" When a tailor cuts the cloth for a garment piece by piece,
does anyone strike him, saying, "Why have you torn this choice satin?"
Whenever the builders repair an old building,
don't they first ruin the old one?
Likewise the carpenter, the blacksmith, and the butcher - with them too there is destruction before restoration.
The pounding of the myrobalan
becomes the means of restoring the body to health.
Unless you crush the wheat in the mill,
how will there be bread on your table?"
- Rumi, Mathnawi IV:2348-2353, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance (via Nonduality Salon Highlights newsletter #3039)
Related themes follow. Connect the dots...
I was reading the other day that NASA predicts that New Orleans will be most likely kaput, dissolved into a brackish soup I'd suspect, by the year 2100 (if arrow of time continues as is, which is a big if). Although, wetlands scientists say it is an estuary's vital nature to constantly change, lately that change hasn't been exactly guided by the eternal Tao and its flow, but rather the manipulation of forces.
"Song, as you teach us, is not a grasping,
not a seeking for some final consummation.
To sing is to be. Easy for a god." - Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus
Since I arrived in New Orleans two weeks ago, I've been feeling that whatever my dreams were for me and New Orleans might have been, there was too much of that brute-force "manipulation of forces" and it's high time to feel the flow, and let some of those ideas I've tried to prop up like a wooden puppet run its natural course, in preparation for what wants to birth itself of itself and take its first gulp of breath (no need to prop up the living).
"Dump the garbage. It is time. Imagine planting a seed in an area that was littered with trash and cluttered with things that were not conducive to the nurturing of a brand new life. This is what our minds are like. We need to clear them out." - Stephanie Azaria, January 7, 2008
"The High Priestess is the initiatrix. Initiation means "beginning."" - Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot
When I was still rummaging through the remains of my latest chapter's close in the book of this bodily incarnation, I stumbled onto an article (via @MarilynM) on the reinvention of the musician Issa. Thankfully it was just the thing as I was able to finally rally myself into letting bygones be bygones. I gifted away much more to the cosmic circulation, and in the process freed much raw material, than I would have without reading this story, below:
"what can I let go today?" - Issa's Fridge, early January 2008
"In 2006, she emptied and sold her house in Toronto, even shredding her old letters and photographs. And she renamed herself Issa." - "Issa Reinvents More than Music Sales", NPR All Things Considered, January 4, 2008
In the same vein, in a town where art shows are a dime a dozen, this is one that intrigues me the most of late as making something from nothing is the essence of all creation. All something from nothing.
"They've been invited to New Orleans to participate in Something from Nothing under one complicated condition - they should arrive empty-handed. Nearly resembling the plot of a reality show, the purpose of the exhibition is to demonstrate art's ability to operate as a form of social communication. Not completely on their own, the artists will be given a pre-established set of contacts. These people may include members of the CAC [Contemporary Arts Center], family, or friends they know in New Orleans. These Samaritans will supply them with anything they need to create their new work. All of their art equipment and much-needed materials must be borrowed. Money should not be used." - "Irreplaceable and Unforgotten," Where Y'At magazine, February 2008