I get these flashes of inspiration from time to time.
If only I could take a snap shot of my thoughts in order to return to them, but they vanish and I try to rewind, wading back against the flow, caught in all the detritus on the peripheral.
It’s like this coming into and out of focus.
I was editing a film.
I recalled the act of picking olives off the ground, one by one, after the tree had been rattled with a stick, those that fell and missed the hessian. It was the job of little hands to rescue them to olive oil.
I also recalled the act of sifting single sultanas from the dust, rocks and three corner jacks, at the side of the drying racks. They would fall between the cracks, after we shook one.
“Is it time to shake the racks?” This was a common phrase when referring to the drying sultanas, and the next stage of violently shaking the racks with an eight pronged metal devise, activated from the rear of the tractor.
Dad was so finicky about waste and keeping every single sultana- so as to teach that every little drop counts.
We are beneficiaries of our parent’s frugality.
Still we’re not satisfied.
What have we learnt from this lesson?
How to exploit the earth more?
Dad was content with less, like a happy pig living off scraps in the same way the aristocrat might indulge caviar.
There was always the challenge to save, to do more with less.
I know how to run an event off the “smell of the oily rag”, a lesson my heritage has taught me. The way in which we combine resources, like ingredients to a recipe, like the threads in a rug, like a coming together for a common cause or the images that combine to tell the story.
Each element contributed, for the benefit of the whole.
The theatre of Bertolt Brecht also taught me this notion. The idea of detachment and the ability to perceive all that goes into the making of theatre; that each scene exists separately but also brings the narrative together. That each actor plays a role, but is not the role. This was called epic theatre.
I remember the act of picking food like peas, beans and of course grapes.
Grapes were the raw ingredient of wine and the symbol of the blood of Christ. The sacrifice we made, a prolific embodiment from where we had come, from the root of the vine, the origin our parents replanted that propelled us, evolutionary sprouts.
Intuitively we worked around the brown, rotten produce sorting, the attractive from the unattractive, heightening a keen sense of sight and an appreciation of the finer things, loops then sparks knowledge for the mis-en-sen what looks good– that sense matures, ready for the harvest.
I liken the picking of ripe fruit to editing a film. The process of looking, sifting, sorting, sensing and swiftly choosing the best of the crop.
Here then lies my talent for arts appreciation, a celebration of the eye (I), the ability of beauty beholden.