Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oh Really?

I have always had a rather quietist approach to life, trying to accept both highs and lows without attachment. My heroes remain people like Hakuin. I should rework the story in my own words, but will act lazy for now, and just grab one online version:

There was a great Zen Master Hakuin who lived in a small hut, doing zazen. He was greatly revered in the village and known as a wise and saintly man. One day a village girl became pregnant. The father of the baby left town and she was alone and frightened. As she did not know what else to do, she told the entire village that Master Hakuin was the father.
All the townspeople were shocked. They stopped bringing food and offerings. Instead of praising Haikuin now they blamed him.
"You are the worst of all beings," they said.
"Is that so?" replied Hakuin.
The baby was born then the village girl brought the child to Hakuin to be cared for. "This baby is yours," she said. "Is that so?" Hakuin said and took the baby gladly.
Hakuin cared for the baby lovingly for several years. Then, one day, the father of the baby returned to the village and wanted to marry the mother and take back the baby. They told everybody the truth about what happened.
The people were astonished. They all began to praise Master Hakuin and return to his hut with offerings.
"Is that so?" said Master Hakuin.
Soon after that the couple returned for the baby. "Is that so?" Master Hakuin murmured and gave them their child lovingly.

Such an approach to life does not endear me to the pro-active, ambitious modern type of person at all, at all. I suspect many see it as laziness, or slacking, or wishy-washy hippie shit (going with the flow, man), but I have always found it the best approach for me. My attempts at planning or controlling or choosing have often ended in laughter, chaos, etc - but rarely taken me to an outcome I would have chosen. The shrug seems important - whether abandoned on a beach with no passport or money and thousands of miles from 'home', or treated as a star-for-a-day.

Universe, however, seems to have a sense of fairness (and maybe a sense of humour) and has given me plum jobs (film work) and sometimes left me by the side of the road...I rarely visualise the future, beyond expecting the unexpected. Hey ho. When Universe doesn't need me any more it may toss me aside like a straw dog. I would expect no less. While I can offer some service, I expect just enough to live on...and the 'environment' seems to do that for me.

Magical thinking, perhaps.

And no sooner do I mention universe, and nature's indifference to human plans, than I hear that Christine Hewett has died. Sad to hear that. We did not know each other back in filming days (she was one of the Tonnika Sisters in Star Wars), but met several times at conventions, and she was a charming woman. She did seem fairly frail last time I saw her, but it still comes as a shock. My thoughts go out to her partner, her family and her friends.

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