Eating Gelato in Rome and at Home with Art School Buddy Ben Butler

Essay by Luke Foster

“It wasn’t that the teachers were bad. From what I can remember, they were pretty good. It was about the selection of books. It was about not seeing my young life reflected back to me: my family dynamics, the noise and complexities of my neighbourhood, the things I loved, like ice cream trucks and Kool-Aid.” Jason Reynolds

There has been a gentle shift in my perspective as up until a few months ago I was only interested in serious topics about the nature of the world. Now I am starting to write about the whimsical side of life that reflects humour, spiritualism, art, and music rather than anything political. I am deeply influenced by how the Dalai Lama approaches his interest and influence in the world. Sometimes he talks about things of a political nature, but it comes across as compassionate, funny, and wise.

“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.” Dalai Lama

While I was in Rome during my recent Europe trip for a month, I started having gelato ice-cream in my leg of Rome sometimes in a cone and sometimes in a paper cup. There was a continuity in my life today as my old art school friend Ben Butler came over today and we sat on my balcony which has a beautiful view of a lake, and we had drinks: Ben had a few beers, and I had a few non-alcoholic Gordons drinks. It was quite hot so afterwards we went for a swim in the pool all the while reminiscing about art school days and our lives since then.

Then we returned to my balcony of my very messy studio apartment and the heat melted as it started raining and the whole atmosphere changed.

I suggested we go get gelato ice-cream and drive up to the headland to watch the ocean in the fading light.

Then we drove up to the house in the next suburb where I lived with my dear mum until about a year and a few months ago.

I think its important to reflect on the whimsical side of life as if you are always reflecting on the big problems and are weighed down by what you can’t change in the world then you start to feel stuck, hedged in, anxious and miserable.

I am trying to find my Zen, so I am balanced and happy.

“I am not a big technology person. I don’t go on the Internet much at all. Drawing is like a Zen thing; it’s private, which in this day and age is harder to come by.” Tim Burton

Unlike Tim Burton I do like the internet and use it all the time, but I agree with him about the Zen of drawing, and I also find him one of my favourite directors especially the movie Edward Scissor Hands with Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder that I saw at the cinema in Avalon on Sydney’s northern beaches when I was a teenager.

Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands drawing.