Friday, February 24, 2006

Structure hunger

Apparently we all need structure. This is supposed to be a psychological need. And if you start from the extreme lack of structure it makes some kind of sense. But it also illustrates the firmly held beliefs of some that less structure has its own advantages too.

I'm talking about the experiences of monks, shaman, and various others who retreated to places devoid as much as possible of stimulation. Places like deserts, remote islands and caves. Here they experienced no social contact, no daily routines, in caves no day or night, perhaps here too they even deliberately deprived themselves of any light at all. The images and writings we have hint at hallucination as well as transcendent spiritual experiences. Maybe the two are indivisible.

A far cry from the modern world perhaps. But the flexibility of my chosen lifestyle requires careful tweaking to ensure that I have enough structure for my well-being. There are times when I create structure, but few when I have too much. On balance this is as it should be. The structure I create can be temporary, original and firmly in the present, rather than ingrained habit, inherited, and based in the past. Lack of routine invites me to constantly review the balance of flexibility and structure, and to renew aspects of my life as often as it feels right. In many ways it is challenging, and overall I feel more alive and aware than I ever remember.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Back in paradise

Eleven days in limbo, or at least that's what it feels like in some way. Do you remember that story about Einstein's theory of relativity? (don't ask if I mean general or specific or I'll have to slap you.) It's got something to do with twins and clocks and heading off-earth at the speed of light oir some such stuff. Anyway, the upshot is that time passes at different speeds in the experience of the twins.

Well it sort of feels like that, but the strange thing is it's not a symmetrical feeling. Which means that when I'm here, life goes on at normal speed in the UK, but when I'm there, life here seems to stop. Or at least I expect it to stop, and so I expect nothing to have changed when I get back. And often that's the case. Mind you it may have a lot to do with the fact that it's the middle of winter, and life slows down somewhat.

Ah well. Whatever.

So here I am anyway. And though the trip didn't quite go as planned, although it was pretty good all things considered. One thing I expected to come back with is some work starting in February, but that won't now happen before the end of March. Which is just as well, because I've got some creative seeds to sow here. There's a distinct possibility that we could get a fledgeling youth samba band together in the coming months. Exciting as that is in itself, it's just one part of a whole raft of creative activities that could take off. So I'm in a kind of rat-tat-tat-tat-ta mood today. I'll let you know how it goes.

My good mood is helped by the stunning rugby result on Sunday, (Scotland 20, France 16), which I haven't been able to make much of here as you can imagine. (No comments about Saturday please! It's cost me a bottle of wine already.)