Sunday, February 6, 2011
Alex Grey Incident
It all started Friday morning when Matt woke me up saying “I have a surprise for you,” and just like anyone else would I got all giddy & asked “What?! What?! What?!” with an eager grin to hear what he had in store. He asked me “who’s your favorite artist??” and my reaction was “nu-uh” because I already knew who I was going to meet…
Sometimes manifestation is all about crossing paths with the right people. Matt crossed paths with a traveling friend (David) who he previously met in Egypt. Their connection was totally coincidental, David wrote Matt an email checking up on him out of the blue and expressed how he was in this magical place called Bali, Matt wrote back & agreed how magical this place was because they could finally meet up again. Like many other people who we are starting to become acquainted with in Bali, David is a highly spiritual pure being. We have had a few random encounters with him, but tonight was by far the best. David invited us to join him over to this friend’s place who also invited Alex Grey (my favorite artist) to come speak to a group of people who are all on a similar path.
Before we went to the party David had us over for dinner & we had a very simple, but magical meal which ended with his delicious home-made raw chocolate. The meal was an experiment for Matt, because all though he has been testing out the vegetarian world, he has not yet been a fan of either eggplant or tempe, and that is what this meal consisted of. David sautéed the tempe & eggplant and coated it with a fresh mixture of cilantro and herbs, and placed it on top of a refreshing bed of bean sprouts. A rabbit snack some would call it, but we felt great after eating it. After we were all finished sipping our fresh coconut water & eating our meal, David walked to the fridge & pulled out his second experiment of the night-raw chocolate (the kitchen is the best place to experiment by the way). You can find the Cacao plant here (in our backyard) & inside the fruit lies these seeds of raw untouched, unprocessed cacao, just waiting to be made into something delicious. Among the many health benefits Cacao possess, David is most intrigued by the chemicals (anadamide) that essentially promote happiness, a good mood, and feelings of LOVE. For a lack of better words, it gets you high. He made 3 chocolate balls for each of us, Matt & I were eager to finally test this “raw chocolate” theory out, especially since we have been consciously sober for the majority of the time here in Bali. We figured if it works, you have to be 100% sober to really feel the experience. We Soared! For almost 2 hours we were full of energy, pulsating joy & a shit eating grin. Mind you, there is absolutely no sugar in this stuff, just totally pure (if you are interested in the ingredients, let me know, I will share). We followed David to the party with our motorbike; he kept looking back at us with his huge smile as he could hear us singing.
Finally, we arrive to David’s friend’s house & this place was tucked away in the rice fields & it was a castle. Evidently, the owner of the house is currently making a movie about Bali, and clearly was already wealthy. The house was filled with cultural art & sacred geometry, it didn’t take me too long to figure out I was surrounded by good people & warm vibes. At this point I had butterflies in my stomach, I did my best to keep my composure & focus on the conversations I was having, but soon Alex would be here. WOW! Soon enough the space was filling up, maybe 50 people waiting to be acquainted with Alex’s visions & ideas. By the time he arrived we were all sitting on pillows listening to a mantra band play and when they were done, Alex & Alice gracefully took the “stage”. Now, being from America I have a one-up knowing this artist I guess, because there were a few people who only knew “some” respected artist was coming to speak. Personally, I couldn’t believe I manifested this night into my life, and I was shocked how much this night absolutely aligned with the inspiration I needed at this time. Matt & I have been very grounded with our work here at Greenschool & extremely focused in a very microscopic way, but if you have ever seen Alex Grey speak you know he is also a very “out-there” individual whose ideas are expansive, yet loose, in a very telescopic way. Alice his wife on the other hand was very grounded & kept bringing Alex back down to Earth & reminding him what the question was or what train of thought we were supposed to be focusing on. It was beautiful to watch them go back & forth, their duality was very complimentary actually, and it reminded me how important it is to embrace the groundedness as well as the out-thereness.
During their talk there were many things that resonated with me, some that are stored away in my consciousness & some in my sub-conscious, but Alex reminded me of the beauty of life & that we truly are the artist of our lives-our lives are a canvas. Alex & Alice started with a short introduction, then opened the space for questions & blessings (typically something that happens at the end, but these individuals weren’t normal by any means). The first person set the space for a blessing & brought us all together, he tightened the weave between all of us in the room. Then I asked the first question. In their introduction they mentioned that they had been traveling a lot and spreading their work, so the question my brother previously prompted me with was appropriate although I had a second question on the tip of my tongue. I locked eyes with Alex & asked “what country has been the most inspirational to the both of you, and your work so far?” Alice answered the question by exclaiming that “boundaries are nice, but in all reality they don’t matter, because our “love tribe” is everywhere we go. No matter what country we are in our work is supported and we are all one, it doesn’t matter if we are in Italy or Indonesia.” Then Alex chimed in & looked at me & said “each country has its own flavor & each of those flavors have inspired our minds & our work in their own ways, but we embrace all of them as differences, none of them better than any other. Like Bali for instance, this place is a vortex of healing, and that is just one of the flavors.” This for me, was the perfect answer, it was exactly what I needed to hear.
They spoke of several aspects of life, art & being, I felt privileged to be a part of this vivacious community gathering. Most things I am still contemplating over, but there are some things I will share with you. Another girl asked the question “do you have any advice for young artists?” (Bali is full of young artists), and Alex soared around in space with this question for about ten minutes, then when Alice brought him back to Earth he said “Be yourself. Do your best. And Never give up,” he was uttering the success of these words from his experiences, it was obvious. He also spoke about the time of his life when he dedicated his work to the dualities in the world in its many forms. He shaved his head to symbolize the duality of one owns brain, went to the North Pole to witness the dualities of the magnetic poles, etc. He feels that his art is a symbol of duality to this day. He shared the story of his first experience with LSD, and explained how everything was different colors of the spectrum, and all dualities that existed within his vision were opposite colors, and the area between the two of them was indeed grey. The grey connected all opposite together and made everything opposite inevitably ONE. After this experience, he changed his last name & knew the true direction of his art. When he was finally asked how much of his art was influenced by psychedelics he replied “Who me? My art?? Completely!”
He also spoke a lot about universal consciousness, solar consciousness, & earth consciousness, which really made me feel very wholesome & in tune with the work I am doing right now (spreading Earth consciousness to children). He spoke about their project the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, and the meaning behind this amazing project being a reflection of one’s own-self (much like his artwork), and Alice & him also spoke about a question they were asked “how the heck do you guys make your relationship work so well” (I caught this reply on video, if you’re interested I can also send you this). They also mentioned to anyone who celebrates the full moon so send a prayer over to them in NY to nudge along their project along, & they also added that they always send out prayers to anyone else celebrating the full moon (another reflection/duality). After they were finished a world jam band started jamming away & Alex & Alice were swarmed, Matt managed to give Alex a high five & ask him a quick question, but I knew I already had my moment with him.
The funny thing is, last week I saw a blue heron in the rice fields (not something I have ever seen in Bali before), and the next day I was teaching my students about animism (animal medicine) & they asked me to draw a medicine card from the deck, so I did with full intention. I drew the Blue heron which is the medicine of self-reflection.
Coincidentally enough, Matt took this picture of two cats lying on our couch as I wrote this, representing the yin-yang, a symbol of duality in its purest form.
Be aware of the coincidences” ~The Celestine Prophecy