Findhorn on the Web and found—quel surprise!—that Findhorn has been commodified like everything else. “Experience Week—Seven days that can change your life” is required for entry, and costs, on a sliding scale, L365 to L505 (that’s at least $730 to $1010 to you and me) for a program that includes a work component. You can also take guest workshops with the likes of Caroline Myss and James Finley, who are on a New Age circuit where the same ten or fifteen names pop up no matter where on the planet you are—just as you can go to any art fair or museum in the world and see the work of the same ten or fifteen artists. The regimented daily schedule at Findhorn reminded me of when I was ten and at Camp Toowendawee, where the only thing I liked was being away from my parents.

Since I have no parents to bug me here I've decided to stay put for the time being, even if it means I have to finish my painting. If I want McSpirituality I can always drive up the road to Kripalu, where the vegetarian cafeteria meal has recently gone from $10 to $18, and to grow bigger vegetables in this hot, dry October, I’ll buy a sprinkler.

1 comment:

joan said...

...or you could be a comedian. You've definitely got me laughing out loud!