Thursday, 6 October 2011

Interconnected events or thoughts

I had an email from a long-time absent old friend yesterday that started a chain of thought which had me absorbed for a long time. It occurred to me that the brain has a startling capability to jump from one thing to another and one can probably link all of ones experiences in life starting with any thought at random. I wont try and list all my experiences, but I will have a go at a few jumps just to illustrate the point.

The email that started this particular flow of thoughts from Bill who moved to Brazil a few years ago, and said:
"I just happen to be at the OTC Brasil 2011 Conference. Are you here in Rio? It would be fun to meet up if you are."

Now, I have no idea why Bill would assume that I might just happen to be in Rio, five thousand miles away. Perhaps my reputation for travel and showing up just about anywhere has got ahead of me! Be that as it may it reminded me of a portrait of Bill we have in the entrance of our home, which had been a present from an artist friend of ours in London, known only as Marko.

Marko was often to be seen at the London Biennale events, which happened regularly in London during the past decade in which Marisol and I often took part. Marko was (and is) a very generous man and volutarily gave much of his time to anyone who happened to need it. Our friend David Medalla, who had initiated the idea of the London Biennale needed much of Marko's time and resources, so I next jumped on memories of David.

David was (and is) the kind of man who could turn the most mundane thing into extraordinary. For example if you happened to be walking past a building he might say "oh, I danced at a party in this building once and shared the floor with Mick Jagger" as if that was the most normal thing that could occur. Or he might say "when I first came to London, I shared an apartment in that building with so and so (eg David Hockney, Lord Guinness, Yoko Ono etc etc)". This would often hit you side ways and he would embark on his own chains of thought which the London Art historian Guy Brett has turned into a book called "Exploding Galaxies". During one of these revealing moments David had told me that when he was in New York in his youth (many years ago) he had known Marcel Duchamp, no less, and something about a rose that they had called 'Selavi'.

I now turned to the thought of that famous urinal that Duchamp had presented as a work of art and remembered reading recently a news report about a Japanese person, who had left a large sum of money in a urinal in some city of Japan, with instructions that it should be used to help people who had been displaced or otherwise suffered as a result of the nuclear explosion that occurred earlier this year.

By now you are beginning to get the general idea of how thoughts can trigger memories and further thoughts that seem to go around for ever.

The Japanese urinal donation reminded me of a similar act of kindness that prompted a Madrid organisation to set up a dinner at a five star hotel, to collect money to help people who had lost their homes in an earthquake at Lorca, a small town in Spain. Forty five of the best chefs had been invited to participate, and each had prepared a special dish for the event, and for a fixed price the public were invited to come and sample these delights.

Marisol happened to be on the mailing list of this organisation, and we decided to attend the dinner and it turned out to be extraordinary. Our son Anil also happened to be in Madrid and we invited him to join us as a birthday treat. That in itself turned the evening into something unforgettable. I was also interviewed by the Canal 6 TV channel and appeared in their news bulettin that week, and many people called up to say that they had seen me on TV.

This in turn reminded me of a call I had from the state TV network Channel 1, who wanted to know if I wanted to participate in their regular program 'Destination Spain' where they spend time with foreigners who have come to stay in Spain and record the proceedings to be shown on their program. While I have managed to avoid the appearance so far it is likely to happen sometime in the future.

This in itself is a pandora's box of thoughts about our recent move to Spain and all that entails, the emptying of our home in England, the preparations in Spain, my retirement and all the changes in our lives. The thought process goes on and on. On a lighter note we will be in London next week, where we will no doubt try to catchup with Marko, and perhaps David, and I will try to satisfy my craving for that best food in the world, that can only be prepared using spices and chillies!

And perhaps I will send an email to Bill and ask him if he is going to be in London.
Probably not a possibility but worth a try!

No comments: