Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Life Imagery

I think it must have been Lee who first brought the concept to my attention some 3 years ago at a rough guess. We were driving somewhere and had stopped at some traffic lights. Lee said that he had started using his spare time to focus his mind more.

“Even whilst waiting at traffic lights, instead of allowing your impatience to engulf you, your frustration to cloud your mind, your unattainable hypotheticals to fog your thought; just take a moment to breathe and relax. You can transform your negativity by envisioning the situation as a blessing; some extra time to help bring your wandering mind back to a place of peace and tranquillity.”

It was, of course, the wise words of a man who had had his life changed through the wonders of meditation and also those of a man in constant search for an outlet for his poetic tendencies. He learned this life lesson at the meditation camp he attended, the same camp I would attend some time later. It was not the only lesson he learnt.

“Eden, my friend, I acquired such wondrous pockets of understanding at a Vipassana meditation camp. One I implore you to undertake yourself, for this is hardly a single scratch on 10000 mosquito bites itching for knowledge”

I was dubious at first bu-

“Before you doubt my imploration, I encourage you to hear more of the wisdom passed on to me from Buddha himself. Another lesson learnt is that we should seek out metaphors of the truths of life and love that are ever present in the world around us.”

Despite the pompous attitude my memory assigned to Lee circa 2007, his last piece of advice has truly stuck with me since. I have often pondered the stars as a representation of infinity, a recently fallen flower as a symbol of the tragic beauty of life and death, and I have also sought to find outlets for my own inflated sense of poetry.

My favourite metaphor in life (or for life) is that of the cardiac monitor; the machine that sits beside a patient in a hospital, beeping each time the heart beats. To me it perfectly represents the way life needs to be lived to be enjoyed. The line shooting up and down is like the ebb and flow of everyday existence, the ups and downs we each experience when we take a chance at living.

It may be a little pessimistic to think that any high is followed by a comedown but perhaps it is encouraging to see an extreme low followed by an extreme high. No pain, no gain, right? In a more perfect world we would imagine a pulse that shoots up to the heights of happiness and remains there...but then variety is the spice of life. Perspective can be a handy tool to use. You don’t even need to consider the lows as negatives, just something different.

However, the true beauty I see in the metaphor is as follows: If I were willing to forego the sublime peaks of the highs for fear of what exists at the pits of the lows then the line wouldn’t deviate from its linear progression. It would simply flat line...without a pulse.

“No alarms and no surprises” – Radiohead

Eden – (while listening to Moving Pictures by Rush)


  1. Fucking beautiful.

  2. Man this Lee guy sounds heaps pompous

  3. my favourite blog this week.

  4. Because its the only one or because there is a lot of reference to you? Well... which is it?

  5. I just heard on "10 things you don't know about..." (7two) that you spend roughly 2 weeks of your life at lights. So you may as well do something with that time!

  6. you are gorgeous Eden..