Sunday, July 5, 2015

erratum

Six months since I wrote here.  But I have not been idle!

I passed the ICU fellowship exam.  It's funny how it completely preoccupied me for several months and now it's just gone.  Not that I expected to miss it. 

Jason and I went to Tasmania for a week.  We spent three days driving down from Devonport, staying at the Bay of Fires and then Freycinet.  We had the most glorious morning's walk along the Bay of Fires.  It was completely deserted but sunny enough to lie on the sand.  In Freycinet we walked to Wineglass bay and the Hazards.  The weather was spectacular- it rained but it wasn't cold.  We saw seven rainbows.  We huddled under a tree at wineglass bay eating our peanut butter and banana sandwiches, watching the rain and the birds and the rainbow over the bay.  The waves crashed in completely straight line. 

Then we went on to Hobart for Dark Mofo.  What a great festival.  I was obsessed with finding the perfect outfit to wear for the freezing winter festival, which is mostly at night. In the end I wore my puffer jacket underneath my ridiculous fashion jacket which i bought second hand in Helsinki.  My Russian leather hat.  Perfectly warm!

We made it to the Marina Abramovic exhibition on our last day.  I loved all the 'audience participation' pieces.  Sitting perfectly motionless wearing noise-cancelling head phones, standing with my head resting on a marble block, lying motionless.  I loved them all! I am good at being motionless!

The centrepiece of the audience participation works is the bean & rice counting exercise. You enter an official looking ante-room and don a lab coat and noise-cancelling head phones.  You go into larger room with a long, long table.  In the middle of the table, running its entire length, is a pile of rice and beans.   People in lab coats are already seated at benches on either side of the table.  They don't look at you as you walk in.   You are led to your place at the bench and given a small pile of rice and beans, taken from the large centre pile.  

Your task is to count the number of rice grains and beans. 

Initially the pile looks small but it seems to grow as you count. The task is clearly futile.  Occasionally someone stands up to leave and their pile is swept back into the middle.  This futility sits well with a meditative interpretation of the task.  Counting as meditation.  A long task as meditation.  But then a compulsion to finish creeps in.  The compulsion to keep counting, to complete the task.

I counted 881 beans.  I gave up on the rice.