Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pondering the heart

There are times when the pathway winds, and the steps towards the goal seem to multiply. We can't do this until we do that, and we can't do that because of x, so we end up spending our time doing y, and we never thought we would be doing that. So then you start to question whether the original goal is right, and whether the obstacles are a "sign" that we are on the wrong path.
I have had such thoughts about my books, and about how to get seen and heard in a crowded world where attention is for sale every second of the day. And some of the pathways are circular - I am told that I can't get my books into bookshops unless I get book reviews in significant publications, and then the reviewers say they don't want to review books that don't already have wide distribution.
And now there is another book, Sustenance, which I started as another National Novel Writing Month exercise last November. I didn't finish it in the month of November, but I did continue, and I finished it just before Christmas. I enjoyed writing it, and I've enjoyed reading it, and of course I want this one to be available too.
I have lodged two of my books on Lulu.com, the ethics book: Human Values and Ethics in the Workplace, and the first novel, The Ten Thousand Things: A story of the lived experience of the I Ching. They are available for purchase there, and they will appear on Amazon soon, as well as Barnes & Noble. When they appear, I will ask those who have read either of these books to put up a review, so viewers can get an idea of what the books are like. I have many people who have encouraged me about the books, and I'd like to share my books with a wider audience.
When those thoughts come - this doesn't seem to be working, perhaps you should give it up - I have asked myself: is what you are saying, and the stories you are telling, of value? Do your books promote high human values and the creative spirit? And I say, yes. As I said on the back cover of The Ten Thousand Things, my intent is to explore how we can live ethically and find the joy that lies at the heart of all things. So then, I continue.
As in the picture above, there is a perfect idea at the centre of what I am trying to express in my writing, represented by the sphere. The position of the sphere at the middle of the bowls, set out in the shape of a square, reminded me of some lines I wrote in The Ten Thousand Things:

Breathe in, breathe out.
I set the omens at the four corners of the hidden lands –
I set the omen of light before me,
I set the omen of darkness behind me,
I set the omen of thoughts and thinking to my left,
and the omen of feelings and emotion to my right.
I sit within the omens, where all light arises,
breathing in, and out.
I sit in the golden light,
and blue light surrounds me.
I am protected.
I am grace, I am energy, I am love.
I make a new day.

 There is a passage in the commentary of the I Ching that says, "Use your teaching to continually ponder the heart's concerns" (In hexagram 19, Approaching). So I will continue to seek to do that in my writing.
The picture was taken at an art and sculpture exhibition at the Armory at Sydney Olympic Park in 2008. It featured Chinese artists from around the world.
You can buy any of my books through my website at www.glennmartin.com.au.