Tuesday, October 7, 2008

moonlight reprise

A few years ago I read a book by Yann Martel called 'The Life of Pi' . It's a story about an Indian boy alone in a lifeboat after the ship that was carrying him and his family to a new life in Canada sinks into the Pacific. When an old friend (perhaps acquaintance is a more fitting description) clambers aboard Pi greets him saying, 'Jesus, Mary, Muhammed and Vishnu, how good to see you Richard Parker!'

The religious faiths are scrambled throughout the book but we forgive Pi for his confusion about what in particular to believe about theology. There are bits of all of them that appeal to his sense of wonder and the fact that Richard Parker is a 450 pound Bengal tiger is just another example of how marvelous is the world.

The two of them are adrift for weeks of uneasy but mutually respectful companionship bringing together the extremes of existence on earth - the animal and the divine. In an interview Martel described having an abiding feeling that our entire planet is like a lifeboat drifting across a cosmic Pacific.

It's something worth considering. I have a feeling seeing the world anew is the only important thing. Soon it will be another full moon but what we see isn't the real moon but it's reflection in the mind's eye.

(No, this isn't Pi but then I painted the picture a while back.)


Randal Graves said...

Yeah, and the first Murkan we run across will probably shoot first and ask questions later.

Isn't there a way to give all the warmongers and lunatics their own place and the rest of us who DON'T want to be assholes can go about our business?

Keep posting more of your stuff, too. :)

Avshar said...

Damn, wouldn't that be nice? A place where no one wants to go to war? Too bad it would never happen. I have always wished we could stop fighting each other and concentrate our efforts on making enough food for everyone, giving them decent health care, etc. Just make this world a great place to live and at the same time start a real program of space exploration and spread out to new solar systems to see whats out there. Its really too bad our race is insane. We prefer to attempt to dominate everyone else instead of making an effort to co-exist. With the wealth and technology in the world this dream is very doable. It makes me very angry that we don't just do it. we are all one race for crying out loud its way past time to freakin grow up.

Ok, now that's out of my system, hehe, I like your painting. You should definitely show more of them. I do love a full moon. This is my favorite time of year. The change into fall is nice. A full moon during the change is even nicer.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing you read the book when you did. It may go the way Pi's ship in this country if McCain & Palin are elected. Can't have any books purporting understanding and respectful companionship. As Randal implies, Pi is supposed to shoot that tiger and use it's hide as a throw rug when he goes feet dry.

Seraphine said...

i love that painting. you must have been in an amazing place when you created that series.
life of pi was a wonderful book! i read it some years ago.
the thing with a full moon is it's all relative to your position in the universe. in fact, if you go far enough into space, you wouldn't be able to see the moon at all.
just because you con't see it doesn't mean its not there.
it'll be there longer than we'll be able to see it.

susan said...

randal - I can think of a few places they could go for re-education but most of them aren't on this planet. Earth should be reserved for those with the capacity to appreciate its beauty.

avshar - I'm a big sci-fi fan too - the hard stuff with lots of complicated physics concepts. See anwer to randal :-)

spartacus - I think there are about a thousand of the beasts left now - and it could be argued far too many people.. with guns.

susan said...

sera - It's just like you know there's a clear blue sky above the clouds.

Jer had cervical disc surgery today so I'm feeling pretty weary but at least I'm home. He will be tomorrow.

We're all still in an amazing place, non?

DivaJood said...

Susan, I loved that book. Pi's realization that we can live in partnership, his simple acceptance of his situation, and his response at the end to the men debriefing him, amazing.

The painting is lovely.

I wear my scarf a lot, it makes me so happy.

susan said...

diva - Yes, it's one we've sent as a present to a few people.. as in spreading the love and understanding.

I'm very happy you enjoyed both :-)

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Susan

Reference: I have a feeling seeing the world anew is the only important thing. Soon it will be another full moon but what we see isn't the real moon but it's reflection in the mind's eye.

A great saying ! .

I must admit having just attended a philosophy conference it was a relief to become engrossed in a daily dose of varying interesting topics rather than being confronted with a daily soup of poor economic news.

But my refreshed brain is now under the pump, trying to remember all of the songs for a small celebration concert as part of our 50th as a parish. I’m finding it hard to remember them all.

I loved the painting again, was it another Indian tiger?

Once Jer has recovered make sure he does abdominal stenthening exercises to take the pressure off the back- just 10 mins day - wish him a speedy recovery.

Best wishes

Randal Graves said...

Places? I hear the sun is real nice this time of year. (I almost said Mars, but I figure we'll need that as a jumping-off base in the future after we complete our wrecking of this planet)

Seraphine said...

yeah, randal. plus plus plus... energy wouldn't be much of a problem on the sun.

DivaJood said...

I have tagged you, my dear.

Border Explorer said...

//...our entire planet is like a lifeboat drifting across a cosmic Pacific.//

Wish more people had this sort of vision.

Beautiful painting, Susan!

susan said...

lindsay - Thanks so much for the wise words and kind advice. I'll let him know. He already thinks you're a wonderful man. I'm glad you got to spend some time away from the economic turmoil and I'm sure you'll remember the 50 - or most of them. Congratulations on the anniversary.

randal - I was actually thinking Venus where they can get to enjoy the sulphuric charms of runaway global warming.

sera - Venus is such a lovely name for a poisonous environment.. kind of like Washington, DC.

diva - I'm on it! Thanks so much but it may take a moment or two.

be - I think lots of people do but we don't tend to seek wealth and power :-) Glad you like the painting.

Zee said...

I'm in a hurry, got to attend a funeral (now after all the weddings, got to keep a festive balance I guess).
Just wanted to assure you that I love your painting! That's it, got to go.

Gary said...

I loved that book, although I was troubled at the end. Who wouldn't be? Guess that's part of what Jan was up to.

I think we're going to see the world anew pretty soon, it's already happening isn't it? May we listen to the Dalai Lama and not the Dumb Leaders as we adjust...

gfid said...

My eldest son gave me that book for christmas one year. not his usual sort of gift, but he read it and liked it, so passed it on.... and i agree, it's a keeper. as is your painting. haven't managed to get a picture taken with the scarf yet..... but i've shown it off to very envious friends.

susan said...

zee - Weddings and a funeral to follow.. happy and sad spin us round and round. I hope you're glad to be back.

gary - I rather liked the end of the book even though I was sad to have it end. Richard Parker's on the loose and I hope to meet him some day.

gfid - Our son's on a somewhat different literary wavelength from us but loved it too. I'll be patient about the picture :-)