The “SPACE of ren walters
I record a few thoughts around “space” that came to me:
Some days ago, on my walk through the flatland plains of wheat and barley crops I was forcefully reminded of how the distant horizon line, the chiseled outline of a distant mountain range, always comes with it a sense of imagining, perhaps even dreaming.
The physical and perceptual experience of a large, expansive space, even if just a brief glimpse, directly correlates with opening and expanding my imaginative faculty and is felt as a generic stimulation of the ‘creative gland’. Immediately, creative possibilities proliferate, a problem is solved or clarified, or there is a general sense of processing intensified.
A few days later, I managed to utter some words into my phone recorder:
Stumbling over the dark plains with a forceful cold wind blowing and a half moon in the sky, I realise I need what that gives me, stripping any attachment, except the warmth of my body, blood flowing in my veins, I am blown through, cleansed of all else except occasional protruding thoughts – such as these.
I need the stripped bare, the unadorned, the bareness of the plains at night in the dark, where sounds become vividly animate. My ears are full of a stinging howl and they hurt, my skin is numb, yet at the core there is a warmth keeping me moving, keeping me at attention.
Is it possible within the limitations of the world as it is now, limitations becoming more extreme - can the artist survive, the performer accustomed to communing and sharing with others, the physical presence of another, can that artist find a new path, a new space in which to function ? It is not a question of can rather of how, because we must process. To creatively process is a ‘non-negotiable’ necessity of any living beyond physical survival.
With restrictions on how being emplaced from outside, I am intrigued as to how my urge finds its way to expression. We are facing not, however, simply an external restriction. A rare threatening event of unique details, content and context is pressuring the normal into behavioural reduction, squeezing out ‘excess’ in a certain way (excess for some necessities for others). What remains and how can this be modified to accommodate what is of personal necessity ? That much of the world is facing these questions simultaneously also impacts the individual.
I am finding that the reduction of external and internal expectations about worldly activity brought through external restrictions is counter-intuitively stimulating an expansive opening of internal space in a way that is difficult to precisely describe. It does not pertain to quantity of choice but rather to the quality of what is accessible. The simplicity of what is available to take up is contributing somehow to a perception of clarity, spaciousness and a sense of reduction toward the essential. Yet I miss having access to what I could previously. Mysterious.
As the sense of what I can control diminishes, shrinks to much more close intimate personal space, I can allow, I can follow my breathing – that is control.
I can observe the neighbour’s trespassing, chainsaw in hand, state my case to them and let life take its course.
I can dole out the remaining bread to see me through, I can eat a little less now so that tomorrow, the day after, I still have something left to eat.
What is in excess, what is unnecessary pain and suffering, it is hard to know. What is possible and what avoids excess is an equation that is constantly being negotiated and is shifting, never static because I am constantly responding to shifting life to a shifting world. What is possible while causing the least amount of suffering or conflict – that is the equation.
Others have trod this same path, followed the same thought, the same story.
The space of this body that I occupy, the space my living takes up is unique in its idiosyncrasies but not unique in its livingness, nor in the universal accounting it requires. The space of 'Ren Walters' is borrowed from the universal bank, and one day he will pay it back.
In the middle of the Wimmera plains, the Rupanyup studio is a space where you can come to know who you are on your own and in relation. Rupanyup is a place for discovery, discovery of completely new, discovery of completely the same, discovery of the alternative. A place of revelation.