Welcome to Carolyn Cowan Online; Designer, photographer, teacher, mother, counsellor and bodypainter.
Archive for February, 2008
My no news thing is going well, but it is interesting how much actually filters through despite all my attempts at avoidance. I know that there is something and children in Jersey but I really do not want or need to know more and start singing loudly as I dash to the radio to turn it off as the news opens it’s gory doors at 7am and the kids are sitting down to their breakfast.
I also had an amusing moment which passed without gratification; Channel 5 rang me to ask me if I would speak on the news today. It was weighty stuff all about cocaine addiction and the governments brilliant plans to help those less fortunate than their well behaved selves. The topic is deadly, literally, serious, but I did give a wry thought to the news now chasing me and of course I would not have been able to resist seeing how I did on TV so my blockage would have been broken. Very subtle, and how Channel 5 heard about the decision in the first place is a mystery. They must be watching my weblog….
It is interesting as a mother on many levels, attempting to instill values in a world in a tailspin. But more than anything to keep their information levels appropriate to their age. The news is hideous for children at any time, but especially in the car in the morning, even if it is the bland and idiotic Radio 2. I complained recently to the Advertising Standards Authority about an advert all over the busses for a film. It had a saw off head on it. It was really gross. Months later the ASA have arrived at the decision that although there were 56 complaints, several from children, as tfar as they were concerned it was fine. Great. I know, I know, why should children be protected form this stuff? Interesting question. When did it become OK for them not to be protected?
I was interviewed by a journalist yesterday who had read my weblog before coming to see me. She writes for a newspaper, and was intrigued as to why I would not want to know what was happening in the world, but also what I found I gain from the lack of news. Interesting times.
What is the collective noun for a group of people from facebook?
We are all in my sitting room. Not everyone on facebook, no, but a group who have come together through the bodypainting section of the site. We are having a great day where everyone is doing what I say because I am the teacher!
No, really, it is true. I am running a course and all the painters and the models are on facebook. It is such a great manifestation of the power for community that exists on the site and it highlights for me, us and all those in the community, how sad it is that facebook are closing the BP sites. But Hey Ho, the joy of the standardisation of the world.
The course is the Art of Illusion, and the painting is fantastic. Really wonderful, and the models whom I have never met, who have agreed to come and sit all day are just great. One even brought me chocolate which I thought displayed a remarkable attention to detail.
Things are getting better, otherwise. My delightful assistant told me he wanted to become a monk on a mountain had it right. I think it is a good idea. Mercury may be travelling forward right now, but I don’t think many of us know it.
I need to let go of stress, completely. How? I am the mother of two children, I run a business, I live in London, I am an addict (in long term recovery…. Known as the Graveyard years. Such fun). I want more than I have. Argh! We are not ever supposed to admit this part, are we? Just ruthlessly stretch for more but never discuss.
I have let go of the news and managed quite a few days now without it. I have lost count how many. I will have to read my weblog to find out. No news has been good, actually. I typed Positive News into google in an attempt to feed my need for a little rush when all was spinning and stressful. It really did not cut the mustard in the same way that the intense hit of financial, physical and political disaster does. So I have not book marked it.
Coming back to collective nouns, a gathering of crows is a murder. A school of whales, a roll of photographers and a compact of make up artists. What is a collection of body painters? A body of painters? Too easy.
Actually that is not true. One can say all manner of things, but does one need to, and is one prepared to face the
consequences? Interesting questions for these times.
I want to talk about coque waving alpha males. I use the word with the wrong spelling as there is so much censorship nowadays, and what with the swathe that facebook are cutting through the body painters of the world, one can imagine that the correct spelling could result in expulsion. Do I want to be expelled? No. I do not. I like facebook, and I really like the community of bodypainters and creatives that nest there. So I do not want to be expunged.
I heard about a minister this morning who was a noisy campaigner against pornography. He was caught consorting with prostitutes and lost his ministry.
Such wonderful prose for 5am on the radio. The words ministry, consorting and prostitute do not seem to figure in my ears very often. It was so evocative of rampant misbehaving.
I may seem to be digressing but it does bring me neatly back to coque waving alpha males. I seem to come across them somewhat too frequently for my taste. (Irresistible, sorry). And they do misbehave so badly. I found one screaming at me at 8am the other morning. All screwed up and red, his rage was totally uncontrollable. All I could do was waft my perfume past him as I said sorry and drove away leaving him feeling so fabulously fecund and proud of himself for having screamed at a woman quite so early in the morning.
But it left me with a nasty taste in my mouth. It made me think about how often I meet anger in the males around my life.
Now I could get all insecure and take personal responsibility, and those of you who know me could have a wry and knowing look on your face right now, but I do feel that there are certain males of the species who are close to exploding. I do not feel responsible at all, but how to deal with them on a daily basis without getting a sour after taste is proving challenging.
No matter how hard I try to keep on top of things, I seem to end up on the side as it all whizzes past me at high speed. I am left in a slowly swirling pile of paperwork. This is what is happening now. The gentle rustle of impatient paperwork colours the soundscape of my days.
So I am sitting, at home, at night, pretending to watch a kids Disney thing and am actually making my pile of unloved paperwork, loved.
The Secret. I know, I know, the film is awful, but the book is really excellent! I am astounded by it, in fact. I thought I knew it. I thought I had this stuff down. I have done 40 days of being positive, cut through all negative thoughts and projected in the style of Shakti Gawain. But The Secret is something else. I stop. I will not go on. Over to you.
There is a great feature out at the moment in Good Housekeeping. It has a huge distribution and a whole page on the me and the shop. It is life changing stuff. Really positive and absolutely to the point of what the whole shop is about. An endless stream of interesting women are coming to the shop and each day is great fun. Between the chatting, selling and paperwork layered gently over half term, time feels rather condensed.
My meditation, if that is what it is, of not listening to, reading, or watching the news is going very well. I had a minor lapse this morning when Radio 3 was just too out there and I switched to Radio 4 out of habit. My husband was rapidly given an opportunity to remind me that I had slipped, so I moved onto Asian Radio and did bhangra whilst making juice.
Do I miss the news? No. I do not. I am calmer, business is great and the world seems full of hope rather than smeared in blood. It is only day 4 or similar, but I intend to keep going with this plan.
I am getting back to my usual detoxified state now. I find I like chai and in India it comes stiff with applied sugar, rather like a punks spike, the teaspoon sitting up stiffly and the high, immediate. The combination of the chai, the sugar, the white bread, white rice, fresh lemonade and lack of sleep all add up to a somewhat challenging come down upon my return. A week later, I have not had sugar, wheat, chai or coffee and I feel OK.
So the combination of saying no to rubbish and no to nonsense is having a profound effect upon my reality. Why does it take so long to get it? I was 48 last week and I feel as though I am only just starting to behave anywhere resembling adult and it does not last, I promise, it does not last. I did once spend two weeks in India totally raw, 24 hours a day. It was the most self obsessed time I have spent in recovery. It is not on my list of experiences to repeat. I felt great, I did, I did, I was perfectly healthy and all was good. But did I feel the need to do it again? No. Far more interesting and human to go through withdrawing, highs, lows, cravings and over-indulgence. Arghh!
One thing that has slipped through the net against the news is the idea that China is supposed to stop all the problems in Dafur. I must be missing the edges because I cannot get why. And will they really miss Stephen Spielburg? I am not sure. But I cannot comment as I am out of touch.
I lay on the floor and thought for a moment this morning.
I was thinking about writing weblog later in the day and how much of a response I get to the fear issues.
I have banned myself from all news and newspapers. Phew.
Actually it is not that easy. I am addicted to the rush of fear that comes, that rise in adrenalin and the feeling of insecurity and fascination at the dramas and turmoil we can all access through the media at any moment, when I look at the news. I have to stop myself sneaking a look at the BBC website to see if there are any new dramas, disasters or hideous things that will confirm my fears.
It was this aspect of myself that I was mulling over as I recovered my breath after some hard yoga for projection, self esteem and boundaries. I suddenly saw something interesting in my mind’s eye that I had not picked up on before.
I remember when the visuals for the News were blue and spacey. Avantguard graphics that told of the future and hope and forward thinking. I remember when they changed to yellow and orange and I was not so sure. Fire and drama was the energy. Now the colour is red. Blood Red. How delightful. All the colouring of the BBC news is red. I had not thought about it before.
Red is a strong and violent colour. It raises emotion and fear. It is the colour of the root chakra, the shit and the crisis of our history. How interesting that it is now the colour that hooks us into the dramas of the world.
I am on day three of no news. My digital radio is tuned to Radio 3, and I avert my eyes as I drive past the Evening Standards warped view of life. I will report how totally calm and peaceful I become. Can I stick to 40 days of no news? Can this be considered a meditation?
One day at a time….
We seem to be in the grip of a media frenzy and it feels as though no one sees it.
There are so many news channels, so many magazines, newspapers, internet sites and TV channels that need to keep on feeding our lust for fear that we, as a race, seem to have given them total control over us.
As a result we are being totally directed in our reality by them.
We are being driven towards total gloom, doom and destruction by our thirst for drama and news and I would like it to stop.
What if we had a NO NEWS week? The idea being that for one whole week all news was unwatched, unread, unlistened to? Can you imagine how our version of life and reality would change. Notice how we are never ever threatened with no TV or radio.
Think about a week without media on all levels. What would we miss? Just that shot of adrenalin that comes as another grizzly version of some media moghuls reality is turned, by a journalist, into another hideous story for our delectation and pleasure.
We could all talk to each other, play cards and sit with the children and laugh, read books, make things. Oh, please, let’s stop being driven crazy by the media.
I found myself wishing we had no computers yesterday. The Indian experience was generally good, but trying to communicate was so hard that I gave up. Once back here and fully plugged in I found myself wishing it was all candle light and carriages. I am not really sure that we have improved our experiences with the internet technology and all that it is bringing to our lives. Personal reality seems to figure less and less. How did that happen? We know more about the other side of the world and Britney Spears than we do about our surroundings or our neighbours. We are permanently encouraged to feel anything , usually fear or extreme pleasure, other than the sweet calm of normal. But I am puzzled by how invisible the thread that binds us has become to everyone. Who is winding it? Perhaps it really is us, the masses?