Overheard 9am, Tuesday morning: “We are all beautiful in the dark.”
Witnessed: Chinese couples learning ballroom dance opposite my makeup chair on the second floor, George Street, Sydney at dusk.
Spoken: (in response to my pointing out my scarlet red blouse being the sole colour amongst the models’ raggy black outfits) “That’s because you’re an individual and we are all sheep!!”
Repeatedly: “Have you grown?” “How tall are you?” and sometimes even simply, streetside, people say “Tall!!” as if no one has ever noticed before. Why yes, shall I call you “short” perhaps?
Pointedly: “I joined Storm because they have Kate Moss. They’ll never go bust because she never stops working” ( a model regards her choice of agency. Recession talk? Rather hilarious, too)
Realized: ‘Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique and separate identity; but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our ‘biography’, our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are?
Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?
And doesn’t this point to something fundamentally tragic about our way of life? We live under an assumed identity, in a neurotic fairy tale world with no more reality than the Mock Turtle in Alice in Wonderland. Hypnotized by the thrill of building, we have raised the houses of our lives on sand. This world can seem marvelously convincing until death collapses the illusion and evicts us from our hiding place. What will happen to us then if we have no clue of any deeper reality?
When we die we leave everything behind, especially this body we have cherished so much and relied upon so blindly and tried so hard to keep alive. But our minds are no more dependable than our bodies. Just look at your mind for a few minutes. You will see that it is like a flea, constantly hopping to and fro. You will see that thoughts arise without any reason, without any connection. Swept along by the chaos of every moment, we are the victims of the fickleness of our mind. If this is the only state of consciousness we are familiar with, then to rely on our minds at the moment of death is an absurd gamble.” (Sogyal Rinpoche, ‘Impermanence‘ in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, (Rider), 1992. pp. 16- 17)
Reflection: You know I chose to leave modeling last year because of the death of a close friend and its affect on my own life and loved ones. I spoke to Patty Huntington of Frockwriter recently about the reason I left modeling, and thus also the reason I came back – “Death makes you re-evaluate your true direction & purpose,” and now that I’ve gone deep inside myself after existing on a surface pond for so long, look what is beneath you right now – the gash is evidence of what has come to the surface, as well as the body it lays upon, the Paper Castle Press. Like koi from a pond, my castle rose to the surface when I fished for it deep.
Decided: I think perhaps I’ll move to Paris. Couture, red wine in copious amounts, beauty lived and breathed instead of coveted. Thoughts my loves?