posted on August 7, 2008 at 8:59 pm

*now with new improved drizzle

ganesha is looking good
nk, who has a soft spot for him, has approved
“but dont call him jumbo” she says

ive given him a nice silver paisleyish cloaky-thingy
i must say he’s looking kinda smart
i must say i think he’s happy with it
the only thing thats really bad now in my painting
is the cars…
trees…i can do trees
cars….ive never tried before and theyre hard to do
like my eyes see one thing
my mind sees another
my hands try to mediate between the 2
the result is some horrible little silly cars
driving up bondi road :
checklist of ganesha in bondi
golden bloody helmut glitt’ring with jewels check
warm pinky red skin that has form check
pearls check
border of eyes check
the houses n shops of bondi check
the veggy-tation check (but needs more work)
the sea check (waves?)
the sky check (clouds?)
the cars NO CHECK horrible and silly
those f@#$ing cars
suddenly i feel like i’m back in school
about 11 or 12 trying to draw cars
i never did
something about them i havent yet grokked
you gotta grok everything
not so much understand but grok
grok was a word invented for a book
but its invention necessitates its use
you gotta grok a bass guitar for egg-sample
you understand it
yes yes
you know it goes boom boom
you know its wood and strings and that
but you dont grok it yet
took me ages to grok it
it wasnt a sudden grok neither
it was a long torturous process
i am not great at grokking
many people grok faster than i
my only superiority in any thing
in that i always perceive the need to grok
and i know when i havent grokked
and i search for the key which will unlock the grokking
i havent found that key for cars
ha ha honey i cant find the car key
my mind just bamboozles my eye
it goes
hey eye
we know what a car looks like…right?
we’ll take over here
right hand this is the mind
we dont need those eyes wasting time
examining how cars look
so i’m taking over here
ok pick up your brush and paint
the hand : well…? what now…?
the mind : well ah…just…oh i dont know..have a go
the hand : how about this
the mind : oh god thats awful..
the hand : you didnt give any direction, mate
the mind : its a f#$@ing car for godsake
the eye : if i maybe so bold…?
the mind : no you may not….
the hand: hey eye , i need some guidance here..
the mind : i know a car when i see one
the heart : the truth is to grok the car switch off the mind
the mind : no no dont switch me off…aaargh!
the hand the eye the heart : good riddance…!
so yeah
not having managed to switch off ye olde minde
i have not yet grokked how to draw cars
instead of my expectation of what a car should be
mem says draw yer hands every morning
well last night i drew myself a hot bath
then i drew the curtains
then bedtime drew nigh
and i drew my sweet wife to me
and then after
i drew sleep down upon me
i drew andrew
andy did
so grok grok grok
ganesha with iffy cars and a cloudless sea and waveless sky
finally, the great australian masterpiece has arrived
done in love
all the ingredients in this painting were gifts
i want for nothing
although having not put the lids back on properly
some of my metallics are forever stuck in their little jars
rip silver and no more gold
stuff is everywhere
the turquoise has reappeared
and is all over the carpet along with a light pink pastel
its quite pretty really
and nothing that a brand new carpet wouldnt fix

i cant believe in one hour
i will jump in the pool which has gotta be no more than 14 today
there are very few winter swimmers down there
a few old russians
a few old aussie diggers who are there come sleet hail or lightnin’
a few regs like jo jo the swede
like dr mark who sells solar panels
or dr penelope
or gary the south african archi-tect
sometimes a few young scruffy musicians
trying to escape their hangover via low temperatures
well…it works
after immersing myself in freezing cold water
and swimming in it for twenty laps
i feel like ive taken some A class drug
without any of the nasty bits
(ie arrest, death, addiction)
no hang on…i am addicted to it
i am addicted to jumping in the pool
almost everyday
regardless of weather or mood
i cant bear to miss it
but its a big price to pay
the time
the shock
the discipline to stay in
the time in the sauna to warm up again
the commitment to keep going
if you can do that
you can reap these strange rewards
unexpected journeys
your mind goes off
as you push through that green glassy water
as you see the sandy patterns on the bottom of the pool
as the sea washes over the side a whole degree warmer
and all foamy like a bubble bath
and your body has gone this peculiar numb warm
and i feel my heart slow down
i feel my nerves relax
i feel my worries fly away somewhere warm
i feel the coughs and colds piss off outta my system
its an arcane and esoteric thing
this cold clear water
and when it rains
and you swim alone in this big pool
and theres only you
and thoughts cease to be thoughts
they become a pure vision of form or sound
wordless realms
i ceases to operate
i am the cold water
my breathing is deep and regular
i swim almost effortlessly
some olde bones and sinews complain a bit
but nothing you cant ignore
the water is creamy cold
you love to be frozen
because in it is….warmth
in the opposite you found the familiar
in the pool
you solve all your art problems
and you realise nothing much really matters
its so easy to pass from one state of consciousness to another
moods come and go
the cold water is patient
but then i grokked it
it took a long time
but i knew it must be possible to grok it
i saw others swimming in the cold water
and i knew there was something in it
so i persevered
and now….

25 Responses to “cold august morning *”

  1. avatar
    the dean | 7 August 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    Are you one of the icebergers who annually jumps into the ice filled pool?

  2. avatar
    tim | 7 August 2008 at 11:53 pm #

    20 laps…. good groking work kilbey..i hope you are still using those earplugs…i wish i had the stamina to do that everyday…or drive…or fortitude or whatever…im pushing myself to be physically active everyday…but its hard…too many distractions…i try to bike or qigong or both everyday…but man it takes persistence…good on ya steven..


    btw…can we get a firm date on painkiller yet..

    re yesterdays blog…theatre is another one of those timeless art forms that technology can not fuck with…your face is your canvas….

  3. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 8 August 2008 at 1:38 am #

    Ganesha is reportedly revered all accross the Hindu world and even transcends the caste system. S. Kilbey has totally allured me into the mysticism and pacifism of Hinduism. There’s no escaping my inviolable Judeo- Catholic austerity but I really dig Hinduism.

    Fifteen years ago I ran ten miles every day. Now I walk two miles a day. A broken will and relentless agoraphobia have crushed me. I take one day at a time but I also walk the line. I can handle two minutes in a cold shower.

    MACCA was 15 miles from my home yesterday as he travelled Route 66 with his New York babe all the way to California. He’s foreced to sing Hey Jude just like SK and Milky Way.

  4. avatar
    JJ | 8 August 2008 at 1:47 am #

    I was in San Francisco recently, stayed at funky hotel with a nice pool – enjoyed swimming there every night with some friendly Brit kids on holiday. I really looked forward to it – but it was heated. Nice garden too, with big statue of a Frog with guitar and Buddha and bamboo, in the heart of S.F. , the “Hotel Phoenix.”

    Made me think of your blog from S.F., when the last U.S. tour ended at the American Music Hall. Was a very memorable show, TTB.

    You got a strong constitution to jump into that cold water every day. I admire that.

  5. avatar
    markobears | 8 August 2008 at 1:53 am #

    Cold puts me to sleep, it’s not for me. I like to sweat until i get that joggers high. The heat is pretty awesome too.

  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 August 2008 at 3:16 am #

    Something for all art lovers, esp. if you like monkeys


  7. avatar
    kat | 8 August 2008 at 3:25 am #

    nk is right on, no jumbo. is that your name for the painting, sk? lol

    ya the water thing, i get it. you can get used to and want the shock/cold/warm.

    i am listening to the new walkmen, you and me. great record.

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 August 2008 at 6:09 am #

    Sometimes I don’t grok you but that’s fine with me. It’s like a necessary hole on a path of flowers, something that makes me pay attention to aspects I was almost ignoring. But it’s not about you, of course. The course continues in spite of words swimming around in cold lakes. I think you like coldness cause it burns. I think the sauna makes you return to natural super-warmth. We can’t escape nature, I tried to but I failed miserably. The Milky Way scared me since its very start, I was so much more open to the snake coiling around my arm. Anyway, two facets of the same starfish washed upon the shore. Lost starfish leaving the hotel womb to find its destination under the milky way in a new season when blood money was running towards north, south, east and west like a reptile after the spark of an antenna call. Everything is painful, my darling hated Kilbey, from being the Beatles to being the guy who wrote Under The Milky Way. All success is illusory. The love of the Time Being is found whenever time is not being the ruler. The love you give and get in all these transactions in your mind are what counts even if you’re caught by the taxmen. Like anyone else. I love money but money is giving me kidney aches these last few days.
    I’ll come back when I’m rich.

  9. avatar
    mahatma kane jeeves | 8 August 2008 at 7:24 am #

    i’ve google mapped your pool and it looks fantastic. i grew up in perth but as far as i knew we never had those kind of seawater pools. now in the youkay i am wondering whether i should go down to the beach and immerse myself, searching as ever for the altered state. i’m a bit worried the cold might make me have a heart attack though.

  10. avatar
    verdelay | 8 August 2008 at 8:52 am #

    How to Grok Cars

    Streetscape (with cars)

    1. Smoke pot
    2. Take pad and pencil into streetscape (with cars)
    3. Look at cars
    4. Pretend the world consists of only two dimensions, and that everything you see before you is a flat screen
    5. Look at cars as flat, two-dimensional abstract things
    6. Remove their essential ‘car-ness’, and see them only as a collection of two dimensional shapes
    6. Sketch these strange two dimensional shapes exactly as they now appear
    7. DO NOT think about “perspective”
    8. DO NOT think about cars
    9. When finished sketching, revert world back to its original dimensionality (important).
    10. Use sketches as the basis of cars in future paintings.

    Congratulations. You have now grokked cars.

    Warning: Do not enter Car-Grokked mindspace while driving.

  11. avatar
    now think on, young man | 8 August 2008 at 8:52 am #

    It doesn’t take discipline to do something you like, just as it doesn’t take willpower to refuse something you dislike.

  12. avatar
    mahatma kane jeeves | 8 August 2008 at 9:17 am #

    i’d advise you to spare us the details of vast gushing anything 🙂

  13. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 8 August 2008 at 11:44 am #

    …oh boy, anon.@6.55, surely putting that stuff into your body couldn’t be doing it any good…do you really need it…
    jumping into a cold pool every day, well i’m glad you enjoy it steve, but i dunno if i could ever be into it…
    love always…

  14. avatar
    steve kilbey | 8 August 2008 at 12:40 pm #

    spare us gratuitous scatological comments please

  15. avatar
    rotgut | 8 August 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    That’s the last time I ask for your advice, Killa! Thanks for your concern though…

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 August 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    Steve, would you tell us how swimming in the freezing sea at Brighton last year affected you when compared to the icy pool you swim in at home?

  17. avatar
    Larry | 8 August 2008 at 2:27 pm #

    I don’t know how you feel about his work but Nick Seymour seems to put cars in his paintings a lot. Maybe ask him for advice?

  18. avatar
    komodo | 8 August 2008 at 2:32 pm #

    Steve, can I just say how much I love your loping, slinking, almost reptilian bassline in Day Of The Dead? It conjures up wonderful images of saurian movement. My thanks to you, sir.

  19. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 8 August 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    Aah…Day Of The Dead…Music doesn’t get much more cinematic or exciting than this song. One of my favourites.

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 August 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    Steve, it’s me aaaarse!

  21. avatar
    matthew | 8 August 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    Funniest thing is, 11-12yo all I *EVER* drew was cars! Constant design detail fascination output outpouring… front-view, side-view, rear-view… who knew why? Maybe Toyota coulda used me evenchewally, altho not sure I could still crank em out like that today…. Still if I can toss any concepts your way I will SK!

  22. avatar
    Mr. Argent | 8 August 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    From today’s SFGate and Jon Carroll, a must read re: The Unitarian Jihad 😉

  23. avatar
    Cee | 8 August 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    “in the pool you solve all your art problems”

    En la picina se soluciona todos tus problemas de arte.

    Spanish Friday Cee

  24. avatar
    Polydora | 9 August 2008 at 12:17 am #

    “and thoughts cease to be thoughts
    they become a pure vision of form or sound”

    Oh I *love* this feeling. Maybe the water just isn’t cold enough where I’ve been. I get that feeling during deep phases of meditation and sometimes when carried away by the sound of piano.

  25. avatar
    ross b | 9 August 2008 at 1:39 am #

    I imagine it would be much easier to grok 70's cars than contemporary cars, all those huge boxy holdens & valiants, they had tremendous character even though they sucked up leaded petrol like there is no tomorrow…

    I greatly admire your dedication and perseverance to daily swimming.14 degrees is a bit too cold methinks!! But as you attest the effort brings with it great reward. I've been jumpin' in the water too, in an indoor pool that's 28 degrees, and chlorinated (yechh!!)

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