My hotel suite has a whole room for sitting. For watching television.
And so I do.
That’s the whole idea right? To leave the everyday and the familiar when you go on holidays. To repurpose your thoughts into some other shape. To see if your English breakfast tea still tastes like it comes from China. Like most tea.
So I watch. I don’t have television at home, so it is tantalisingly exotic. I think the idea is to compose yourself into a roundness, surrounded by inert roundnesses like cushions, pillows and doonas and chocolate biscuits and cups of tea. And then to became round and inert yourself.
Roundness comes quite easily. Inertia is more selective. I’m trying to cajole the twin engines of sarcasm and drama critic into moving from the cheap seats in my brain and into the lotus position. With limited success.
Television is a square. And the roundness of my understanding cannot comprehend its shape. The words and colours attack me with squareness. Like many little Lego bricks tumbling out of the box. All with the possibility of being made into something plausible, like a fortress or a jet fighter or a fire engine or a wall even. But not quite getting there. Just an unmade rubicks cube that twists and turns with a press of a remote. And is never solved.
I don’t mind living with unsolved puzzles. I had a 1000 piece jigsaw of a castle that I worked on for ages. Until the cat used the box with the unused pieces as a litter tray. I threw it all away. It’s OK. I saw the photo on the front of the box again as I tipped it into the rubbish bin. Oh yeah. It’s a castle. No crisis, no existential dilemma. No raging at the creator of cats because I didn’t solve the puzzle. I’m Zen with mystery and chaos.
The Art gallery of Victoria has whole rooms for watching art. The idea is to decompose the very shape of you and to lose it in energy and vibration. So that it is your very self that is tumbling out of the box. With the rich possibility of becoming part of the light.
And the monumental squares that serve as frames. They are there to hold the energy. To draw a boundary around its effortless spill. A frail attempt to keep the tide from creeping and the stars from falling. And merging with the roundness.
I’m standing nose to nose with the Arcadian landscapes of the Neo Impressionists. Thousands of dots. Creating light bursts in front of my eyes like when I furtively glanced at the solar eclipse as a child because my parents warned me not to. Tiny mosaic worlds. A blindness of radiance.
And now I’m not seeing a picture. I’m feeling the anarchy of the colour that is the same shape as the pores of my skin and the cells of my blood. And I become radiant too. Lifted up from the insufferable palette of the hotel room with the inertia of the square.
And I muse on the shape of anarchy.
And the roundness of my understanding perfectly comprehends this shape.