objects for meditation

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.

These words from the Tao Te Ching (from a different translation, however) formed part of a slide show performance by my friend, photographer William Yang, tonight at The Studio at the Sydney Opera House. William’s show is called Objects for Meditation and is based around certain objects that have meaning in his life.

William says: “Of all my eight monologues I’ve done, I have found this one to be the most difficult to do; because it is quiet, because it is about ordinary things and because it doesn’t have a plot. I have had many a crisis in confidence doing this piece, but I have persisted because I think that how you live your daily life is important and deserves a voice. It is also about spirit and that is a hard thing to convey in material world.”

This is the first time William has incorporated digital video into his work. I think it worked well but we both agreed afterwards that it was a little twitchy technically, as the video seemed jumpy at times. But it wasn’t very distracting and you could think it was how it was supposed to be.

The show is on until 9 April and is worth seeing. It may be quiet, but there were numerous laughs, and it may not have a plot as such but it is definitely a journey.


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